8 Things Life Is Too Short For You Not To Do

…because life is too short to have never truly lived. 
I wrote this post after reflecting about life and it’s fragility, after a friend of mine got news that her dear mother passed away suddenly. It’s crazy to think about, but time is so fleeting.

As is this life.

I don’t mean this post to be a downer, but instead to serve as a reminder to truly live and make the moments count for something.

Saying “I love you.” 

The sobering fact of the matter is, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We’re not even guaranteed five minutes from now. It’s a tall order to “make every minute count” but there’s some urgency in that statement that I like. Try to make the most of your time by being with the people you love. If you can’t be there physically, give them a phone call or send a nice card to let them know you were thinking of them. It’s important to tell people you love them, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Or if it will show up at all.

Hugging the people you care for (and maybe even the ones you don’t)

I’m just saying, there’s nothing like a nice, warm hug. Physical touch is actually a healthy part of life. If you’re like me, physical touch might not be your strongest love language – or if you’re really like me, it might be the lowest on the love languages scale – but I know once I’m in that giant, bear hug all the muck of the day seems to slowly melt away. Go find your friend, your dad or mom, or special someone and give them the biggest hug you’ve ever hugged. And tell me it wasn’t worth it – I dare you.

Actually attempting to go after your dreams. 

Your dreams and hopes are not just there for you to pine after as you sit in your swivel chair at your 9-to-5 office job looking out the window sullenly. No, my friends. Your dreams are there to inspire and drive you closer towards them. Your dreams are simply goals yet to be met. Of course, you’ve got to be responsible about what you chase after, but so what? You know your dreams. I know you’ve written them down on a post it note and stuck it on some mirror at home or in your office drawer at work. The time to chase, is now. Like I mentioned before, tomorrow is not promised. Don’t let another tomorrow pass you by without taking a step toward your goals.

Being kind to those around you.

People. There’s about 7 billion of us on this place we call earth. We’re all different. No two are the same – even twins! We all have different ideas, quirks and baggage. You might not…no, you will not get along with everyone on this earth. That’s just impossible and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong, is belittling someone because they are different from you. Or they don’t speak in the same manner as you do. Or they just don’t like the same TV shows, politics, ideas, etc. as you. This is okay. In fact, it’s better than okay – it’s fantastic. Life would be boring if we were all the same, and we’d never learn anything new. Also, you honestly never know what someone is going through. Do your best to be kind and loving towards one another, despite what perceived differences you might have.

Things Life is too short not to do

Forgiving all who have wronged you.

Ha. You might have said. This one’s definitely easier typed than done. But you know what, it’s worth it. No, I don’t expect you to read this point and then go dialing the number of your arch nemesis from 4th grade who stole your BFF4L. What I mean is, life is so fleeting. Don’t waste yours harboring ill feelings for other people. Forgive them and move on. Chances are, they already have. Let go, and go live your life without the cumbersome burden of holding a grudge.

Forgiving yourself.

I hope you’re feeling challenged now. As I mentioned above, it can get tiring to keep holding a grudge over something that’s been said and done, and something that you may or may not have control over anymore. As important as it is to forgive your enemies, or those who didn’t treat you so well, it’s as or even more important to give yourself that same forgiveness and grace. It’s time for you to be free of that prison too.

Taking time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Because, honestly…what’s the point in working to have everything you’ve ever wanted, and never actually taking the time to enjoy it all? Relaaaax. Breathe a little. Take some time to revel in what you’ve accomplished. When I graduated college in 2014, I was as eager as a honeybee on the day before spring to plan my next move. What kind of job should I look for? Should I go straight back to school instead? Or, what about an internship? What is life? Oh. My. Gosh. Stop. If this is you in any way, shape or form – please, stop. You’ve just accomplished something major, or in some cases, it could even be a little accomplishment. Either way, take the time to enjoy it. Congratulate yourself by doing something fun or life-giving. Don’t feel like you need to be in a constant state of motion just because society, as a whole, never stops to “smell the roses.” Life already moves way too fast. Challenge yourself to stay present and really embrace this time of accomplishment.

Laughing a lot and doing spontaneous and goofy things often. 

