I didn’t hear the news when it happened. I learned about it a couple of months later and was surprised. An author whose books I have enjoyed, Vince Flynn, had died. He was only in his forties. His books had a series that followed a main character.
My son also read his books. He had read most of them and was looking forward to more. He asked me if he had finished writing the series.
That question struck me and has been rattling around in my mind. It made me think of what I have not finished yet.
I have things I want to do. There are places to go, things to see, experiences to have, people to spend time with, books to read, goals to reach, and on and on. I’m sure most of us won’t be able to do everything they wanted in life – I’m always learning of something new that sounds interesting.
Are you waiting for the right time for get started? I wondered – what if the time wasn’t quite right for Flynn? If he had waited, he may never have written the books he did and enjoyed the accomplishments. According to the typical life span here, he should have had many more years to live and work.
Is there a relationship you want to have? Maybe you need to open up more to let them in. I have discovered that no matter how many people I love, there is always room in my heart for more. Let your guard down a little and allow yourself to be more vulnerable (not to everybody, of course, but to those you believe you can trust). I know, it’s a little risky and scary, but the rewards can be so fulfilling.
Is there a relationship you want to be better or to repair? Apologize or make it right if you need to. Forgive if you need to. Don’t let past unhappiness take away the joy you could be having today. If it doesn’t work out the way you want, at least you did what you could. It’s a chance worth taking and you won’t have to live with the uncertainty. Be kind and give more and generally you will find that returned to you.
While you’re at it, make peace with yourself. You have made mistakes and done dumb things. So have the rest of us. Forgive yourself and resolve to learn from those things and do better. We all tend to be harder on ourselves than other people are. You have friends and family that you look up to and love even though they aren’t perfect, right? Do the same for you and enjoy the liberation.
Is there something you want to do? It doesn’t have to be big like a career change or space travel. Do you want to learn to play an instrument? Travel (even somewhere close)? Learn to cook? If you want to practice making lemon meringue pie, I’ll be happy to test them for you and cheer you on.
What is stopping you? In the future will you regret that you never did it?
I had a job that I was good at and the pay was good enough. Eventually I had too many mornings that I didn’t want to go to work. I began to dread Sunday evenings, because that meant Monday morning was next and it was back to more of the same at work. Now I love what I do as a massage therapist. Yes, there are challenges of having my own business. A lot, actually. But I am getting to spend time doing what I love, making a difference in the lives of the people I touch, and enjoy the accomplishments I realize. Do you start your day with excitement and anticipation or with dread and apathy?
What do you want to do? What do you want to have finished when it’s time to go? Have you said “I’ve always wanted to …”
Do those things.
Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio. Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com
* If you have read some of my other posts, you will notice that this was a very different post for me. I usually talk about massage and health and business. It was inspired by a combination of things I have read recently, including this intriguing post on opening up by Kate Bartolotta (such a wonderful writer). Also this one on choosing what you carry by another great writer Allissa Haines, who I am lucky to have as a friend. It’s also been a tough stretch with the loss of some family members. Do you want to see more like this or do you want me to stick to massage? Let me know what you think in the comments.