Have you ever promised yourself you’d do something—call an old friend, invite someone over; take a trip; give up a grudge or mend a broken relationship?
Did you do it? If your answer is “yes,” congratulations!
If it’s “no,” there’s still time!
When I first started my coaching business, Change Engine LLC, the tagline was “If not now, when?” The business morphed from life coaching to business and retirement coaching so I changed the slogan. I haven’t changed the question. I ask it every day. “If not now, when?”
For me it’s a way of life. I’m lucky and I know it (clap my hands).
As I grow up (and older), I see some windows of opportunity narrowing and the number of “some days” diminishing. I don’t expect to hit the done button any time soon, but as we all say, “You never know.”
That’s what I thought when I married Bob. He was 20 years older than me and had worked his whole life for the business success that was just starting to bloom. We ran two companies, side by side in related businesses.
We traveled every year to the British Virgin Islands. It was always in February when both of our businesses hit seasonal lulls. Like most business owners we worried that they wouldn’t rebound. They always did…except for the year of the Gulf War…that’s for another time. Sometimes we could afford the trip, and some years we probably should have stayed home.
Bob told me he dreamed of those vacations, so we took them. He dreamt of a big house on a hill. We built it. Now I’m not complaining—island vacations and a big house—what’s to complain about. Those were his dreams. I thought there would be plenty of time to fulfill some of mine. We did including the biggest one, adopting a child. Then time ran out. In the space of six months, Bob was diagnosed and passed away.
I am infinitely sad that we didn’t have more time and that our daughter doesn’t have her father with her on this earth. Beyond that, I have few regrets about our lives. We traveled, built the big house, loved each other and our Katie, grew our businesses and rode the roller coaster of life. We sailed in boats out of our league, explored places where we could have gotten macheted and never let a fence or a wall keep us from something fascinating.
Bob even tried to smuggle a cannon off the island of Tortola a few times. At this I drew the line. No aiding and abetting for me. Lots of adventures for sure. Yes, I’m leaving out the tough stuff. Of course, there were hard times.
After Bob died, my lack of regrets made it easier to live. I didn’t have to look back at what we didn’t do, the dreams he had that weren’t fulfilled, the chances not taken.
Not everyone can do what we did the way we did it. But most of us can answer, “Yes” to the question, “Have you done it?” if we start now. Instead of putting thoughts on a “Someday” list in our minds, what if we put them on the calendar? How would that change our lives?
Why not try it?
The next time you say to yourself, “I’d really like to see my friend in Idaho,” pick up the phone. Make up with your oldest sibling. Do it before Christmas. Meet the new neighbor. Walk over this Saturday morning. You get the gist of this. It can happen day by day simply by changing where we put those thoughts about what we’d really like to do or the memories we want to make.
There’s still time. After all, you never know.