What if…?

http://www.policymic.com/articles/85541/nasa-study-concludes-when-civilization-will-end-and-it-s-not-looking-good-for-us

The article in the above link has been swirling in my head for the last several days. Life has also recently completed a cycle of three deaths; it is strange but has held true in my life. When one person dies, two more quickly follow. One loss was heart breaking for me, the other two were acquaintances. Nonetheless, it is hard to watch people you care about suffer and mourn the loss of their loved one.

Like most people, I tend to assess how I am living my life when people around me die unexpectedly. What if my time is almost up? Would I change the way I am living my life, if I knew that the end was near? The above article reinforced these questions by indicating that humans, as a species, may have as little as fifteen years left here on earth. The reality is, we may sustain life here on earth much longer then fifteen years or my life could end tomorrow. We have no guarantees, all we have is  the memories we’ve made and this moment.

Am I satisfied? Do I have regrets? Am I at peace with the life that I have led, if it all ends tomorrow? I have learned so much in the past several years about life, love and letting go, but at the end of the day have any of my revelations brought me any answers about “life”?  What answers do actually have about my life?

The biggest question that I have been asking myself is if I would be living my life differently if I was given a date of final destination? The reality is, we should all be living our lives like it is the last day of our lives, but that is scary as hell! I am a mother, a business owner, a daughter and hold many obligations in my life (like everyone) that prevent me from living every day like it is my last. Answering this question is genuinely a struggle for me, which in a way makes me happy. I know so many people who would say “hell yes, I would quit my job tomorrow and…”.

I do work very hard, sometimes perhaps too hard. My sin is pride; I have a very hard time asking anyone for help. But it is also very rewarding for me. I have done well with my business. There are families (in addition to my own) that rely on my business for their livelihoods, that is rewarding. I have regulars that come in everyday to chat with me for a few minutes and it is the highlight of their day, that is rewarding. I am able to independently provide a life for my children that most children could only dream of, that’s rewarding. I do not rely on a single other person for the stability of my livelihood, my fate is in my hands, that is rewarding (and scary as hell too).

So, would I give it up if I knew that the end of my days were drawing near? I honestly don’t know. I have passions, interests and hobbies that have been put on the back burner due to the demands of my life and the list of what is wrong with this one horse, backwards thinking town I live in is endless. But at the end of the day, I love my life. The only thing that I would change about my life, if I knew my end was near, would be to acknowledge how much I love my life and celebrate it every single day.

That sure made living for today seem more obtainable. Starting tomorrow, I will do my best to acknowledge how lucky I am to be living this life, let the past go, celebrate every moment and every person in my life, like it may be the last moment I have with them. I will hug my children longer, kiss the New Man with more passion and less reservation, praise my employees, cherish my friends and forgive all that have wronged me (because they are my biggest blessings of all).487686_587839401244274_1504799545_n

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What Was Heard When He Uttered My Name

Life feels like it has been spinning a million miles an hour lately. Not only in my own life, as I observe people around me. Everyone seems to be in transition or contemplating transition. It’s amazing how quickly life can change; perception, feelings, the significance of someone or something, it can all change in the blink of an eye.

For me, the awareness of how much life is changing came at an unexpected moment. The New Man and I have found a routine where he crawls into bed with me when he gets off work in the early morning. It has been a welcome release from reality for me in the last couple of weeks and a wonderful way for me to start my day. As we were in the midst of starting my day off on the right foot, he whispered my name in my ear and it had the most profound effect on me. So simple, yet so significant to me.

When my ex-husband and I moved to this small town eight years ago and met The Other Man and his wife, they began calling me by a shortened version of my name and in turn introduced me to everyone that I met by that name. I wasn’t opposed to the nic-name, it has just never really felt like who I was. I didn’t really acknowledge my discomfort in the name until I was going through my divorce. It became a symbol of the version of me that I had become during the years I spent with The Other Man (and was not proud of). It was very interesting to see who respected my wishes to be addressed by my full name and who, to this day, refer to me by the shortened version. The people who know me well, refer to me by name and do not hesitate to correct anyone that calls me by the nic-name. The people who know me, but have never cared enough to ask my preference still call me by the shortened version. It is a nice daily reminder for me of who the important people are in my life.

But it was more when The New Man passionately whispered my whole name in my ear. It felt like freedom! He has never known me by anything but how I introduced myself, he knows nothing of my past, he knows no one that would refer to me by anything but my full name. It symbolized so much more to me then him being caught up in the moment. It was a symbol of this new chapter in my life, no need for reference to prior chapters or characters, a blank canvas in front of me.

Life truly does always give you exactly what you need, when you need it. I could have never come to my realization about the Other Man without his re-emergence and the opportunity for him to remind me of his true colors one last time. I could have never learned so many valuable life lessons without the time to process and let go of my past in recent months and right when this small town life was starting to get the best of my optimism The New Man walked in to my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I am consumed by The New Man and this new relationship. He is in a very different place in his life and we do not have much time available to spend together, but he sure does put a smile on my face when we are together. No matter what ends up happening with The New Man, I will forever be grateful to him for helping me take the last steps towards letting go, lifting me up and reminding me that I am a strong, beautiful woman, in one of my loneliest hours and for giving me a new-found optimism about this new chapter in my life. Not that he needs to know any of that right now.