I was really touched recently when a friend of mine lost her sister to Cancer. She was only 33 and had a 1-year-old daughter. 33. I can’t even get my head around it. The way my friend dealt with it was to celebrate her sister’s life. I don’t know where someone finds that kind of courage, but the whole story really got to me. It made me think about my own life, and the things I take for granted, as well as the things I do…or maybe don’t do. So, for what it’s worth this is some of what I came up with.
Don’t waste time.
None of us know how much time we’ve got. Might be today, might be tomorrow, might be ten years from now or you could live to be 100. No one knows. And you never will. Tragedy can strike at any time because life is so fragile, but it’s because of the fragility that each moment is all the more precious. Don’t waste them. Go out and do things. See that play or visit that country. Write that novel you always wanted to write. Ask out that person you like. Whatever it is, don’t do it tomorrow, do it today. Now. Don’t be a spectator in your own life. Live it. Every second of it.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
When I think about the amount of opportunities I didn’t take or the things I wanted but didn’t go after all because I was afraid I might fail, it makes me so mad at myself. If you chase a dream and you fail, so what? If you put yourself out there and it all goes wrong, at least you put yourself in the game. And what’s more, you won’t have to wonder. It’s always better to regret doing something then to regret NOT doing it. So try believing in yourself and going after things, because as cheesy as it sounds, the only people who catch their dreams are those bold enough to chase them.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life. We want more money, a better house or job and it can be easy to get tunnel vision which causes us to miss out on the people around us and what they can bring to our lives. Jobs will change, money will come and go, but people who really mean something in your life are not so easy to find. At the end of the day, no amount of success will matter if you don’t have people around you to enjoy it with. So if you’re lucky enough to have people in your life that you love and that love you back, don’t take them for granted. It’s a blessing and one that is easy to overlook.
Appreciate the moment.
I know that I’m terrible for this. I look back and think ‘I wish I’d have done this or that different’, or I spend ridiculous amounts of time reminiscing about easier times or more exciting times or whatever it is that day. If I’m not doing that, I often find myself thinking about the future, like worrying about getting old or something. All this at the expense of the here and now. Of course you should look back sometimes and of course preparing for the future is important, but the most important thing is that you appreciate the moment you’re in right now. That’s all life is, a series of moments and it’ll be over in a blink of an eye, so take the time to stop and just appreciate where your life is right now. Don’t let a holiday pass you by only to later wish you’d enjoyed it more while you were there. Don’t have the best sex of your life and only recognise just how good it is once you’re not having it. Don’t have an amazing group of friends and only learn how lucky you were once you can’t see each other. BE IN YOUR OWN LIFE. Every second of it. Even the shit times. Don’t be 30 wishing you were 20, because you’ll only end up being 40 and wishing you were 30. Basically, don’t wait for it to become a memory before you recognise the true value of a moment.
Recognise that shit could always be worse.
We’ve all had those days where we feel sorry for ourselves. Everything seems to be going wrong and the world is against us! We get up and eat a boring breakfast, our car won’t start, we get moaned at by our boss, go to the gym and hate what we see in the mirror and then have an argument with our significant other. But a boring breakfast means you have food. A broken down car?…At least you have a car! A moaning boss means at least you have a job. Hate what you see in the mirror, but at least your healthy enough to go to the gym. Arguments? At least people care enough about you to be pissed off. The point is, unless your shit is really fucked up, your life could probably be a hell of a lot worse. One thing that my friend’s situation reminded me of, was that I’m so lucky to have the life I have. Her sister would have given anything for just one more day with her baby girl, which makes the things I worry about seem so trivial. I have an amazing life. Complaining about it is almost insulting. Dreaming big and wanting more is fine. Being driven and not prone to satisfaction is a great way to stay motivated…but don’t let that blind you to how blessed you probably are.
When I thought about writing this, I had so many thoughts, but I think it would be the longest blog ever if I put them all down. The main feeling I wanted to express was one of positivity. You are here. Now. In this moment. And no matter what, that in itself is enough of a reason to be thankful.
I for one, am not going to waste these moments.