Life is Too Short

starting a business | Dec 04, 2017

It’s been quite a week.  A type of week I've never had to process.

A week where my grandmas died.  Both of them 95 years old, and they literally died a week from each other, almost exactly to the minute.

I know this doesn't seem business related, but it is.  Let me explain…..

I’ve been blessed in so many ways.  I mean I haven’t lost anyone important in my life for over 30 years.  The most crushing loss I’ve had since then was my dog, Baxter, a few years ago.

These deaths weren’t created equal, though.

You see last week’s death was my real grandmother.  She was my father’s mom.  A woman I wanted nothing to do with, but unfortunately I was forced to.  She was mean, horrible, and treated my mother like crap.  She also made it be known I was not her favorite, not even close.  I was always made to feel more like a second class citizen rather than part of the family.

When I was 16, I slowly started trying to move away from the family.  When I moved to Arizona at 21, I vowed to never see her again.  I only saw her once in those 17 years.  She had been dead to me a long time.

Yesterday, I lost my Aunt Marion, but a woman I called grandma.  She was my mother’s aunt, and my mom lost her mom at a very young age.  Technically, she was the only grandma I knew.  I didn’t have the honor of meeting her until I was 15, but she and her husband took me under their wing.  It was amazing, and I even tried to move with them to Florida to play basketball at a private school.  My dad wouldn’t let it happen.

Last week, though, I was confused.  I actually was sad when I heard the news my grandma had died and attempted to make it back for the funeral.  What's crazy is that I couldn’t understand why I was crying for her.  After all, I basically wrote her off years ago.

But here was my first lesson of the week:  Through all her misery, through all her meanness, she is so much of what drove me. 
So much of who I am and what I have today is because of that woman.  I’m stubborn.  I’m strong.  I vowed to show her and the rest of the family that I was so much more than they believed I was, and I proved them all wrong.

I have a beautiful home, successful businesses, and a completely unconventional life because she made me driven.  I have two beautiful children because I had the courage to take a chance on myself and move half way across the country for a man, only to discover he wasn't the one.  I then had the courage to move on from him and met the most amazing guy who gave me those children.  I am blessed.  Like crazy blessed.

For all of that, every single thing, I had to tell her thank you.

And no matter how much she hurt me, she was still an everyday part of my life.  (They lived next door)

I thought I had forgiven her in the past, but I feel like I've finally made peace.

Are you hanging on to a hurt someone caused you?  Is that hurt holding you back?  If it is, it’s time to thank them for the lessons learned and move on.  Life is far too short to hang on to that crap.

My second lesson: Life isn’t infinite.

I know, I know, it’s a lesson we should live by every day, but the truth is, we don't.  95 years on earth is a very long time.  However, most of us would still leave dreams on the table.  We would die with regrets.  My Aunt Marion had been suffering from Alzheimers for 10 years.  So even though she lived the years, she wasn’t living the life for 10 of those. 

  • Are you putting something on hold til tomorrow? 
  • Are you waiting for that right time? 
  • That right place? 
  • Are you pushing yourself to the level you know you should be pushing?
  • Or are you settling? 

I cried myself to sleep last night thinking of my Aunt Marion.  I loved that woman so much.  Not because of how she loved me, although that was a reason, but because her zest for life was infectious.  If I can be half as awesome as she was, I'm happy.

At 85 years old, I found her looking at herself in the mirror and saying ‘Maid Marion, you are a beautiful woman’.  She meant every single word.  She loved life.  She cared so much for others.  She worshiped her husband.  She adored her kids.  She never left anyone’s presence without making them feel amazing.

She was such a beautiful person.

The world truly lost something so amazing yesterday, but heaven just received an amazing angel.

My third lesson: It's time to make the world more amazing.  

Will the world feel your loss?  Is your zest for life infectious? 

Just think about that question for a minute…. Is your zest for life infectious?

Do you even have a zest for life? 

Are you making people feel special? 

Are you helping others in your life and your business?

Are you more worried about you and making a dime than actually helping people?

There is so much great that can be done with so little, yet we find ourselves focused on which presidential candidate we hate more, who we think is stupid for not thinking the way we do, and why someone has more than us.

Is your zest for life infectious?   I just had to say it again.

Two chapters closed this week, and as I still process it, I can honestly say I’m forever grateful for both.  As much as I loved Aunt Marion, I can’t say I would be who I am today had she been my grandma from the start.  As much as I didn’t like my true grandma, I love the life lessons she taught me.  And I have to love her qualities because I have so many of them, and my daughter is a mini-me. 

Life is short.  Even a life of 95 years is so damn short.

Get out.  Love people.  Work every single day on doing something that makes you and others greater. 

Stop waiting for the right time to start that business.

Find a need and fill it.  Serve others, and your business will take off.

If you’ve started, and it’s struggling, don’t quit.  Be tenacious and figure out how to make it better.

Stop waiting for the perfect moment to be happy.  Be happy now, like right now!

Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how amazing you look (and mean it). 

Tell your loved ones you love them.

Find someone whose viewpoints you don’t agree with, and tell them you respect their opinions. 

Life is just too damn short.  Don't let your dreams die.  

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