Monday, June 15, 2015

Living a big little life

It took my daughter’s death to learn how to live.  Before Quinn died, I of course lived, but did not fully appreciate the meaning behind living.  In youth and into my early adulthood, I have been always waiting for something bigger and better - waiting to graduate high school.  Waiting to graduate college.  Waiting to meet my husband.  Waiting for a fancy job title.  Waiting to move to a more interesting state.  Waiting to live in a bigger house.  I thought, “That’s when I will really live.  That will be the best part of my life.”  However, these destinations for the future blurred my ability to live in present. 

After Quinn died, I learned that you don’t wait to live your life.  The time is now.  Before, I was waiting to live a BIG life, but now I realize that it’s the small things that make up life.  These daily movements and interactions are life.  And that’s it.  There’s no “more.”  Waiting for the next makes you skip out on all the life you should be living and appreciating now. 

So, I’m on a mission to live a big LITTLE life.  In comparison to the grandiosity of the universe, my life is little, but it’s up to me to make it big with meaning and fulfillment.  I’ve learned now that if I keep waiting for the something bigger and better, my whole life is going to pass by and I’m going to miss it.  

Living a big LITTLE life could mean facing my fears and anxieties after loss to do big bucket-list items, but it mostly means finding joy and meaning in the little everyday things.  To do this, I often reflect on my Ingredients for Joy and Meaning and try to incorporate them in the everyday. 

Finding joy after loss

This weekend, I lived a big LITTLE life and hit ALL of my “Ingredients for Joy and Meaning.”  Guess what?  I experienced joy!  Not a flash of joy that left before it could even settle, but a longer lasting and deeper joy.  I thought, “This is what life is all about.”  It was comforting to know that joy was a possibility after losing Quinn.  At this moment I had an overwhelming sense that I was climbing out of the dark tunnel of loss toward the hope and lightness that lie ahead for the first time since Quinn died. 

In Quinn’s death I have been reborn and she has taught me this lesson about life.  She has brought me to a new consciousness about love and life and oh how I wish I could thank her for these gifts.  Living my big LITTLE life is because of Quinn, in honor of Quinn, and for Quinn.  

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