Before I Die…

So, I have been thinking… probably too much because that’s what I do.
But as I go through the process of creating this beautiful life, I realize more and more what is or is not important.
And the important things really aren’t what I thought they were at all.
When I was in college, I was determined to be financially successful, to dress in the best clothing, wear high heels every day, earn the admiration and respect of all my peers, have a huge office to myself and own a beautiful home where I threw incredible fancy dress-up parties.
I fought for that vision for a few years. Then I decided to add a husband into the equation. Then kids came along. Then life really hit me, knocked me down, and tore me apart for a while.
But I kept going. I was determined to have the “things” that would make me happy. So determined, in fact, that I cut people out of my life if I thought they didn’t feed my material goals. And as I struggled and fought to gain these ever-elusive material possessions, I found myself losing out on the more important things, many of which I didn’t recognize until it was too late.
But at this stage in the game, I have begun to realize what I really want from my life. I want a life that sizzles. I want a life that makes me throw my head back and laugh out loud. I want a life of crinkles and creases and stretching and growth.
I don’t want to lay on my death bed and realize that my life was just a collection of meetings and errands and laundry and receipts and dirty dishes.
No, I want to eat all the good food, and belt out Disney songs at the top of my lungs, and wear twirly skirts, and laugh until I am out of breath and my stomach hurts. I want to paint the beauty I have found in the world and bring beauty to the places that are aching for it. I want to stomp through mud puddles in bare feet and dance in a meadow on a sunny day. I want to sleep long and hard on clean white sheets and throw open all my windows and enjoy the fresh air. I want to throw costume parties on a whim and wear a wig just because. I want to watch movies that make me cry and read books so good they make me forget that time exists. I want to be so raw, so honest and vulnerable that it hurts. I want to make people think, really think, about life, about their expectations and standards. I want to experience joy so fully that I can’t help jumping up and down. 
And I want my life, each and every day, to be made of magical moments and memories. I want a life so full that God himself has to belly laugh when he looks at me because he is so glad he gave life to someone who loves it this much.
I want my life to be a blessing. And I want to leave a legacy of joy and hope.
I want to be every single little bit of the Shannon that I was created to be. I want to squeeze every drop of life out while I am still living so there is nothing left to experience by the time I die. I want to be everything I can be and embrace all of me. The messy housekeeper, the eccentric artist, the dreamer, the writer, the boss, the mom, the emotional redhead, the lover, the fighter… all of it.
And when I die, I want my kids, my lover, my friends, and my family to say “wow, she really knew how to LIVE, didn’t she?”

About Shannon Joy

I am a single mama with two incredible munchkins. I confuse most people and the deeper you delve into the rabbit hole, the more lost you will become. I play 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 experiences and grace and 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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