For a long time I thought living a big life was measured in how much money you made and the material things you had. It seemed that living a “small” life then meant that you didn’t have much money or have many material things such as a big house, nice cars, many vacations, etc.
But I’ve come to realize that living a big life is about following your heart… even when things get challenging. John and I took a big leap of faith last March with our retirement funds, going against what society tells us and that we must never touch that money until we retire. We made a choice that we felt was right for us in order to continue to fulfill what is important to us– his remodeling business and my writing and advocacy and passion for special needs pets.
I’ve also come to realize in the past ten years that now is all we have. We can’t predict the future, nor can we spend every waking moment worrying about it. That stress alone can quickly kill a person or have you living a life of fear.
I recently finished reading the book Chasing Sylvia Beach by author Cynthia Morris. I was brought to tears with an unexpected lesson she shared towards the end of the book. Her character, Lily was grappling with what another character said about her and that she lived a small life. Lily wondered, How did one measure a life? The number of people you touched? The amount of books you read? The money you earned?
I grappled with this same issue years ago. Though I still can get caught up now and then in the views of society, I’m able to bring myself back much more easily to what is important to me in living how I define a big life. Since Frankie has been gone, one of the things I have realized at the very core of what I really loved, was taking care of Frankie. I could live without “things,” many vacations, etc., — but on the deepest level of how I felt my life was big, and what brought me the purest joy, was caring for her– and being there for her so she could live the quality life that she did.
The bottom line is that we each have to determine what it is for each of us that defines for us what a big life is. But no life is small.
I invite you to listen to this little video piece in a recent interview with Cynthia Morris and how she defines a big life. I think you will be glad you did. And then think about how you define a big life… I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share!
Also, I invite you to check out a special guest post I did on Kathy Pooler’s Memoir blog called, “Evolving Spiritually Through the Love of Animals” and join in the heart warming discussion. I’ll also be giving a way a copy of my book Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog to one lucky person who leaves a comment on that post.
What is a Big Life?