Life and Death…

People die. Every. Single. Day.

caskets

Yes, I know it’s sad. Believe me, I know. I am feeling the weight of it today.

I had a friend. She died Tuesday. 

I have another friend. She is dying of cancer. The doctors gave her six months. She wants me to adopt her child.

And one of my closest friends in the whole world… She is bringing a new life into this world next month. At the risk of her own.

Life and death. So close. So intimate. Like yin and yang. You absolutely cannot have one without the other.

This year, I have lost so many people.

And I am thankful. So incredibly thankful.

Losing my loved ones has been a true wake up call. I have begun to start analyzing my life and my pursuits.

If the doctors were to give me a bad test result, what would I think? How would I feel? Would I be okay with the choices I have made? Would I know that I had truly lived? Could my kids say “she gave it her all”?

I have made mistakes. I have screwed up more things in my life than I care to admit. I am far from perfect.

I have a twisted, broken heart. A heart that has caused me to make some terrible, terrible choices. I have hurt people. I have damaged relationships. I have treated my body badly, treated my mind poorly.

But I have a choice today.

I could regret those decisions. I could continue to live in the past, looking back at what “could have been” or what I “should have done differently”.

Or I can choose to move on. I can choose to learn from the mistakes and the poor choices I have made.

I recently encountered someone who lived a life of regret. They spent so much time beating themselves up over a bad decision they had made that they missed out on something incredible that was directly in front of their face. Then they pondered and loathed the fact that they had missed out on that incredible moment and forgot to savor the moments they were creating NOW.

It taught me so much about appreciating the present moment. All we really have is right now. There is no past. It cannot be changed. The future is only what we make it. We don’t know what it will hold. The only truth is the moment we stand in. This brief speck of time that we know we have, because we are standing in it.

14,000 Feet

Climbing mountains in Colorado

As for me, I want to see the beauty in each moment. I want to experience things. I want to feel it all. I want passionate love, laughter and tears. I want to truly live.

So I will continue to persevere. I will continue to make adventures with my kids a priority. I will continue to experience all the new, crazy things I can think of. I will live passionately and free. I will do what I can to change this great big world. I will push forward. I will overcome obstacles. I will be a blessing. I will feel my emotions. And I will trust that the people I impact in this lifetime will impact others for generations to come…

Teaching the munchkins to make fried chicken. Beauty in the mundane.

Teaching the munchkins to make fried chicken. Beauty in the mundane.

I would rather die a meaningful death than live a meaningless life. I want people to remember me because I impacted them and made their life better. Whether it is a smile, a discussion, an encouraging word, or a kick in the behind to tell someone to truly live… I want my life to matter.

Death. Oh, so beautiful. 

The realization of how incredibly close it is makes me want to appreciate the life I am living so much more.

Hunter S. Thompson wrote:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Experiencing the adventure of running through clouds of colored cornstarch together!

Experiencing the adventure of running through clouds of colored cornstarch together!

Usually, this blog is all about me. However, today I want to make it about you. I am challenging you to GO! Live your life! Learn from the mistakes in your past, but LEAVE THEM THERE! Look forward to your future, but CREATE MEMORIES TODAY!

Love people, laugh a lot, feel everything.

Truly live your life.

Please.

Before it’s too late.

I love you all.

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About Shannon Joy

I am a single mother of two incredible munchkins. I pray a lot, work a lot, learn a lot, volunteer a lot and tend to do a lot... I love my life. The past few years have been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs. Thankfully, I have made the choice to see challenges as opportunities and it makes me so much stronger than I ever thought possible. I love to write and paint and feel that being creative is my God-given talent. I am so excited to share my life and experiences with you. Although I am a diamond in the rough, I known that I am being chiseled and hewn by God's grace and my own perseverance. I love comments and feedback, so please send a little love when you can. I will always try to respond personally and in a timely fashion.
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