Live Like You Mean It

Everybody faces a challenge at some point.

A monstrosity of a mess to clean up. A situation that is just so arduous it makes you dream of being anywhere but there inside it.

You could let it destroy you.

Or you could embrace it, be one with it, and let it prepare you for something awesome that's better than you can fathom right now.

My challenge has been health related, and I'm currently up to my eyeballs in it.

Life changed for me quite drastically recently. It caused me to slow right down to question how I arrived here. In the present. My mess.

Last night in particular was a tough one for me.

After a fantastic weekend which I thoroughly enjoyed, I was tired, happy and content.

The only trouble came when I tried to go to sleep. Symptoms of my injuries crept in and made sleep an illusive mirage. A feeling I'm all too familiar with these days.

Another night awake.

I have a couch. I have a love-hate relationship with this couch. It's beige. It looks comfortable, alluring, and it's always there for me. But it's a trickster, this couch.

Come here, sit on me, it says. I will make your neck hurt and your back strain, but you won't want to leave me.

It has little hidden devils ears, this couch does.

But I sit on it anyway, and I begin to ponder.

I pondered far into the night, an awkward time that's past wine's bedtime and Bailey's hasn't stirred to say good morning to coffee yet.

Contemplation takes me to some interesting places, and I usually return with a full heart. As my mind and I drifted, I considered what I would give up to be healthy again. What would I trade to once again live an unrestricted, athletic life? What could I give up? Leave behind? Go without?

All of a sudden I realized I was asking the question all wrong. What would I give, not give up?

I'm not bartering with the devil here. It's not a transaction. I needed to reinvent this question, that was ripe with scarcity and failure, and re-frame it.

What would I give to be better?

I would commit myself to experiencing in full all life has to offer.

I would commit to feeling fear, to growing, and to feeling more love than I've felt before. To saying yes, when before I hesitated. To pushing past my boundaries and engaging more with life than ever.

Admittedly, I was hiding before. I thought I was willing to grow, to adapt, to have fun, but I wasn't. I was limiting myself, and I had stopped having fun.

So what am I willing to give? A total commitment to living this journey called life.

We're all here for a short time, not a long time. The sun doesn't shine everyday, but dammit, I love the snow and the rain and the challenge and every difficult minute that makes the triumphs worthwhile.

That's what I'm willing to give. Whatever it takes for me to live a life full of passion for both the love and the challenge, whatever the horizon may bring.

That's what I've learned to give to Life.