All that means is that we have an opportunity to live big and full lives. If we so choose.
My heart goes out to anyone who is grieving the loss of a beautiful spirit who embodied this fully through the tributes from her friends, the lives that she clearly touched, and the life that she lived.
Every day we can live as big and boldly as we want. Or we can do small things, knowing that – in the end – they are the big things.
Love. Connection. Joy. Peace.
But we get caught up in the day-to-day stuff, so here are a bunch of suggestions to take or leave or add to. Live big. Live bright. And appreciate that life is short so we have to make the most of it.
:: Call your mum and tell her you love her
:: In fact, call everyone you love and tell them. Just because.
:: Dance. Dance like a crazy person, dance in public, dance in ways that might be dorky as hell and people might laugh, but dance anyway because it makes you happy.
:: Blast your favourite song loudly and sing to it. As often as possible (and don’t forget the dancing part)
:: Ask yourself, ‘will this matter in a year?’ – especially in the middle of an argument
:: Never leave, let someone else leave, or go to bed angry
:: Play – and laugh – with childlike abandon.
:: Stop doing shit you hate. If you’re whinging more than once a day about something, stop doing it. Nothing is worth bringing down your day (or that of others). Get out, now.
:: Find ways to surprise the people in your life. Little gifts, love notes, heartfelt texts. Give what you can.
:: Get out in the sun, seriously, we’re brought up learning to fear the sun, but just 10 minutes will do you the world of good.
:: Don’t ever watch bad moves, TV, or read bad books (unless they’re the so-bad-they’re-good kind)
:: Let go of stuff – physical, emotional, resentful stuff. You don’t need it.
:: On that note, forgive. Forgive quickly and with love. It’s the only way to live
:: Breathe. Deeply, purposefully, intentionally.
:: Play with dogs or kids, because fun.
:: Splurge every once in a while and really enjoy it, guilt-free.
:: Embrace fear when it comes up, it means you’re growing and learning and change is coming, but let go of worry or regret because they are tied to the past and the future and there isn’t much you can do about that.
:: Hug, smile, and shake hands with all your energy. It says a lot about who you are.
:: Move your body, friend. Every day.
:: Learn to appreciate the differences in others, instead of judging.
:: Eat cake. Not all the time, but when you do, eat the good stuff and enjoy every damn bite.
:: Celebrate your birthday because it means you’ve made it another year in your life and you’re doing okay.
:: Feel the feelings. Some days you will laugh until you cry, others you will cry with your whole body. It’s okay, it’s part of the ride.
:: Be the bigger person. Always.
:: Apologise when you’ve been a dick. Always.
:: Walk in the rain.
:: Be spontaneous.
:: Find ways to make life an adventure. Get out and experience the world.
:: Take care of yourself, however you need to.
:: Love in that vulnerable way that your heart might get broken but that it will be worth it.
:: Complain less. Even if everyone else is doing it (ESPECIALLY if they are)
:: Stay curious. Never lose the wonder of what you could learn.
:: Spend more time with people who lift you up and less time with people who bring you down. It will have a huge impact on your life and your overall happiness. Beam love to those you don’t like very much but you have to be around – it will make all the difference.
:: Stop living for the weekends and find a way to love every day (even Tuesdays).
:: Make commitments and stick to them – don’t bail on your friends because it’s too much effort to go out.
:: Say no to things you don’t want to do – be polite, but just say no.
:: Leave a legacy. Find a way to contribute to the world, even in the smallest of ways.
We could probably get a pretty stellar list together here, but this is a start. At the end of the day, I think we all need to take responsibility for the life we have. Yes, there are things that are often out of your control but your attitude, your choices, and your quality of life is all you, kid.
Life is short. It’s messy. It hurts sometimes. And it is beautiful.
Let me know in the comments below, what you want to add to the list or what you want to do to make the most of your life.