Sometimes “what’s next” is tough. For many reasons, our "next" can be out of our control and we have to learn to understand and adjust to our new normal and then to explore our new “what’s next”. Our lives are in a state of constant change and occasionally this creates a large enough wave to unfold a new reality. In my case, my new reality is learning to "love what’s next" now that my dad is gone. Sure, this isn't unique to me, we are all faced with these kinds of life altering events at one point or another. As we all know, it isn’t easy, to say goodbye to a loved one. The new reality for me includes accepting that my next includes moving on and working on methods to understand, accept, and eventually try to embrace this new “next”.
Now a week later, I can step back and see my choices on the opposite ends of the spectrum are to be sad and struggle to move forward as I mourn or I can search for some degree of positive in this challenging time. Like many of you, I adored my dad. He was an incredibly generous and kind man. Sadly, he hadn't been healthy for a really long time...for 40 years he suffered from crippling arthritis that mangled his hands and feet and forced him to learn to endure significant pain. This daily pain nor the fact that as an entrepreneurial businessman he was constantly working hard to keep his businesses profitable to provide for us 4 girls and our mom never stopped him from living the life he wanted to live. I was fortunate to be with him before his passing when he said to my sisters and I, “I’m just the happiest man”.
With that in mind as I’m facing my new normal, it is easy for me to see how we all can learn so much from this man. As he laid there in the hospital bed and shared how he was just "the happiest man" it was just another example that it doesn’t take enormous wealth or perfect health to find happiness. Yes we have heard it before but this was an all too simple reminder that WE CHOOSE WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE GOING TO BE HAPPY! My dad chose every day to be happy and to make everyone he met feel like they were special, because to him, they were.
I’ll be the first to admit that this whole mourning process isn’t going to be easy and just like any other life altering experience (divorce, loss of a job, a major injury, ect.) we all have a choice to how we are going to live our lives going forward. I know my dad would be proud to see us (his family) move on and continue what he started, so that’s what I am going to do.
Whatever life hands us, I am reminded we have a CHOICE…It is my sincere hope that all "love what's nexters" will choose to LIVE FULLY and live the life you were meant to live.
Nicole Cavey is the Chief Pursuit Officer of Love What's Next. Through her personal journey to uncover what was next for her, she discovered that you can love where you are no matter what stage in life you are in... as long as you know how. Her mission is to show YOU how!