• Carol Bross-McMahon

Don't sweat the small stuff, especially today

9/11 evokes specific memories for most of us (at least those who are 15 years or older). My youngest daughter was in the 3rd grade and my eldest in the 8th grade. I was on a flight from O’Hare to LAX that morning. I had some coworkers in Manhattan who saw many of the events unfold right before their eyes.

We all know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the terrible news.

It’s hard to fathom that it’s been 19 years when the wounds are still fresh for so many. I don’t have anything really profound to say today that others aren’t already saying except a call to consider this: If our fellow Americans who died that day could reverse the course of history and live, would they choose to worry about the small stuff?

Yes, 2020 has been one cluster of a year. Many people are suffering. Countless businesses will never recover. Kids missed out on a lot of graduation traditions. And now we’re asked to continue wearing masks until who knows when.

But, when you step back from all of that and remember how many families and friends lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, perspective becomes crystal clear. I, for one, am trying to take today to really appreciate the simple things in life.

I got to wake up today. I am able to work from a comfortable home office. This weekend I’ll get plenty of bonding time with my daughter as we paint her kitchen. I’ll probably go to the gym tomorrow (although there’s one piece of apple pie left in the kitchen that might sabotage that effort.) I might even grab dinner at a restaurant. And since it’s Friday, I get to babysit my grandson all day!

Seriously, there are so many small pleasures in life that we get used to and simply gloss over. Maybe just appreciating those small things is a way to remember how lucky we were to be out of harm’s way 19 years ago.

For all those who are still suffering from the loss of a loved one that day, my hearts go out to you. There’s nothing anyone can say to ease your pain but maybe knowing we haven’t forgotten will help just a bit.

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