Just trust me on this one. One rainy day back home in California, my mom turned to me and my dad and said, “Let’s go play in the rain!” I was confused at first. Normally, this is something I would have thought of, or just done randomly on my own. But she looked at me, a glint of juvenile-like glee in her eyes and smiled. She ran upstairs, grabbed her shoes and skipped outside. I didn’t hesitate to join her.

Things Life is too short not to do
Go and enjoy every little moment,

No matter how seemingly insignificant, weird or random. Just enjoy it. You’ll never remember the time you ignored your mom calling out for you to join her rain dancing as you mindlessly scrolled through Facebook on your phone. But you will remember feeling the cold water droplets hitting your cheeks and the nonstop giggling and the puddle splashing and the smell of wet pavement and the dewy grass underneath your rain boots.

Remember: it’s not really about the amount of time you have. It’s about making the most of the time you’ve been given.

4 Comments
Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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4 Comments

  • Amber

    This is so true. I always enjoy your posts. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Tish

    I’m so mad that I only recently found your blog but so ppleased that I finally found it bc there is so much wisdom in your words!!! Reading this reminded me of a time when I hadn’t yet learnt to celebrate my accomplishments and it was driving me mad! Such a timeless piece that will bring help to many! Thank you tor sharing! Love love love you writing!

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Thanks so much, Tisha–that truly means a lot to me. I am so glad to hear that this post resonated with you and I also really enjoy reading your work as well. Thank you for your support and encouragement!

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 18 𝑜𝒻 31

Obsession. I like to say photography is my love language—I have no idea what that means, but it sounds nice, right? I’m obsessed with taking pictures and learning more about composition, editing and trying new things with my little @canonusa baby. *accidentally deleted my post from yesterday—so here it is again*
  • This is not a drill—it’s a GIVEAWAY! 
Meet Kayla (@kayzilch). Though we’ve met just recently, I immediately recognized her as a kindred spirit (she’s also a Type-4 Enneagram)! Her writing is real, authentic and delves into an array of important topics such as mental health, identity, faith and much more on her blog @tobetruth_. She’s also working to become a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about her work as a freelance writer! 
Meet Meghan (@meghantschanz). I’ve never met a woman so determined and passionate about creating authentic community and tackling tough topics. She’s not afraid to go there and start conversations about real-world issues like sex- and labor-trafficking around the world, feminism (or lack thereof) within the church and equality for ALL. She’s currently working on securing a book deal, with the goal of empowering women around the globe to recognize their influence in society and their ability to make the world a more equal place. 
These women are doing some amazing things and I’m honestly just excited to come along for the ride. I believe in us, the work we’ve been called to do and I hope, after learning more about us, you will too. To celebrate and continue advocating for causes we believe in, we’re doing a giveaway with @causebox. 
Here’s where you come in:

1. Give this post a (♡) double tap.

2. Go follow @meghantschanz & @kayzilch.

3. After you’ve done both of those things, come back here and tag two women whose life, work and friendship you believe in! 
The prize is a summer-themed @causebox valued at $300, packed full of small-batch, sustainable and ethically created gifts made by women and small businesses around the world. 
Winner will be announced Friday (8/24) morning at 10am EST!
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Blue. I’ve been looking for a way to fill my ginormous (at least it seems that way) white living room wall. Every time I thought I knew how I wanted to decorate that space, I changed my mind suddenly, determined that there had to be a better way to fill the empty 
space.

I didn’t know this about me before, but it hit me one day, as my parents were helping me unpack my stuff in my new place. My mom began asking me what I’d like my new place to look like, rug colors, mat textures, wall—fixtures and all. I am no good at decorating. Like, I had no idea how to put a space together. I’ve never been on my own before and the idea of having to decide how my space would be...mine, freaked me out. 
But then, little by little I found some pieces that I didn’t hate, and started to put them together. And yesterday, I stumbled upon these little treasures at Marshall’s. I couldn’t resist the ocean hues and beach vibes. I knew it was meant to be. 
All that to say, for anyone else struggling to put your place together after either never having to do it before #livingsingle or maybe putting the pieces of your life back together after a breakup or split—take your time. It will all come together eventually and it will look amazing. And before you know it, it will start to look, like you. ttys
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Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys

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