Courageous & Outrageous - Be Present

By Pat Nichol

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“The past is history, the future is a mystery, we only have the gift of this precious moment, that is why it is called the present.”

This quote is one that I have passed onto others blithely often in my life as a speaker.

A few months ago, I wrote about each of us beginning to compile a “bucket list” - a list of all those things we want to do before we die. Well, I did the Adrenaline Zip Line in Sooke before the issue even hit the stands. I did it with my daughters and husband to celebrate his 72nd birthday. His idea - not mine. It was awesome, both fun and scary all at the same time! Well worth the time and the money.

When I wrote that column, I wasn’t concerned about the future, just aware that my life was moving along what seemed to be a smooth track that wouldn’t change that much unless I wanted it to. The fact that our lives can change in an instant soon came home to me. Between one weekend and the next, the future suddenly shrunk.

On a sunny Sunday morning, my husband was very uncomfortable and in pain so I took him to the clinic. We were referred to the hospital however no alarm bells went off. Emergency room doctors ordered all sorts of tests. When I returned to take him home, I found out they were admitting him for more tests. By Tuesday morning, after a conversation with his doctor, our relaxed future was no more. My seemingly healthy husband had been diagnosed with cancer. The present took on a completely new meaning. Each moment now becomes precious.

As we move into this month of Thanksgiving, be thankful for your blessings. Every day, be present to all that you are and all that you have. Be especially thankful for your health, even with the aches that may not have been there a year ago. Be thankful for our healthcare system. As flawed as it may seem at times, the people in the trenches (nurses, etc.) are amazing.

We all need to take on an attitude of gratitude for the large gifts and the small - in all facets of our lives. Whether you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving or not, take this time to tell people in your life that you love them. The opportunity may not come again.




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