A Celebration of ME
Happy 46th Birthday to Me
Writing is a gift for sure. One of my passions in life. That and my family and my doggies. And Titos too. But I do love to write. I have been writing since 4th grade and although at times I may act like a fourth grader, I would hope that my writing has progressed significantly since then. And I thought that today, today would be a good day to push that envelope just a little bit further and maybe talk about something that we aren’t so comfortable talking about. See today, November 22, 2017, today is my birthday.
And I love my birthday. I’m not a gift person as for the most part they make me uncomfortable. Totes a happy birthday through a text, card, note, hug type of person. Words are so powerful and so underestimated and when someone takes the time to write something that is meant for you personally and is nice, well - that means a lot to me. And it gave me inspiration for this blog because it is something that I think about periodically. What is my dash going to say about me? What words are going to be used to describe me, my life when that time comes? So I decided to write it myself. It’s not an obituary, not a eulogy. Kind of a mix of the two. Like a turducken. I call it an obitulogy.
Today we celebrate the life of Hallie. To say that she was a character, well that would be an understatement. Bossy from the get-go, Hallie lived her life by her own set of rules and did her best to be an example of opening up your arms to the very best that life had to offer - and living it.
Hallie had a love for family. For friends. For the comfort and security it brought her. And her life revolved around those two things. Despite the long distance, she remained close to her siblings and her parents throughout the years and as her own children grew and emerged into families of their own, that closeness remained. And her friends were an extension of herself, of her ‘family’. In Hallie’s eyes, family didn’t comprise just those people that were blood relatives. They were those whom were there for you through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the celebrations and the loss.
And Hallie was a good friend to many. She was one that you could go and pour your heart out to - as long as you were willing to listen to advice as well as lean on her. She held herself to a high standard when it came to being a friend and considered it an honor to be a person that others turned to. From Sunday dinners to borrowing a vehicle to a workout partner, she was your go to girl.
Many words could be used to describe Hallie. Grit. Determination. Relentless. Unwavering. She was all of those things and so much more. Grit and determination to not stop, to give her best. Relentless and unwavering in her efforts at home, with her writing, with her leisure activities. She was a living breathing example that life was meant to grab like a juicy steak and not stop until the plate was licked clean. She lived life with vigor and joy.
But she was far from perfect. A door slammer, a cooler thrower, a cuss word dropper - no she was not a perfect person. Her temper burned at times as hot and as bright as a campfire. She should've been born a redhead. But she was a quick hit. As quickly as Hallie got angry she just as quickly gave forgiveness and apologies.
Hallie came into her own as a writer in the latter years of her life. She used her writing as a way to further her connection with others, to inspire, to spread a message of positivity and seeing the bright side of things whenever possible. Never one for negativity, she worked hard at using kindness as a tool to uplift a not so cheery outlook.
And, boy, she was not afraid to be silly. To make you laugh. To see you smile. She wasn’t above a little childish embarrassment to her children at times in order to lift up their spirits, make them see the brighter side of things, to help them to not take life so seriously.
Hallie set the bar high for herself and high for her family. Life was meant to be hard in her eyes and that was a given. But how you handled adversity, how her children rose from hopes that were dashed, her family rose from struggle, from illness, from challenge was what she defined herself by. I never once have heard her say “I quit.”
Hallie loved the people in her life with her whole heart and never hesitated to say “I love you”. To the end of her days, she never failed to go to bed without telling her Rob that she loved him, told her children whenever they got off the phone, left the house, parted ways. She embraced her life the way all of us should - with her arms, her eyes, her heart - wide open. As much as she would always say her family was a gift in her life, Hallie was a blessing and an inspiration to her lifeboat of five and so many others.
And that’s a wrap
Wow. That was humbling. And eye-opening. And a little happy and a little sad. And I just learned a whole about myself and where I’ve been and where I want to go.
I will die being bossy.
It is part of me and my nature and I don’t care what kind of happy spin you put on it, I am a take charge girl. And that is not going to change. And rather than try to change that part of me, I am going to embrace it.
I will die putting family first.
The greatest gift in my life has been my family. And as I read my obitulogy, I realize that my driving force in life has been my family. And where I do need to take more time for myself, my time with them will forever be finite. And they will always come first in my life.
I will die being aware of my words.
I am masterful at putting words together. And that’s not an easy compliment to give. But I think it’s deserved. And I have learned that words - whether strung together verbally or in written form - are incredibly powerful. They have the power to inspire and they have the power to destroy. Inspire people to want to be better. To destroy friendships. To bring people together and to drive them apart. I stand firm on the words that I write because it takes thought to give them life. I can be more aware of the words that I speak.
I will die being imperfect.
As much of a hardo that I am, I am not perfect. And I really do try to be. I am going to die being an imperfect wife, an imperfect woman, an imperfect mom, an imperfect athlete. And maybe I need to be perfect in my imperfections in lieu of the never ending struggle to reach that height of perfection.
I will die being kind.
I know only too well how easy it is to take the easy way out. To not be kind. To lash out and hurt when you’ve been hurt. To inflict emotional pain in order to ease your own emotional pain. And I won’t do it. I will die turning the other cheek, taking the higher road and being the kinder person. Kindness matters. To me, it matters a lot.
I will die trying.
I look at how many times I’ve hung my head in the past year and wanted to quit. At times have quit. Life is hard. It kicks you in the teeth, punches you in the throat and DOES NOT CARE. But I will die trying to kick it back. To take what is mine. To grab life by the throat and say you belong to me. I will be the man in the arena.
I will die with love in my heart.
I love to love. And I love to be in love, to feel love, to make others feel loved, to spread the love. And no matter the hate, the loss, the destruction, the challenge that life places at my feet, I am going to choose love. I may falter - I have this year. I may question - I have doubts always. But at the end of the day, I am committed to choosing, to living, to preaching, to breathing, to exemplifying and writing - you got it - LOVE.
46 today. Not a momentous day but a momentous occasion. Another year on the books, another year of learning, another year of doing some great things and some not so great things. A year of a lot of loss - physical and emotional. A year of cleaning my lens and adjusting my focus. Think about your obitulogy. Whom you are and whom you are not. Where you are and where you want to be. Open up your peepers and SEE what you need to do to get there. Do it. Think about it. Commit to it.
Here's to 46 more