katie mcnamara; waking up is a gift

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As we grow older, and life gets into a rhythm, many things just become a habit. Taking showers, brushing your teeth, grabbing your morning coffee, waking up — but I realized recently that you can’t take for granted waking up every day. Think about it, every day you wake up, you have a fresh start, a brand new day to make a difference in your life, someone else’s life, or to make a difference for something. That’s quite a gift!

I started thinking about this about a month ago. I was preparing to leave for spring break when I got a call from my best friend. We talk every day so I didn’t think anything of it until I heard the shakiness in her voice. After a long pause she told me that one of our friends shot himself the night before. A month ago I was skiing in the mountains with him and going sledding in the snow. We had plans to go golfing this summer, but everything changed now. He was not going to wake up, he had no more fresh starts. He is gone and missed by so many people I don’t think he knew cared about him so much. I will forever remember his contagious smile and I know he is looking over all of his friends and family.

You watch the news, and even that can become a habit. But sometimes things will catch my eye, like a plane crash, a deadly fire, or a horrendous car crash. No one involved in any of these instances thought they wouldn’t wake up the next day, and if they did, would they have done something different that day?

“What if today is your last day?” This is the question I have posted on my mirror. I wake up everyday, brush my teeth and look at that question. It reminds me that I am alive, and that that means something. It mean something to people close to me, it means something to people I haven’t met yet; maybe it means something to an animal I’m going to rescue, or a seed I’m going to plant. It doesn’t matter how big or how small something is in your life, you have an impact on what happens and that means something!

You can’t be perfect in all of your decisions, and no one expects you to be, but remember that waking up to a new sun is a gift denied to many and is something you should treasure as an opportunity –to do good for you and everything around you. You wake up to so many possibilities every morning, so please don’t make waking up a habit. Treat it like a gift that you have the power to keep giving. WAKE UP! And LIVE!

Katie Mac
20 years old
New Hope, PA
March 28, 2014

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