You know that saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” That saying needs to go away. Because we need to start appreciating the things we have in front of us, right now. Not when they go away and are long gone and suddenly we’re left with all of these regrets. We need to learn how to be happy with what we have while we have them.
So many relationships end, so many loved ones pass away, and so many people are left regretting their time spent with them. They regret not saying I love you enough, or treating them with as much care as they deserved. And I get that in the moment, it’s not always easy to appreciate what you have. You might be fighting with your significant other and spit horrible words at them. You might spend time with someone you love without really even noticing they’re there because their presence has grown so familiar. You aren’t always consciously aware that this might be the last opportunity you have with them. But we should damn well try to make an effort to appreciate the ones we love while we have them in front of us. There is no worse feeling than having regret with absolutely no way to make up for it.
I’ve had someone very close to me die, and I’ve had a very serious relationship die as well. This is the reason I’m advocating this point. I don’t want anyone else to wait until something awful happens for them to start realizing they should appreciate what they have. When a relationship fails, we suddenly realize how much we love and need the person. We start to torture ourselves over all the things that we should’ve done, all the effort we should’ve made, when it’s inevitably too late. We kick ourselves that we had such a bad attitude in certain situations, that we didn’t compliment them enough, that we didn’t pay enough attention or give enough affection. It’s because we get too comfortable, the person grows too familiar, and so we stop trying to make it special every single day. But once you lose that person, you realize what a horrible mistake you made. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t wait until you’ve lost the person forever to realize you fucked up.
Don’t let someone you love die until you come to the conclusion that you should care and love the people you have in front of you as much as you can. I never thought I should appreciate time with my brother as much as I did, say I love you when I could, study his face and demeanor every chance I got. I hate myself sometimes for not having reached out to him more, for not calling or texting to see how he was doing. I didn’t talk to him for over two months, and then he died. And it was an awful feeling knowing I didn’t say “I love you” one more time, or see his face and feel the warmth of his bear hug one more time. I wish I made the effort to call, to hear his voice, to see how his day went. But now he’s gone and I’ll never get the chance again. Don’t let this happen to you. Call your loved ones today, and stop assuming you have tomorrow. Start appreciating your relationships today, because they might not stick around much longer. Start knowing what you have now, and not only when it’s gone.