I came up to see my brother, sister-in-law and nephews today, driving through snow and over the mountain to get here — a little nerve-wracking but it was totally fine. Upon my arrival, nearly immediately my brother and I went back out and spent 2 perfect hours cross-country skiing in perfect conditions and it was amazing. We are going downhill skiing tomorrow, before I take a late evening flight to Oakland for a work meeting all day Tuesday, and then I fly home Tuesday night. It’s kind of a lot, but we are having the kind of snow that begs for a ski day if you can manage it, and I don’t get a lot of time to ski with my brother (or to ski at all – didn’t go at all last year so I am trying to make up time this year). I am a tiny bit worried about my flight — tonight is supposed to be a huge snowstorm and it may delay flights tomorrow which could make for a very late night, and a tired day Tuesday, and a long drive home Tuesday night, if I can get home at all Tuesday night (more snow expected). But, I was reminded today that that stuff doesn’t really matter. A good friend from high school, who has already battled breast cancer and has been in remission, just found out that she has another tumor on a lung and another possibly in her liver. I cannot imagine how she must be feeling, and I keep thinking about her. I think about my little nephews and how much I love them, and how much I could be missing if I don’t make the effort now. I think how I could spend all my time working, or making sure that I never over-extend or do too much, or cram too much in, and that sometimes I struggle with feeling oddly guilty for enjoying my time with my family and friends. I mean, I spent a long time far away — I want to take advantage of every opportunity to do these memorable things with my brother, my nephews, my mom, my dad, my best friends. But still, that feeling lingers that somehow I should be spending my time differently, more productively, or something. And then, I get a reminder like my friend, and it makes me think how fragile and fleeting this all is, and how I just have to take advantage of everything I can, when I can, and if I get a little too tired sometimes from cramming in too much, well, oh well. I can always take a nap, I can always go to bed at 7:30 if I need to. I can’t always read adorable storybooks to my 2-year-old nephew and talk to him about kitties and spaceships and dump trucks. I can’t always snuggle my chunky six-month old baby nephew and kiss his chubby little hands and squish his adorable sausage legs. I can’t always spend a perfect 2 hours skiing with my brother, or a day with my dad on the mountain, or a week or two with my mom helping her recover from surgery (she is fine, and will be fine). Indeed it is my responsibility as a human, with the privilege of being alive and healthy, to do these things. What a waste if I didn’t. These are the things that really matter, and I am so glad to know this, so that I can fully enjoy them while I’m experiencing them, and know that they are special, and to be treasured.