I’ve been spending too much time lately attempting to understand my “why” and find meaning. Why do I get up in the morning – what drives the day forward – what do I hold on to when life becomes difficult? I’m coming up a little short. From the time Autumn and I were married, I’ve had a purpose – three big “whys” to wrap my life around – Autumn, my daughters Samantha and Makaela, and my career. Right or wrong, these have been the cornerstones of priorities, decisions, relationships, and decision making.
As children ought to, both girls have left the nest (although Makaela and I talk daily and she’s been an unbelievable help during the past several years and months), Autumn has passed away, and I’m finding the constant more / better / faster hustle refrain at work unsustainable. Work, which is chaotic at best, has become especially challenging as Autumn was my cheerleader, encouraging me on the tougher days, and celebrating the wins with me.
Since her diagnosis in 2009, Autumn’s purpose was to stay alive, live intentionally, and deeply love her family and those who loved her. She was optimistic, laser-focused and had more discipline than most. To stay alive, she collected and read/watched hundreds of different articles, books, videos and podcasts on brain cancer treatments – both traditional and alternative. For the last couple of years, she was treating her cancer as a metabolic (rather than genetic) disorder along with Cannabis. Link to Jane She was busy from dawn till dusk taking care of herself – studying, researching, exercising, relaxing, meditating, taking pills, preparing healthful and anti-inflammatory meals and drinks, taking hot baths, using cannabis / THC at bedtime, waking up “high” in the middle of the night, powering through……and starting again the next morning.
I am SO proud of her, SO thankful for all she accomplished and sacrificed to maintain focus on her purpose. Never afraid to go against the grain, she followed the data, the research, and bounced back from every setback. I aspire to be more like her in this regard.
If you’re interested, the link below is one of the better short talks I’ve come across on meaning. I am working on Belonging, Purpose, Transcendence, and Storytelling.
A piece of cliché advice: Follow your heart, follow your purpose and find meaning – don’t wait.
Love & Hugs!