I’m feeling my mortality. This week I got the news 1 of my dear friends has months to live, and 2 others were just diagnosed with cancer. Aaaaaaand my mom has been hanging on the outskirts of my mind. Some people say the veil between the living and dead is thin around May Day. Perhaps Mom’s whispering to me on the other side. Maybe she’s on my mind because it was Mother’s Day last week.
I’m 4 years away from her death year. I know it makes no sense and yet some part of me doesn’t believe I’ll make it past 42. I’ve read that’s very common for people who have lost their parents. So I’ve been thinking, if I had just 4 years left to live, what would I want those years to look like? Would I be doing what I’m doing now?
The past couple months I’ve been speaking with women in our community and I’ve realized, I’m not the only one thinking about my mortality. I heard over and over again…
I want to make a difference.
I want to leave a legacy.
I want to use my gifts.
I want my life to mean something.
Every once in a while it’s important to STOP. Step back. And take a look at how you’re living your life.
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day. It is easy to forget what is MOST important in the midst of the doing of life. Unless we stop and take stock, we can find ourselves months or years later somewhere we don’t want to be. That was me in my 20’s…
I was moving up the corporate ladder. I had a career in retail management and was doing well. I was driven and could see my career path in front of me. I was motivated, excited and I threw myself into my job, working 60-70 hours a week. All of that worked just fine until… It didn’t.
I got my first real lesson as a mom the day I miscarried my baby. I was on a corporate trip far from home. In that moment, I couldn’t care less about my job, my portfolio, the years of work I had put in. All I cared about was my baby and this other life I wanted. I spent days in bed overwhelmed with grief and in those dark days I could see with total clarity the life I was creating was not what I wanted. 11 years later, I still mourn the loss of my first baby but the gift she gave me was to STOP and figure out what I really wanted.
Last year a friend was diagnosed with cancer. Her question became, How do I want to live? She decided to do treatment but more than that, she wanted to live her gifts now. She continued her online business, coaching clients and helping people all over the world tap into their unique gifts. She knew she had a legacy, something she wanted to leave behind. In that moment she could have shrunk, but she chose to open up, to share, to expand.
What do you want?
How do you want to live?
What do you need to cut out?
What do you need to add in?
These four questions are ways to course correct. When you take the time to stop, they give you direction. They help you realign with that’s most important.
As I’m asking myself these questions, I’d be doing mostly what I’m doing already. I’d continue my work because I love it. I’d still snuggle my kids in the morning and night and do art projects with them. I’d still make love with my husband in the middle of the day. I’d cut out worry and obligation. I’d add in more travel and writing my book. I’d add in connecting more often with my friends and family. So that’s what I’m doing this next year… more travel, writing, and connection.
I’m adding in what I’d do if this was it. Because this is it. Our one great life. So do what you love now.
Share below. What would you cut out or add in?