As I was getting ready to take a shower yesterday evening, I was thinking about life. A thought came to me: “I am 45 years old. I have, if I’m fortunate, another 45-50 or more years left on this planet.” And in that moment, I felt so small, so insignificant. And a bit scared. Just what have I been doing with my life? Is 45 years a long time or relevantly short time? If thinking in terms of the age of the planet or Universe, it’s only a drop in the life bucket, but overall, where had the time gone? With my time that is left (and we really never know the exact number of years, which is frightening if you think about it too long), how am I going to spend it? It’s been so easy to roll with the tide of each day. It’s comfy. It’s nice and predictable. But also, boring. At least this was what came to mind when thinking of the time I have left here. But as an introvert, as someone who most definitely does not crave stress, what would be exciting? What would make my heart sing most days? For the longest time I was hung up on the notion I had to have this “dream” job to make my life truly complete. At this point, this is no longer my focus. Do I wish I had done something different with my life trajectory once out of high school? You bet – I wish I would have saved more for retirement (I’m doing okay there, but what if I took it more seriously when I was 20?); I wish I would have traveled the world; I wish I would have taken more consideration as to what I really wanted to do for a vocation. But, the past is the past – it is what it is. I refuse to dwell on the could have beens.
Going forward, I want to sharpen my mindfulness, be fully aware of each moment. I want to take action on my heart’s desires instead of shelving them for “someday”. Waiting, for the most part, will take a back seat. Tire of waiting for the right time to take a grand trip, or to create the home I’ve always wanted. And it’s not always about spending money either. The “grand” trips are not necessarily five-star luxury getaways (African trip to visit elephant orphans? YES!) nor the dream house needing to drain the bank account (DIY when we can, utilizing affordable materials and labor when needed). But also taking the time to breathe. To drop everything and go for an afternoon motorcycle ride (love this in the summer), or like this past Sunday, drop everything and head to the local dive bar for wine, beer, and a round of Keno (had a great time). Impromptu events like these, or even just chucking to the to-do list to sit and read all afternoon, used to give me so much anxiety. No more – it’s not worth it.
What would you like to do a little different today? It doesn’t have to be anything big – just one small thing. Do it. The time is now, life will not wait.