I did not have an article last week. Instead I was at a funeral. Such an event tends to make you look at life and try to evaluate what is actually important. Does it mater that the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl? Does it matter that the U.S. congress still hasn’t passed a budget for this year? All in all, probably not.

This funeral was for a friend’s (my best friend’s) mother. I drove from Iowa to Texas on Friday, attended the funeral on Saturday and drove back to Iowa on Sunday. The funeral itself was actually nice, capturing her personality and life. The drive allowed me many hours with my wife, talking about our own parents, our children, our lives. We spent most of our time in Texas with my friend who happens to be married to my wife’s friend. That chance to re-connect, share grief and remember our youth.

I realize that I have possibly a disproportionate amount of good in my life. Good family, good job, good friends, and a chance to express myself in writing. I try to appreciate all of these gifts. I have never complained about my compensation at work, mostly because it would make no difference, but also because my various bosses have treated me (on balance) fairly. I try to praise and correct my children in proper order. I make every effort to let my wife know how much I appreciate her. I try to respect my parent’s decisions and support them in any way that I can. I try to be dependable to my friends and all of my obligations. I am also indebted to all of you who actually read my articles and hopefully will read my books once I make them available.

Am I successful with all of this? Well certainly not every day and not in every circumstance. The important thing is to try, and actually think about it. It is a shame that it takes a funeral to reinforce the need to appreciate what we all have. A life perspective is something we should have every day.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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