We get wake-up calls along the way in life, nudges from the universe to pay attention. The loss of a loved one is a wake-up call. A health scare is another reminder that life is short.
Let me start by sharing that I work 3 jobs and 2 side hustles. Most weekdays I work from shortly after I wake up until I go to bed. This is not something I do to wow and dazzle others with my dedication; it’s a necessity to survive at this point. Weekends typically involve some work, too, no matter how hard I try to keep the grind to weekdays.
I get my annual doctor’s visits done. I believe in early awareness of health issues so you can turn them around if possible. In this year’s visits, there was an “anomaly.” The anomaly led to more diagnostic exams and visits where healthcare professionals were careful not to get my hopes up at any point. The diagnostic exams led to biopsy and pathology. Ultimately, there was nothing to be alarmed about, but in the time between biopsy and results, I thought a lot about what I want to be doing with my time.
I want time to read. I want naps with a pile of cats and dogs. I need to put my toes in the ocean in the early morning. I need to walk around in places I’ve never been before, sipping coffee and people watching. Long brunches and dinners without having to check my phone are on the list, too. Laughter and music need to be more prevalent. Writing and sharing what I’ve written is time well spent. The list goes on and on, things I want and need more of in my days and nights.
Nowhere on my list was the urge to work more. Nowhere on my list was saying “yes” when I mean “no.”
How do I get there from here? That’s the part I’m still figuring out, but I wanted to write all this down as reminder to everyone I know. I wanted to tell you that this is it: this is our time. There’s nothing to wait for…postponing delight for when you retire or when you lose weight or when you get a boyfriend or when you get a divorce is all wasting time.
Risky choices, like the ones I mentioned in a Facebook Live video a few weeks ago, are idiotic, and no, I will not get off my soapbox about it. The “fun” some people are having that puts their lives on the line every time is beyond my comprehension. Why would you want to risk never seeing another gorgeous sunrise or never smelling puppy breath or never laughing so hard your sides hurt? I don’t get it.
We don’t live forever, and the fact is that I can’t tell anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do with their days here. I can have an opinion, which I clearly have, and I can share it, and that’s it.
I can try to lead by example. I can keep writing. I can somehow find my way to the beach for a week and find calm in the repetition of the waves. I can try to rearrange this life of mine a few more times to cut out all these extra jobs soon. I can try. I can be grateful that I am here to write these words with a hope and a prayer that maybe these words will inspire someone to seize this day and the next.