01/10/2013 04:27 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2013


We all play many roles in our lives: parent, spouse, child, friend, employee, etc., and we all strive to excel in each of these roles. In general, we all try to be good parents and teach our children to follow in our footsteps. On January 5, 2013, we lost an amazing father, husband and friend. A close and dear friend of mine passed away to cancer. Paul was a wonderful father to two lovely kids, a loving husband to an amazing wife and a fantastic friend to all that he met. He was the guy with the well-mannered kids that you wanted your kids to play with; he was the guy that was ready with a smile, words of encouragement or helping hand whenever you needed anything. In short, he was the type of person we needed to have more of in this world.

Last week, as I thought about 2013 resolutions and reflected on the events of 2012, I realized that I am often so consumed with work and bills (the "reason" I have to work) that I neglect the "real" reasons that I have to work -- my family and myself. I rarely take the time to think about the reasons I do things. Between balancing work and family there are numerous tasks at hand to be completed, so I finish one task and immediately move on to the next one. I never feel like I have enough time for everything. But when I heard that Paul passed away, something in me changed. With Paul's passing, I realizde that many of the things I stress are quite trivial -- I spend way too much energy on issues that honestly do not matter in the grand scheme of things. It's time to make a change.

It's time to focus more on the people and things that matter to me most, and it's time to slow down. I need to leave work on time and not work at home. In the evenings, it needs to be my kid that is on my lap, not my computer that is on my lap. I need to make time to catch up with friends and family verbally, not over email, Facebook or texting. I need to send physical birthday cards in place of e-cards... in short, I have to regress a little and go old school. I'm going to become a better consumer of society: I will support the USPS, I will support Hallmark and I will support Verizon! As Master Shifu said in Kung Fu Panda (I've got a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, of course I quote from animated films), "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that's why it is called the Present". Life is short, so let's all make today the best it can be and let the people we love know how much we care about them and treasure them.

On January 12, 2013 many will come together to celebrate Paul's life. Those of us that were fortunate to have had him in our lives will always treasure his memories. As a community we will continue Paul's legacy, through his children we will fulfill his dreams. Rest in peace Paul H. Agakian, 06/26/77 - 01/05/13.