There are so many water analogies that can translate to life experiences: you can ride a wave of happiness, or you can crash onto the rocks of despair. The tide can be high or low in sync with your moods, or you can be cruising along without a care. You might be mentally drowning, or treading water, or just trying to stay afloat. You can feel as though you’re in a fog. Actions have rippling effects. There are emotional droughts and floods.
I had recently been riding a pretty big tidal wave of excitement with the initial release of Indigo, when I received news that brought me crashing onto those metaphorical rocks. The news (still as yet private - sorry), even though it was anticipated to eventually become a reality, rocked me to my core. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it and understand all of its implications before I can even speak about it directly in public. It just totally knocked me out of the general complacency that we all tend to fall into - that things will go on the way they always have; that things won’t change. Well, I’m here to tell you, things ALWAYS change. And sometimes they change quicker than you’re ready for them to.
So what’s the first thing I want to do? Write about it of course. Well, at least get some of these emotions out of my system. The tears fell yesterday when the news came, and still a little bit today, I admit. For me to continue being the “strong” person that I’m going to need to be, I had to get the weakness out of the way as early as possible. Today was a research day – something I tend to do a lot of when facing new challenges. I’m a firm believer that an educated person is a well-prepared person. I’m only scratching the surface of what I’ll ultimately have to deal with, but I’m at least on my way.
The point of this blog post? Expect the ‘maybe someday’. The unexpected will always be just that, unexpected. Not much you can do about that. Can you prepare at all for the ‘maybe someday’? Perhaps. But if you tried to count or even acknowledge all of the ‘maybe somedays’ that are out there, you wouldn’t have much time left to do anything else now, would you?
The ultimate point of this post is this: Life is short. Shorter than you can even imagine. In the blink of an eye your entire existence can change. What you hold dear can slip from your grasp in a heartbeat. Don’t let the contentment of everyday life interfere with prioritizing what is truly important.
Somebody cut you off on the highway? So what. Someone in the Express Lane with more than 12 items? So what. Don’t have the newest SmartPhone? So what. Nobody liked your latest selfie? SO WHAT.
Prioritize These Things: Hug your kids often. Be kind to strangers; you have no idea what anyone else is going through at any given time. Tell your loved ones that they are loved – and tell them often, even if it makes you or them uncomfortable. Be kind to your animals; you’re all they have. Be patient. Offer an unexpected kind word. Be brave when you don’t want to be. Do the right thing, always – even if nobody’s looking. Be thankful and gracious.
One of my favorite RED songs (the one that inspired my latest tattoo) features the following lines:
As I burn,
As I break,
I can't take it anymore.
I return to the place,
Where the water covers over everything.
Rescue me somehow.
I meant to ask the meaning or location of “where the water covers over everything” when I met them last autumn, but think I know what it is now - and it’s two-fold: It’s where yes, you can feel like you’re drowning, but it’s also a peaceful place. When you’re under water, you don’t hear all the noise that life can make. You’re not distracted by the peripheral chaos. You can focus on what’s really important.
I’m jumping into that water now. It’s time to focus. Life is short.