Choose to celebrate

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It has been a WEEK! Within 24 hours:

  • My second niece was born (YAY)
  • My Dad fell while rollerblading and needed surgery (NAY)
  • My husband successfully defended his Ph.D. (YAY)
  • My sister moved to Montreal (NAY)
  • My backpacking trip was cancelled to stay close to home (NAY)

Babies, bones, doctors and departures

Not to be a downer, but with great happiness and joy comes sorrow and loss. Celebration and crisis. Freedom and failure. Death and delight. I went from popping champagne on the back porch, to the trauma bay of the emergency department. I went from waving goodbye to a sister to waving hello to a niece.

Under normal circumstances, life does not offer this juxtaposition. Normally life hides celebration from crisis and death from delight. Author Susan David likes to say ‘Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.’ 

It’s a cliche. Life isn’t guaranteed. Things can change in an instant. This is both a warning and a promise. With this information, people behave in different ways.

  • Book the flight
  • Open the savings account
  • Buy the sports car
  • Buy the insurance
  • Take a leap of faith
  • Look both ways

Do you pull back or go all in?

My nature is to pull back. I love a plan, I love a guarantee, I love safety. But I know that holding back the bad also holds back the good. So I practice. I practice by going all in, in the little moments.

  • I buy the real champagne for the celebration
  • I say I love you often
  • I get dressed up to go to the hospital
  • I use the good soap just because
  • I wear something as soon as I buy it
  • I get to the bottom of the bottle
  • I love my people
  • I write down what I’m grateful for
  • I know nothing is guaranteed

This week was a reality check. It was a check-in, am I living my life the way I want to be living it? 

I think so. My takeaway is that nothing can protect you from accidents, surprises, and changes in plans. However, when things are normal, when things are going well, you can lean in fully. That’s what I’m practicing, leaning in for the little things.

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