Life Hurts if You’re Doing it Right

At the moment my grandmother passed away tonight, I was texting my husband: “I’m gonna watch some Top Chef and snuggle with the dogs.”

And that’s just life, isn’t it? We all have these journeys that we tackle, and sometimes we have no idea what others are going through. My grandma was making the biggest most magical transition of her life, and I was getting ready to watch Top Chef hundreds of miles away.

Her passing was not a surprise, but of course it just sucks. We all know the feeling of loss and the eerie silence when someone has transitioned to something mysterious.

At first I felt guilty when I looked back hours after hearing the news to see what I was doing at 7:00. Now I feel that it’s very fitting that I would be doing something mundane like that because what I’ve learned from her is that everyday things are what add up to a life well lived.

This is a woman who never drove, never traveled far, and lived in one house her whole life. She was so tapped into the simple things in life that revolved around family, and I will tuck that lesson deep down and protect it.

We all run ourselves ragged to be successful, don’t we? I’m not saying I’m going to stop trying, but I really think it’s okay to give ourselves permission to take a step back and be okay with being okay.

I’m not rich, and that’s okay.

I haven’t reached a lot of the goals I set, and that’s okay.

I have no idea what’s for dinner tomorrow or if I have a clean shirt for work tomorrow, and it’s just all really okay.

When you frame your life from the vantage point of looking back from the end, so many things that seem enormous and stressful today will be laughable then. I sense that strongly tonight.

People say to live like today is your last day, and I can’t completely buy into that because we can’t let all our responsibilities go and catch the next plane to Europe, but there’s something to be said for living life with optimism and goals with an attitude that cuts yourself some slack.

No, not everything has gone your way, but you’re here, and there are always things to savor even in the midst of the hard parts of life.

My mom said when the nurses came in to my grandma’s room, my grandma said, “These are my children!” and she was proud and back in her element even in sickness and pain. I wasn’t there, but I can see the look on her face because family was her THING. I love that they were there to cheer her on and surround her with peace.

Life is simple, really.

Connect with others. Give them your heart, and they will be there to bring you peace.

And it will hurt like hell if you’re doing it right.

So I am going to go watch Top Chef now and make sure I have a clean shirt for work tomorrow. I’m going to write dorky love notes to put in my kids’ lunches in the morning.

I will keep making connections and hope I’m doing it right, too.

YOUR Jagged Journey: How can you go easier on yourself and enjoy life more? Can you focus more on the everyday moment rather than the big picture of where you want your life to be? 




About Rebecca Rine

Rebecca Rine is a nonfiction writer living in Dayton, Ohio, transplanted from Chicago. She contributes to the Dayton Daily News as well as public radio. Her first book of essays is called "Sunbathing in a Body Cast" and is currently working on a book about surviving divorce called "Face Your Divorce Poo." Yay!

2 comments on “Life Hurts if You’re Doing it Right

  1. Read your post with delight … it is so true and I think your grandma had a lot of wisdom that she instilled in you. Bravo.

    But do LIVE your day as if it was your last, but PLAN your life as if you’ll live forever

    • Oh my goodness, Valentina. What perfect words of wisdom. That is so lovely! Thanks so much for reading and for your help today with my website questions. A computer whiz I am not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.