We all do it.
We talk about how great it will be when spring comes. We talk about how much we are looking forward to the holidays. We talk about what out life will be like when we finally meet "The One" (and yes, it always has to have the capital letters because they will be that AWESOME). We talk about how much better (a) we will feel (b) we will look (c) how much easier it will be when we lose that last 5 pounds (or 10).
When it comes to our kids we talk about how great it will be when they sleep through the night, start walking, start talking, or are toilet trained. We look forward to them starting kindergarten and how great it will be when they start writing their name or reading a book on their own. We can't wait for them to learn to swim, have a sleepover or walk to the store on their own. We look forward to them learning to drive (well, maybe look forward to it is the wrong term but we are excited at the thought of not having to drive them everywhere any more).
When we were growing up we couldn't wait to be a teenager and then as a teenager we couldn't wait to be twenty. Thirty seemed less thrilling and after that any birthday with a zero at the end became a bit daunting.
Now, don't get me wrong, having things to look forward to and be excited about is great, but at the same time we are missing being fully present in this moment, right now. At the same time we also put off doing the things that we love because we figure that we have plenty of time.
"I'll go swimming when I've lost the weight."
"I will start exercising next week."
"I will start writing my book when I have more time/when I retire/in the holidays."
"I will eat healthier when summer comes."
"We will go to Paris when the kids leave home/graduate/when we retire."
But here's the thing: We are missing out.
We are missing out on truly living our lives. We assume that we have all the time in the world, that we will wake up tomorrow and still have plenty of time. We think that (a) there will be some mythical, perfect time to start what we want to do (b) that tomorrow is always guaranteed because it has been up until now.
Here's your wake up call: Nothing is guaranteed.
My brother passed away at the beginning of last year. He was a few months short of his 56th birthday. When he was first diagnosed with cancer and realized that he would need to stop working so he could undergo treatment, he took up a course in flower arranging because it was something that he had always wanted to do. I am so glad he got to do that even if it was for a limited time.
I lost another good friend last year too. Her name was Heather, and she had been encouraging me to write for years. The encouragement came when I was running a meditation group and Heather kept getting the message that I needed to write. She even went so far as to buy me a writing pad and a pen. When she handed it to me she just said "write."
I toyed with writing but nothing serious. Then I did a guest post for My Tiny Secrets titled "Your Amazing Vagina" and at the end of that I felt I still had more to say about vaginas so I wrote part two for my own blog site. At the end of that an idea germinated to start writing a book . As with any creative endeavor I stopped and started, I put it way, reviewed it, tried some more and finally, self published it.
Heather never got to see my book as she died before I finally finished it. I waited too long
You never know what tomorrow will bring.
You never know if today is your last day here.
Isn't it worth taking the plunge and doing what your heart is longing for?
Isn't it worth fully breathing in this moment and being totally present? It is too easy to try and multi task and eat while we scroll though our newsfeed or to check our phone while we "listen" to our partner. What we miss is the feeling of savoring that food, we miss being tuned into what our partner is really saying and having them feel heard.
So ask yourself: What are you waiting for?