Life keeps us so busy we tend to lose focus at times about what’s important. The result can be our priorities get away from us. Maybe it’s time to smell the roses and get the important things done.

A good example of something that gets away from us is telling friends and family what they mean to us before it’s too late. After death, there are no second chances. It works both ways.

That theory began to hit home three years ago when I started making a list of friends and family as they left this world. That list has grown to over 35 and has driven me to start a new process I call “getting prepared.” It’s taking back control of life in more areas.

An important chapter of “getting prepared” is thanking those that are difference makers in my life while they are here.

A mentor who helped me begin my “getting prepared” theory was Rev. Donald L Coleman, the Founder of Mad Dads. He passed away this month. We had many talks that typically included sharing our understanding of life.

Mad Dads closed after Rev. Coleman’s health began failing. It was a special organization known for giving bicycles to underprivileged children. I’ll never forget their heartwarming smiles as they picked out a bicycle and also Rev. Coleman’s smile. Those smiles were priceless.

He helped so many and never asked for recognition for his many accomplishments; it just quietly followed him around.

Rev. Coleman was a special leader that led by example. He fought for our country and shared his belief in God. His goodbye at the end of a meeting only meant goodbye for now. We were always “getting prepared”.

Deleting Rev. Coleman’s name from my contact list was not easy because it meant never hearing his heartwarming voice or that memorable laugh again.

Another leader of our community was Joe Hampton, who passed away in 2017. Joe was kind enough to let me interview him, so I could better understand his history. Somehow, we both knew capturing his amazing story was “getting prepared” for the inevitable.

Joe Hampton was well known for his many accomplishments as a City Councilman, land developer, and owner of Hampton Enterprises. Joe Hampton was a wealth of knowledge and in many ways a political historian.

Joe Hampton started from the ground up as an electrician earning 47 cents an hour before moving to Lincoln for 90 cents an hour. His exceptional construction knowledge and vision helped him start turning homes before becoming a home builder. In time he was a major player in commercial construction and a land developer known for projects like Williamsburg. He was also a pilot and loved to snow ski.

Joe Hampton cared about our community. He believed “people that put something back have a fulfilled life.” That was Joe’s way of telling me he felt he lived a good life. We both knew he was “getting prepared” for the next chapter.

It was still not easy to hit the delete button for Joe Hampton in my contact list. It’s difficult to be prepared for things as permanent as friends or family leaving us. There is no time like the present to say thank you or show your appreciation to those that have made a difference in your life. Tomorrow may be too late. It’s all part of “getting prepared.”

There is also no time like the present to do those things that are easy to put off. A little planning and action today may make life easier in the future. “Getting prepared” includes things like maintenance that can make your life so much easier and save headaches.

A good example of “getting prepared” with maintenance is making sure your heating and air conditioning system is ready for another hot Nebraska summer. This unusually long cold spring will make the HVAC contractors exceptionally busy when it gets hot. Some HVAC contractors take two or three weeks to respond when they are busy. Imagine being without cooling with 90-degree temperatures for 2 to 3 weeks.

Maintenance of our heating and cooling equipment reduces the odds it will fail. Why not fix it before it fails? A service maintenance agreement is the best protection. It’s kind of like an insurance policy. It’s another form of “getting prepared.”

My goal is to continue “getting prepared” in all areas of life and enjoy today….and say thanks, you are appreciated. Besides, we can all use a little more kindness!

company icon