When I think back about 2016 I think about everything I accomplished. We traveled a ton, survived most of our second year of marriage (the second half is yet to come!), I got a new job, we stayed healthy and happy. Does life have ups and downs? Absolutely. Have there been some tears and some anger? For sure. I am not saying I live a perfect life. My marriage is not perfect (I do think it is pretty great though). I wake up every day and try to have a positive attitude and be thankful that I have lived to see another day. Every time my husband and I have a disagreement we work on communication (we are both Cancers so you can only IMAGINE how that all goes!!!). It sounds cliche but living each day as if it would be your last helps keep things in perspective.
My mom’s friend’s husband was recently feeling ill. They ran some tests and the results were what they feared. Stage four lung cancer. He was in his young 50’s. He passed away before he could start treatment – within a week from his diagnosis. My mom told me he had told his wife “but I had so much more I wanted to do”. That really hit home to me. I look back at my great-grandma. She lived to be 97. Outlived two out of three of her kids, was the last one alive in her graduating class, her friends in their seventies were passing away before her. She kept saying every year after 90 “ok, it’s time for me to go”. She did all she wanted to do with her life, because she had a LOT of time to do it. But not everyone lives to be 97!
Now days I hear too many stories like my mom’s friend. People my age are getting cancer. Or freak accidents happen. This isn’t meant to be a downer – it’s reality. It made me think “if I died tomorrow, did I do all the things I wanted to do?”. I did the things I was “supposed” to do. I went straight to college, got my degree in the standard four years, left my parents house at eighteen and haven’t been back since, got a good job, have been working ever since.. Finally in my 30’s I started doing the things I WANTED to do. Traveling to places I always dreamed of, buying a condo in a city they said was bankrupt and doomed, settling down with a man that was “the one” versus getting married because I was “getting old”, balancing saving for the future and living the present. So I thought.
It’s really easy to plant roots. When you buy a house instantly you are a little bit “stuck”. It becomes hard to just pick up and go. You get a job and unless your company offers re-location or are global you most likely will be in that city unless you get a new job. You have kids and instantly life changes. Uprooting yourself from said job and house is hard enough but what do you do if you now have to bring a small human with you? Right? That’s what I always thought. But I am really starting to question more and more. Says WHO?
I am 34. I own a house and have a job in Detroit. My company is pretty much only in Detroit as far as jobs go. I am rooted. But lately I find myself day dreaming, day dreaming A LOT about saying F it. There is a part of me that would love to sell my house and quit my job and move to Italy. To live for an entire year. To have the “study-abroad” experience I never got in college (BIGGEST REGRET! College kids – if you can afford it or take out student loans, STUDY ABROAD!).
What is holding me back? Not my husband. He looks at me like I am nuts sometimes but I think if I said “let’s do it” he would in a second. The only thing holding me back is nothing but fear of the unknown. What if we move and come home after a year and can’t get a job? What if I wind up pregnant in the process of this experience? Can I truly go a year without seeing my family? I heard a quote about fear before. It either means forget everything and run or face everything and rise. As a yoga teacher I tell my students every class “live in the present moment”. All these what ifs could never come to fruition. Then you spend half your life worrying about things that might not ever materialize.
What are you waiting for? Is fear holding you back from the things you have always wanted to do? Are the what ifs controlling your life? Do you have a list of things you want to do “someday”? If so, what are you waiting for? What if the “some” day is TODAY?
I am not big on making resolutions for the New Year. That is the one thing I am a firm believer on, you don’t need a date on the calendar to start over. You have every single morning you wake up as a “new year”. So carpe diem baby. Seize THE day. It’s not “seize tomorrow” for a reason. In 2017 the one thing I am holding myself accountable for, call it a resolution, I call it a lifestyle, is not putting off anymore the things I have always wanted to do. You never know when your last day will be. What are you waiting for?