By Laura Drake
I heard today that a distant relative, after enduring brutal treatment for lung cancer, is in remission! I’m so very happy for him, and his family. He’s such a sweet, giving man.
The horror in Connecticut this month made most people I know stop and think.
These things, as well as staring down another tailing out year, reminded me of something I learned back in 1990, when I lost my sister to cancer. She was 32.
DON’T WASTE A SECOND
Back then, I thought I had a busy life already; I was married, had two kids, and worked full time. But I could no longer afford to let the years flow by, thinking I’d do things later. The gaping hole in my life was a constant reminder that ‘later’ isn’t a given.
I realized a basic truth:
Wherever I am at any given time is a result of what I’m focusing on.
If I’m not where I want to be, all I need do is make changes in what I’m focusing on to change it. Sounds too simple, doesn’t it?
It’s not. The following is a quick list of my major goals and accomplishments since then:
- Finished my degree. Since I kept working full time, it took 4 years, and my kids and I doing homework together, but I got it done.
- Learned to ride my own motorcycle. I’ve since logged 100,000 miles.
- Learned to fly fish.
- Learned to write – In this year I sold a three book deal to Grand Central, and another book to Harlequin
Along the way, life happened. Kids got married, and produced the most beautiful grandkids (don’t make me pull out photos!) My husband and I will celebrated our 25th anniversary in March. In the coming year, we hope to move to Texas and start building our retirement home.
People always are amazed when I tell them I get up at 3 am to write. I’m down to about 6 hours sleep a night. Hey, I’m getting older – I have less time to waste!
Would I have completed these things if I wouldn’t have focused on my ‘bucket list?’ I don’t think so.
But the best part wasn’t ticking off the items on the list. It’s the fun I had along the way to achieving them. The challenge of trying to do something I’d never done – and not sure I could do.
So? What about you? What would you attempt if you realized there wasn’t a second to waste? None of us know what will happen next – why wait for next year to start on your dreams?