Live Your Life Out Loud

Stormy weather

Stormy weather

This past week my family received a phone call, the kind that causes you to feel as if the rug of your life is being pulled out from under you. My husband’s fifty-year-old cousin had collapsed on the playground while outside with his students at their elementary school. At first the children thought their teacher was being silly, but they soon realized he was in serious trouble. They were right. He had suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Luckily, he was resuscitated by the school nurse and survived the ambulance ride to the local trauma center.


Photo by Natasha Hanova (WANA Commons)

The time from our family member’s collapse to revival is estimated at three to four minutes. The specialists have lowered his body temperature in an effort to allow the brain cells to recuperate from the lack of oxygen, and over the next twenty-four hours, they will raise his temperature one degree an hour until it reaches 98.6. The outlook is uncertain (but I dare say hopeful!). According to statistics, some people don’t come back from this kind of situation, at least not without neurological impairments. His doctors say they will know more about our loved one’s prognosis by Tuesday. Until then, we wait, we hope, and most of all, we pray.

As you may remember from an earlier post, my honey recently completed an intense six-month treatment for recurrent prostate cancer. He has his first post-treatment blood test in a few weeks. We feel blessed to have reached this point, and we are very optimistic about his potential for a complete cure. But news like our recent phone call reinforces my belief:  Anything can happen to anyone at any time. Good or bad. So what are you waiting for?

Live your life out loud!


• Dance or laugh or sing–at least once a day. Who cares what others think?
• Define your success by your standards, no one else’s, and lead your life with your heart.
• Get away to somewhere you’ve always dreamed of visiting, or return to a place you love.
• Contact a friend or family member to catch up with their news and share yours.
• Watch the sun rise at least once a season. Hear and feel the nature surround you.
• Overcome a fear. (I recently overcame my fear of small planes.)
• Tackle a project or finish one you’ve begun.
• Be yourself! Remember, “normal” is highly overrated. Own your own opinions and stand by your word.
• Celebrate life, whether it’s with a glass of wine, chocolate, a run, or whatever makes you connect with yourself and your loved ones, allowing you to step back from the daily grind.

Do you live your life out loud? Share some ways you live it to the fullest.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lorddavidprosser
    May 13, 2013 @ 06:40:31

    Great advice Jolyse. I hope your husband’s cousin recovers well and that your husband’s prostate cancer disappears forever. My fingers are crossed.
    Sending you Huge Hugs. xxxx

    • Jolyse Barnett
      May 13, 2013 @ 20:43:44

      Thanks, David. Everyone’s prayers are making a difference. I just returned from visiting our cousin at the hospital. He is alert and able to respond to our questions through nods and shakes and squeezing our hands. He even sat up, opened his eyes, and waved to my son when he heard his voice! We are so thankful. The doctors are very optimistic he will survive this ordeal and that his faculties are intact. I felt so reassured to hold his hand and feel his strength. He’s an impatient, but friendly sort of fellow, and a man of strong faith. He just needs time to heal. Once they are able to remove the tubes from his throat, I imagine he’ll be able to talk. We’re praying and we’re hopeful.
      As for my honey, we truly appreciate your well wishes. We wish to banish cancer from our lives for good. xoxo

  2. Jill Weatherholt
    May 13, 2013 @ 09:16:13

    It’s a shame it often takes something like what happened to your husband’s cousin to wake us up and realize what a gift each day truly is. Last week a coworker, who just retired 3 weeks ago at the age of 53, died of a sudden heart attack. Life is precious. I’ve always made a point of never ending a conversation on a negative note, as you never know if those will be the last words you speak to that person. Praying for good results on your husband’s blood work and for his cousin. Have a great week, Jolyse!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      May 13, 2013 @ 20:48:14

      I’m so sorry to learn of your coworker who passed suddenly, and at such a young age. I agree with your advice never to end a conversation badly. Live without regrets, right? Thanks for your well wishes. I believe they’re working miracles already. 🙂

  3. alicamckennajohnson
    May 13, 2013 @ 23:24:23

    Great reminder! I hope your hubby and his cousin are okay. As for living out loud my hubby and I decided to get our teaching degrees and then get certified in teaching English as a foreign language so when they kids are out of high school- five years- we can travel the world!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      May 14, 2013 @ 16:30:54

      Things are looking up, Alica. Our cousin is strong enough to breathe on his own and in a few days may be moved out of cardiac care. My honey is feeling and looking great, and our fingers are crossed for continued good health.

      I love your idea! Congrats to you and your hubby for taking a risk and following your dreams together. Love, love, love the idea of traveling and teaching. 🙂

  4. Catie Rhodes
    May 14, 2013 @ 09:37:47

    Great reminder. Thanks for this. Hope the cousin makes a full recovery, and my prayers are with your family.

  5. Debora Dennis
    May 14, 2013 @ 17:57:51

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hope he makes a full recovery. Thanks for the reminder we need to live in the moment, it’s scary how quickly things can change.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      May 14, 2013 @ 21:22:05

      Hi Debora! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind thoughts. I hope all is well with you and that you’re enjoying the respite from our long winter. Our cousin’s prognosis is improving, and we’re hopeful he won’t suffer any lasting effects from this health scare.

  6. Rhonda Hopkins
    May 17, 2013 @ 14:51:18

    I hope your family member makes a full recovery, Jolyse. And thanks for the reminder. We never know how long we have, so we need to make the most of it!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      May 17, 2013 @ 17:36:26

      Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda, and for your well wishes. It’s amazing how great our cousin is doing and he is expected to make a complete recovery. Wow, right? My husband will have his blood tests results next week. *fingers crossed*

  7. Donna Coe-Velleman
    May 20, 2013 @ 12:12:01

    That’s great about your cousin. I’ll have my “fingers crossed” for your husband too. You take care. ❤

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