The Fonder Heart

It is often said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. And I guess, as with all general idioms about life, that is mostly true. We miss our friends, partners, and family when their absence is short-term and circumstantially required. When they are off on a business trip, vacation, or other activity that makes them geographically separated from us, we miss them. We miss the positives they bring into our lives. We miss their touch, their support, their kind words, and all manner of things that are the reasons that we love them in the first place. At that moment, we find it easier to forget any negatives that may be a part of the relationship. It is probably because we rarely miss negatives in our lives. But when distance even slightly diminishes our ability to feel their positive effects on our lives, we miss them dearly. The heart truly grows fonder, as we are faced with some small interpretation of what it would be like to not have these important people in our lives. We begin to have a greater appreciation for those things that our daily lives have caused us to take for granted as always being there.

Even in a strained relationship, though some may joke about the absence of their partner being a “vacation” from the negatives things in the relationship, within a short period of times they miss the positives and long for their partners return, negatives and all. This is human nature. Many things in our lives go unappreciated until we do not have them. I have heard friends lament the woes of their job with unending disdain, but know that if they were suddenly without said employment; they would quickly miss the positives, like a steady income. The problematic vehicle, that drives you crazy with minor problems or breakdowns, would be sorely missed during the time you spend walking everywhere. Regardless of what we take for granted, its absence will bring us a different perspective and greater appreciation for what it adds to our lives.

So, if the absence of something gives us a greater appreciation for whatever that something may be and “makes the heart grow fonder”, we should choose to be without the people we hold dear so that we are reminded of their value in our lives. That would be, at worst, virtually impossible for us to do. We rarely actively deny ourselves things of importance or convenience. And, at a minimum, it would be highly impractical. Yet we need to be reminded of those things we take for granted. And this is no easy thought process. We are intelligent beings and, even when these important people are right in front of us, we find ways to take them for granted. It is extremely difficult to simply choose to not take something for granted. We expect the positive impact the important people in our lives have on us; it is why we choose them to be a part of our lives. Without the positives, we may have never chosen that person or allowed them to become an integral part of our daily life. It is the negatives we focus on, because without those, that person would be “perfect” and we believe we will have found our nirvana in and with them. So how can we stop taking the people we love for granted?

Remind yourself every moment of every day that you are not guaranteed anything. There is no one you know and nothing you have that cannot disappear completely from your life in an instant. Neither you nor them are promised a tomorrow, or for that matter, a rest of today. All things in life come and go and we never know when they will come or when they will go. Know that, every day and in every moment of your day, all things are a gift given to you for a fleeting moment. Remind yourself what it would be like without them, even when they are right next to you. Appreciate what you have and let those people know they are appreciated. If you have to be without them to appreciate them, it will often be too late.

© 2012  Commonsensibly Speaking ~ Brad Osborne

4 Responses to “The Fonder Heart”
  1. melanie klein says:

    Your closing paragraphs are always quite powerful. They really drive the point home. What do you use as “reminders” that life is a gift and to be grateful for it? We are so conditioned to not live in that frame of mind.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thanks Melanie! I am not sure I have “reminders”, as much as it is a constant and conscious mind set. Through my experiences in combat, the loss of loved ones, and knowing people whose physical conditions create a known ticking clock to their continued existence, I readily know that I am promised no time other than the moment that lies before me. I know that any day, any minute for that matter, could easily be my last. For me to postpone or procrastinate is to be happy that it may likely remain undone. I guess the easiest suggestion I can make in finding this perception in life is to remove the word tomorrow from your vocabulary. For no person is promised a tomorrow. Thanks again for reading and I appreciate and encourage your comments!

      • Kwai Chang says:

        Brad – that one hit home hard – I will be trying my best to live up to that last paragraph. Nice blog….I am working my way thru your musings. I read your guest spot on Gina’s blog and wandered over to your site……so far I am impressed!!! Keep up the good work.

      • Brad Osborne says:

        Thank you for your kind words and readership. I will never master the rapier wit and humorisitic stylings G writes with, but it was a fun change of pace for me. Glad you enjoyed my posts and hope you will return often. Thanks again!

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