Could you imagine if we had this life we are living all figured out? I mean I know sometimes I personally wish I knew what was in store for me and my family 10 years from now. Heck, sometimes I wish I knew what today held. But I don't. Some days my plan of action goes as planned and some days I am like "what just happened, my day did NOT go as planned." Sometimes things turn out for the best and sometimes things turn out for the worst.
As my family and I are approaching our second year of the loss of our 3rd baby girl Annabelle. I couldn't help but be so grateful that one little life changed our life completely. At the time I wasn’t grateful at all. When you loose something that alters your life in such a way that everything seems to be heading in a downward spiral with no way of knowing how you will get out of the spiral, it is pretty darn hard to be grateful. In 2014 we literally lost everything. Change became our middle name and by the end of that year we threw our hands up in the air and said "okay we get it, life is one beautiful mess and we can either choose for it to strengthen us or weaken us." In a previous blog called "The Process" I share the beginning process on how we began to rewrite our story and how we took control of our circumstances and as a family we were bound and determined to create a better outcome. Reality is, we ALL at one point or another lose in life. Whether it's a loved one, a marriage, a child, a home, finances, your ability to walk, speak or see, loss of hair, your breast due to breast cancer, prostrate cancer, a career loss, friendships etc. The list can go on and on. These moments are what really define you. The situation does not define you, but how you will react in those situations will. Any loss has the ability to launch you into greatness or launch you back into that downward spiral. It is simply a choice and a choice has to be made at one point or another.
When unexpected things happen, then what? What and how do you approach those situations? I tell myself "There ain't nothing new, fun and exciting about trying to make a predictable life."
Life just IS unpredictable.
I'll never forget on Dec 31st 2014, right before the New Year of 2015 we were on a 13 hour drive back home as we spent Christmas in Texas with my husband's family. On the road my husband gets a call from a co-worker from his job saying "Ryan, just so you know, someone just got let go, I quit and another employee just walked out so when you get back to work a new management took over and you can stay or you might loose your job." I remember laughing and saying "HA! Welcome Home and Happy New Year to us!" At this point in our lives we had already been through the worst possible thing in our life, loosing a child and much, much more, so nothing really phased us. We were just kind of numb to any other loss because nothing could come close to the loss we had just experienced.
For us the loss of our daughter lit a fire under us to stop putting up with nonsense in our life. We've learned that once you stop tolerating the nonsense the easier it is to recognize when nonsense is creeping in and the easier it is to walk away from that nonsense. My husband and I both worked for poor management and leadership before so we knew immediately working for bad management again was just not an option. So we looked at each other and knew exactly what decision to make. Yup! When we got home Ryan went into work on Jan 1st 2015 and put in his notice. The hard part was, Now What?
2015 rolls around and Ryan quit his job and here we were taking life by the horns again and saying "we've been through worse we will manage and get through this." And we did. 2015 we decided to own our story, take responsibly for where we were and not take life for granted. We excepted the challenges life presented us and in return, doing so has only made us stronger. And not just stronger but stronger together.
I find myself being redundant as I try to describe our 2015 year. The one description I keep saying is "I feel like I am living in an upside down world"I imagine me and my family in space. It's the one mental picture I see over and over again. Here we are floating in our outer space. The feelings of being weightless, out of reach and to say what is up or what is down would just depend. But there is a gravitational pull. A pull of objects moving toward us. But what are the objects? The only objects I see is my family. Those objects are us. Us as a family pulling toward each other. Even though it feels as though we are floating I can also feel this strong sense of how gravity feels on earth pulling us toward the ground. So where is ground for us? Well, I'll tell you. Wherever our feet are.
We've learned to see life as endless opportunities. And in 2015 opportunities sure came to us. I truly believe the only reason why opportunities came to us was because we made the decision to see life full of opportunities. Remaining open to ALL this life has to offer us.
Possibilities are endless when you open your eyes and mind to new solutions.
I believe life will keep putting you in a certain direction until you realize whatever it is that you need to learn in order to move on in a new direction for your life. For us, bad management and leadership was already something we put up with for years. We stayed and stayed "hoping" things would get better only to see the same cycles repeat themselves over and over again. It's deceiving because things can look better but really when you open your eyes you can see the cycle repeating itself. How do you know if your eyes are open or not? Well, have you ever heard the saying "I am so sick of being sick and tired?" Yeah, well that's what it looks like when your eyes finally open. You STOP putting up with the nonsense and say enough is enough and finally become the person you were meant to be all along. Let me tell you it's SO hard at first, but remember this is life. It is NOT easy. It was never meant to be that way. Things don't always go as planned. It is UNPREDICTABLE. But what is your approach and how are you going to react to it? I can tell you this, when you take that step to break the mold you will find the opportunities you've been searching for were waiting for YOU to make that decision. This is when change really kicks in like a rocket ship sending you into outer space. You too might feel like you're living in an upside down world. Know that you are not alone my friend.
Maybe your world feels upside down. Maybe your life hasn't gone as planned. For me at the age of 20 I had my life all planned out. Fast forward to now being 33 I'm like "WOW, my plan did NOT go as planned." There comes a time though where you have to become okay with it. Maybe it seems as though all odds are against you. DON'T let them stop you. We limit ourself more then the limits that we actually face. We can face those limits and try, try again until one day those limits don't define us but we define them. Become LIMITLESS. You can and You will.
So this upside down feeling has become hard for me to grasp but sure fun for me to learn. Yes, our life has not gone as planned, but that's the way it's supposed to be. I think it's great to have goals, dreams and desires but you have to understand you have an entire lifetime to see those goals, dreams and desire come to pass. Don't be like me and look at lists as if all the check boxes need to be checked off right now. Look at the ones you do check off and give yourself a hand clap for that. Maybe I'll take my own advice...I'm still learning too.
I used to think I wasted so many years prior to now and it feels as though my life has just begun when in reality that is not true. Everything prior to this has not been wasted. It is what has molded me and shaped me to be who I am today. It has become part of my story. Don't get down about your mistakes, learn from them and become better. Gaining this new perspective has made me appreciate every step. I look at every little detail and I'm thankful for the good and the bad. I remind myself over and over again "Good outweighs the bad every time." I mean even Disney knows that. There is a time and a season for everything. Don't skip ahead, stay focused its worth it. Life has a way of just working itself out. Whatever your day looks like or situation may be, take a deep breath and know everything is going to be okay. Search for possibilities, dig deep to find solutions, and be open minded to new ways. Something good is longing to come your way. In the meantime embrace this upside down world. It is situations like this that can make you or break you. Let it make you a better and stronger person. I guarantee there will come a day you will look at yourself in the mirror loving yourself and the life you are living. Why? Because you're worth it, that's why!
Eventually your upside down world will begin to fill like it is right side up.