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Don't Know What You Have Until It's Gone

Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!

My husband and I had a sudden life-stop moment two weeks ago. A friend of ours passed away. He was young, full of life and purpose, but evidently it was his time. I can’t try to understand why these things happen. And it’s not meant for us to understand. However, we do have to try and understand how to keep moving forward.

I don’t mean how to find the strength or willpower to keep going…but how to understand what changes I’d like to make in my life since I am still living. I think this is normal, though. Something serious happens in our life and we vow to make changes to the way we live. But ultimately it could be another New Year’s Resolution situation, right? A few weeks or months go by and the changes we wanted to make fade away and we slip right back in to how things used to be.

For example, this year is the first year I’ve stuck with my New Year’s Resolution this long. My resolution was to start this blog and well, here we are :) I may stop next week or I may write until someone publishes this as a book (which would be dope, might I add). The point is, it’s hard to commit to long-lasting challenges.

I am remembering another example:

A friend of my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago. Her and her husband had spent years together and raised a family together. But once she was diagnosed, he suddenly made changes to his attitude, how he managed his work and home life balance, and how had committed himself to their kids—after 20+ years. The wife made the comment (and I’m paraphrasing), “It’s sad that it takes something like this to make him change, but I guess I’m finally glad he did.”

I’ve mentioned this in my articles before but I’d like us all to revisit—what takes priority in our life? That’s what this really boils down to. When we are serious about making changes to our life, we can do it. It can be hard and we might need a slew of people surrounding us, but we CAN do it. And just like your resolutions or wedding vows, you may need to renew them from time to time. We have to remember why we wanted to make those changes and keep ourselves accountable for them. I also want to encourage you, and myself, to not be scared, either. Change is scary. I am personally dealing with a lot of change, and the aftermath from change. It’s not overnight and we have to remember that. Babies don’t walk overnight—they start with baby steps. So, first lesson—Don’t be scared of change, just be patient.

Second lesson—I believe everything happens for a reason, but I wish it didn’t take such unfortunate and potentially unfair experiences to make us see the bigger picture. When I’d like to try and make changes in my life, I hope they come from more positive experiences as opposed to the “don’t know what you have until it’s gone” mentality. Think about that—how sad, right? To not be able to recognize the ‘good’ that’s in front of you is a depressing waste. I know we can’t spend every waking moment focusing on sunshine and rainbows. But, when you think about a life cut short at the age of 26, anything but sunshine and rainbows seems pointless so let’s not dwell on it.

My husband (Sean AKA seanzydub if you follow my Instagram) and I were visiting my hometown church a few months ago. One of the church members was sharing a beautiful testimony of how grateful he was to just be alive. He had spent the morning sitting on his front porch listening to birds, drinking his coffee, and just feeling wind and life rush through his body. I looked over and Sean was tearing up. I will never forget this moment. I will never forget how much love I felt at the moment when he was being moved to tears of gratitude by beauty, calmness, and peace. I felt loved by Sean, loved by the earth and universe, and loved by my own life. Ever since we moved to our mountain farmhouse cottage in Virginia, we spend a lot more time sitting on the porch doing exactly that; sitting, listening, feeling, and loving. Third lesson—change needs to nurtured and loved.

I guess I contradicted myself a little by writing this article in lieu of our friends passing. But I actually think it’s just brought an already established idea forward more. There are plenty more things we can learn from going through times like these. This is just where I have been mentally. I want to spend my days on this earth learning, creating, evolving, living, and loving. And I want to do those things every day, even if it isn’t always convenient.

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