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Posted by: Jane

Life is short.

I don't know about you, but I've always underappreciated this little bit of wisdom.

How many times in your life have you heard it—as a response to the untimely death of a distant relative; as a justification for spending too much money or eating too much chocolate; even as an athletic company's slogan? I've been pretty guilty of overusing it myself, tossing a breezy "life is short" over my shoulder when I hear someone complaining about credit card bills, worrying about retirement, or not knowing what they want to be when they grow up.

And, if you're like me, "life is short" pretty much stopped meaning anything significant after the forty-nine hundredth time I heard it, or said it.

All of that changed for me on September 11th. It changed as dramatically as anything I could imagine or describe here.

And that's the theme of my annual November note. I was very fortunate that day—fortunate not to have lost anyone I knew. I also consider myself very fortunate to finally understand the meaning of "life is short," albeit as the result of something so horrific.

So while I won't bore you with interpretations of "what it all means," I do want to share one thing that I've learned the past several months:  There is nothing in this world that is, or should be, as important as our
relationships with other people. And you know what? I've heard that all before, and said it all before, too. Now I get it. And each of you has unfailingly demonstrated that to me, too: Coming through for me, no
questions asked, whenever I needed you—and despite immense self-absorption on my part.

Now, what "life is short" means to me is this:

Analyze less and live more.

Try not to worry about where you're going and instead appreciate where you've been, and where you are—right this very second.

If you don't like where you are right this very second, change it. And by that I don't mean buy a new car, or get a high-powered job, or collect bigger and better stuff. I mean, tell the people who matter to you that
they matter to you.

Your friends and your family don't care how "successful" you are or how much overtime you work or what kind of car you drive. They don't even care that you've ignored them for months on end ; I know this from
personal experience. They care about you. Let them know that you care, too.  Don't tell them tomorrow, or next week, or when you might get around to it after the holidays. God forbid, if something like 9/11 happens again, none of us may have another chance.

Life is short. I'm glad you're in mine.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.