When I think about my life pre and post limb loss, I see the same life, but from two different views. Pre limb loss, I was crazy busy all the time, taking on so much that I couldn’t even handle it all. I didn’t take care of myself nearly the way I should have. In fact, that is what helped me become a member of the limb loss community.
I sometimes wish that I had more free time and that my daily life wasn’t so packed full, but that is when I seem to thrive most. I continue to do it to myself by filling almost every day that is open on my calendar. Do I intentionally make little to no free time for myself? Yes and no. I cannot complain that I am as busy as I am because I do it to myself. The difference is now, post limb loss, I have a different outlook on the things I fill my schedule with. I fill it with things that make me happy and that important to me.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Fill your heart with what’s important and be done with the rest.” Before my limb loss, that was not my outlook. I would take on as much as I could, often times things that I had little to no interest in, but I did them because I felt that I had to or that it was what I should do. What I have learned since the loss of my leg is that life is too short to not fill my heart and use my time with what makes ME happy. It might seem selfish, but really it’s the opposite. I cannot be the best me unless I am doing what is important to me. So I sat back and asked myself…what is important to me?
The million dollar question
That question I still ask myself quite often in hopes of guidance on how I should continue to spend my time. I have discovered I have a long list of things that are important to me and it is a true balancing act to figure out ways to take on all that I want to do.
I recently was part of a video for Wiggle Your Toes and their new website. The video was played over the big screen at a recent event we had, something I said on that video actually stuck me to hear myself say it out loud. I said that “living with limb loss has taught me how to slow down and how to really appreciate the things I love.” When I thought about that and all of the things I am involved in on a regular basis: full time night school, working full time, a client advocate and events committee member for Wiggle Your Toes, on the BOD of The Do Gooders Foundation, junior achievement and Achieve Minneapolis, blood donations through the Red Cross, sharing my story through a ministry, and also working on my own business adventure… to name a few. I thought to myself: am I crazy? And I realized, no I am not actually crazy because I genuinely LOVE all of the things I am involved in. I don’t believe I would be as happy if I wasn’t active in all of those things and more.
All the pieces come together
I enjoy evaluating my life in hopes to solidify my own beliefs that I am truly and sincerely happy in all the work I do. And sometimes when you might be starting to question things, a friendly reminder comes along at the perfect moment to tell me that yes, I am doing the right things.
Near the beginning of February, Wiggle Your Toes had its annual winter social gathering in efforts to raise funds for the organization. A week prior to the event, which of course is the most hectic time before the event, we won a rebranding contest from an amazing company. StoneArch, a health and medical marketing firm, completely rebranded Wiggle Your Toes in a 24 hour time frame. Working on the website to make it more user friendly and to market us in way that makes sense for the work we are doing. The rebrand was revealed the morning of our event, coincidently, and it was truly remarkable what they did in that time frame. Wiggle revealed all of the work to our supporters at our event that evening and it was the icing on the cake.
The rebrand was one of those things that I knew would be so great, but I really had no idea how much it impacted me on a personal level. It has been over a month since the rebrand and Wiggle event and I kid you not, I am still on a natural high from all that amazing things that I was lucky enough to be a part of. It reminded me how very proud I am to be just a small part of a much bigger picture for each and everything I am involved in. Every little thing we do makes a difference that we might not even know about. Finding balance in my life has allowed me to discover what makes me happy and how I can be the best me to improve the world in the ways I want to.