On New Year’s Day, she confidently told me, “Gillian. I’m dying.” I responded, “Me too.” There were no tears. Her vocalization of her impending demise was her line in the sand. She’d fought for over a decade. She was changing the script while she still could. She was not giving up. She was choosing how she would live the rest of her life.
Two weeks more of hospital visits and then she died. And so, 2013 began for me. I drew my line in the sand. I changed my script.
I took a job in one of the most unlikely locations for an island girl. I attended a rodeo. I chose a pastime that literally took me to higher heights…alone. The most important question in my household became, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today?” The first agenda item for each of my team meetings became “Celebrations”. I went scuba diving in a shack in the desert.
I let go of negative friends, participated in about 100 disagreements but had not one quarrel, and rarely repeated myself save for a few hardheaded folks. I un-busied myself, unfettered my brain, and laughed at my follies. I listened to those who love me and shared my writing with the world. There is no one left to forgive.
I chose to dress up rather than hunker down. I found that my giving acted as a boomerang of abundance, and I chose to believe the light that filters through the slits in my blinds is the brightness of each smile I initiated reflected back at me.
I have changed the paradigm of what I once termed mistakes to fully engage in teachable moments. The vertical drop of each waterfall I discovered served to quench the dry creek beds of fear and regret. The eagles that soar overhead are indicative of my lot in life. I was not prey. They were harbingers of my ascent, and like the majestic animals, I no longer desired anything in which I had not invested something meaningful, including myself.
This year, death inspired me to live in the moment. If I am granted even one hour of 2014, my only wish is to be all of me in every moment.
Living vicariously is a contradiction in terms. You can’t plan to live. You have to just do it! IN EACH MOMENT!