Perspective. It is something I have been thinking a lot about lately.
The last year has taught me more than I can express. It is like my eyes are open wider than ever before. Mackenzie was a little person, who was here for a small amount of time but her effect is profound. Mackenzie’s existence is life changing and I know she has (and will) change the lives of others not just mine.
Before Mackenzie was born I thought I had perspective but looking back, I was so naive.
Back then I genuinely liked who I was, I knew I had positives and negatives but overall I was content with the person I was. I would have described myself as kind, caring, empathetic and emotionally intelligent. I felt like I was always willing to listen to people, to help them where I could, to hear their story and their problems; although I could sometimes be a little too keen to give my thoughts or opinions. I was mostly an introvert and quiet in group situations although once you were in my circle I spoke freely and was fiercely loyal to my friends. I was also strong, dedicated, determined and I had type A personality tendencies, which was both a positive and a negative. It meant that I put everything I had into my work but it also meant my balance was totally off. I was stressed all the time, but that was just the level I ran on. Even now my mind goes a million miles an hour bouncing all over the place, constantly making to-do lists, which is exhausting. Back then, this would mean I would sometimes have a short fuse and snap at people when I got frustrated. Looking back I honestly believe that I was heading towards a crash.
Then we had Mackenzie and I changed forever. These days when I think of myself there is ‘me before’ and ‘me after’.
I like myself better now, the ‘me after’, with Mackenzie, is a better person.
I am still me, all the qualities I outlined above are still me but because of our little girl, I am softer, as if the sharpness has been taken out of me. My edges have been rounded off. I can slow down and I know what I should put my energy towards. I have balance.
It is all because of perspective; because of Mackenzie. She showed me another side of life. She showed me what matters.
I have also now seen babies lying in hospital struggling to breath, I have seen children unable to move and I have seen families be stripped of the life of a loved one. Before Mackenzie, I knew bad things happened in the world but now I have seen life’s immense cruelty but also the beauty of true love. I think this has made me so in much more in tune with what matters. Everything I hear now, I hear differently. Everything I see now, I see differently. The world has changed colour.
When you are touched by tragedy, you seem to gain a new perspective. I now know what is important. Where my priorities lie are different now.
Life is important.
Family is important.
Love is important.
Kindness is important.
Surrounding yourself with good people is important.
Things that I used to be ‘overly passionate’ about are now in perspective. It doesn’t matter anymore. This doesn’t mean I don’t have passion for life, I just feel now that my passion is different. It is focused where it should be.
Traffic is bad? It doesn’t matter. Someone says something stupid? It doesn’t matter. Having a bad day at work? It doesn’t matter - at least not as much as we make out.
I am not done growing; in fact, I have a lot of growing yet to do. While I still have a lot to learn, I feel like I have been given a secret door, a short cut, to navigating the maze that is life.
I wish I had developed this perspective without having had to go through this. But I choose to see this as a gift that Mackenzie gave me. She made me a better person, she changed my life. To forget my new perspective, and not act on it, would feel like I was dishonouring her life.
I hope that as you read this you can get the perspective that Mackenzie gave me, understand what is truly important in your life, but without having to go through the pain.