Every morning you wake up to being one day older. These days roll into weeks, months, and years. Before you know it, a significant portion of time has passed you by. The question ultimately becomes: Have you been successful in how you spent your time? It all depends on what you value most. Maybe you value spending time with your family and close friends, making money, learning a new skill, or helping others. The most important aspect encompasses the notion that everyone should truly enjoy what they do with their time. They should enjoy it in such a fashion that when they look back at their past, they are fond of the memories. Someday it may be all that really matters. As Pink Floyd once said, “…the memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime…”.
Okay, this list isn’ perfect. Some of these bullet points may be a little cheesy, and there are a few too many “God” comments. However, you caught me a little drunk on a friday night, because right now I think this is a fairly decent list to live by.
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. Its OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14 If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years will it matter?”
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone for everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family will.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
The author is unknown.
It’s interesting how at any age you can always reminisce about an earlier time in your life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 18, 25, or 40, there will always be this faint recollection of a time when life seemed blissful. At the age of 25 many would say I’m still just a kid… “you’re just a whipper-snapper with a lot to learn”, some of my older colleagues have jokingly taunted me with. And while that certainly holds truth (lord knows we all have a lot to learn), I have still lived long enough to reflect on the past. The more I reflect, the more I appreciate how every one of my memories (blissful or not) has led me directly to the current moment.
This evening I found myself day dreaming while listening to rain beat against the bedroom window. Before I knew it I was sifting through memories of high school, the college party scene, and the rapid transition into the professional working world. Pushing through the last several years of your life consecutively from beginning to end can be an insightful mind game. You begin to recognize the exact moments that would ultimately define your immediate future. I find fascination in the evaluation of my past decisions and in the realization of their outcomes. There are so many moments I’ve almost forgotten, and several more I’ll never forget. The journey of a few short years can be quite substantial; realizing this fact motivates and inspires me in preparation for the times that lay ahead.
Progression really is somewhat of a marvel. Everyone strives for some means to an end, yet most of us play it just safe enough to the point where we never exactly have the opportunity to snag the whole pot of gold. Certainly we acquire some of the gold along the way, but we never really thought the whole pot was a realistic option. We seem to be looking forward to the next step, but equally afraid of the risk or change that may result from the required actions. It’s the notion of knowing exactly what needs to be done, but lacking the nerve to do it; the apprehension to your aspirations. As I ramble on… I’m not explicitly referring to any one specific situation in this present moment. I just realize that Angel and I have so many objectives we desire to achieve. Some short term, some long term, and some of which are more complex than others. The end result will never be an issue of whether or not it was possible. The real question is: Are we prepared to get out from under the covers and step into the dark?
Angel and I had an interesting conversation the other day regarding the natural uncertainty of life. We discussed the ever-changing fluctuations in our attitude toward past decisions and future goals. Some days it feels certain that we’re headed down the right path, and other times we feel completely misplaced. It’s a continual evolution of highs and lows characterized by the balancing of family, friends, work, desires, and aspirations. Dancing around this immeasurable playground, our thoughts, dreams, and ingenuity create the groundwork for our forward drive. There’s a long string of experiences and ideas that design a lifestyle we persistently attempt to reconcile in an effort to make more significant. As we react over the past and dream about our future together, we begin to understand who we are and where we intend to go. Our life presses forth as we stumble over the balance of simplicity and extravagant ambition.