When You Realize (Again) That Life is Unpredictable
As I prepare for the 10 month mark of my moms heavenly birthday, and as my hometown (Ventura, CA) is up in flames, my heart breaks and I am reminded once again how unpredictable life is.
I never planned to leave Ventura. Now we’re living in San Luis Obispo.
(Side note: if we hadn’t moved to SLO, I would have lost my home in the Ventura fire as the entire apartment complex we lived in was burned to the ground. Sadly, our friends DID lose their home and you can support them with a donation here).
I never planned to not have a mom before the age of 30. Now my mom is in heaven.
I never planned for my (future) kids to not have their grandma Dottie.
I never planned to run my own business. Now I do.
I never knew a struggle could turn into a story that would help others. Now my story does.
I never planned to fall in love with my best friend (never. ever.) and now we’re happily married – he’s the best.
As Thomas Rhett says, in my favorite song, “You make your plans and you hear God laughing.”
The good and the bad. The easy and the hard. Most of life is unpredictable.
So what do we do?
If life is unpredictable, do we just let go and let life happen to us?
I don’t know. Do we?
Can I share my answer with you?
We let go a little. As in, we release our attachment to outcomes. But we still AIM.
We aim for purposeful, rich and fulfilling lives.
We live with intention each day.
This is not cliche.
This is not fluffy.
This is life.
If we only have 25 years on earth, they were special. If we have 90, they were long, beautiful and full of life.
This way, we leave behind legacies.
This way, we hopefully leave the world a little bit better than it was before we arrived.
This way, we contribute.
Earlier this year when I chose my word for 2017 – “rich” – I had made it up in my mind that I wanted my time on earth to be RICH vs. long.
I stopped aiming for “long” because I realized, as I was preparing to unexpectedly lose my mom to cancer, that a “long” life isn’t promised to any of us (even if we assume that it is).
But what is in my control is making my moments count.
And I believe this to be the same for you.
So, as that famous quote asks… How will you use your one wild and precious life?
Here are a few questions I’m reflecting on right now, which you can ask yourself too…
- Who are the top five most important people in my life? How am I treating them? Spending time with them? Loving them? Enjoying them?
- How am I serving others in my career? How am I getting the most out of my career? Is this what fulfills me? (My answer is yes.)
- What truly makes me happy? Am I doing these things regularly? How can I incorporate more joy into my life?
- In what ways am I spiritually filling myself? Do I feel fulfilled? What would allow me to feel even more fulfilled?
- If my life were over tomorrow, would I be happy with what I’ve lived so far? (My answer is yes.) If not, what needs to change? What would I want to do if I were told I only had one year left? How can I start doing those things?
Do you have more questions to add to the list? Would you mind sharing them with me below? I would love to hear from you all in the comments.
I write this post with every ounce of love I have.
I’m so sorry to all who have lost their homes in Ventura and I am so thankful that so far, you’re all safe. I love you Ventura – I’m with you all.
(Photo of Ventura borrowed from @locallove805; photo of mom and I taken by the beautiful Amanda Driver)