At our 50th high school reunion almost five years ago, several of us found ourselves at dinner together. Connected that night by the promise in our conversation more than memories of our adolescent past, we agreed to stay in touch. Since then we have had over thirty conference calls and several in-person gatherings.

An email this week from one of our group struck home. At its core was a simple and profound call to action in our attitude. It is particularly poignant for those of us elders facing the passing of peers and the loss of capacities we once took for granted.

My friend is a gentle, strong, persistent, mindful and very caring individual. Her husband has been battling cancer for the past twelve years, and she has been by his side every step of the way. Taking advantage of a positive energy plateau in his treatment cycle, they are right-sizing. Her email describes sorting through and disposing the accumulated stuff of many years. She notes that the most difficult aspect in letting go of “things” is the memories associated with them, and she shares some examples.

And then she says, “I remind myself – love the good that is, not what is lost.”

What a great reminder to each of us personally and professionally: tune our attitude to focus on that which is going well, the beauty around us that awaits only our attention and the love that asks only to be received. It is a matter of mindfulness for the moment rather than what was or might have been.