Last week I lost a close friend to cancer. She wasn't even 50-years-old. She fought bravely yet it wasn't to be. She leaves behind two teenage daughters.
It's a tragedy and sadly one many of us have to face. The older we get the more often we are faced with mortality and the brevity of life. We can rage against this, get angry, become depressed. We are justified in doing this of course. Or we can decide to live with renewed vigor in honor of the person we've lost. We can decide that we won't let a day go by without having fully lived it. It's a tough one. I know. I can waste hours and days sometimes feeling sorry for myself or simply being caught up in the mundanity of life without stopping for one moment apart from my 15-minute meditation in the morning to recognize and appreciate the miracle that life truly is.
It is gone in a flash.
I've made the decision that I will honor my friend by committing to not wasting a single day. I know it's a huge ask. I know there will be days that I don't manage it. Yet, I'm committing anyway. I've decided to use this sadness to propel me forward. I can hear my friend's voice urging me to live a full life.
Don't wait for tragedy to strike, or redundancy, or a stock market crash or divorce. Decide today to put your mind to living the second half of your life with renewed purpose, vigor and inspiration.
- Apply for the job that you feel is just a step out of your league.
- Move to the countryside or the coast or the city or another country for that matter.
- End the relationship or friendship that no longer fulfills you.
- Say a wholehearted yes to a relationship. Commit.
- Learn to throw pots or design silver jewelry.
- Be grateful more often.
- Volunteer for a solo part in your choir even though it scares you.
- Keep bees or chickens or rescue dogs.
- Teach creative writing to prison inmates.
- Take an art class because your current job doesn't satisfy your creativity.
- Write that letter.
- Forgive. Yourself first then whoever you need to forgive.
- Start the business you've always dreamed of ... there are 24 hours in a day ... you can begin without giving up your day job.
- Walk the Camino de Santiago or jump out of an airplane.
- Learn to just be.
- And stop making excuses.
When I was studying to be a professional life coach, we were asked to fast forward to the end of our life and ask ourselves what regrets we had, what we wished we had done or not done. It was a privilege to be surrounded by such honesty from my colleagues. I learned a lot from that day. I learned about not putting off living. I learned to be brave and take risks. I learned to live and to love more fully.
What will you do?