Hollie Grimaldi Flores: One life to live
What if you lived your life as if it was the only one you had? More often, people will ask, “What if you only had one day to live, how would you live it?” I think of that often when I find myself bent over a keyboard, sitting at a desk for hours on end.
“If this was my last day,” I think to myself, “is this how I would choose to spend it?”
The lucky (or smartest) among us are fortunate to be able to answer in the affirmative often. Certainly, it would be easy to make different choices when given a mere 24 hours left to live. It would be easy to walk away from the job and embrace those who give us joy or take time to tie up loose ends or say what you have never had the nerve to say.
In reality, no one really knows how much time they have left and as far as we know, this is the one life we have to live. The challenge is to find a way to live a full life while still taking care of the cost of living it.
I have friends who are suffering from some fairly serious health issues. The likelihood of living a long life is slim. I would think the natural tendency would be to get out that bucket list or write one and then start crossing things off it.
Would you be okay leaving without ever seeing the Grand Canyon or the Northern Lights? Is your dream to fish in Yellowstone or hike the Appalachian Trail? Will life not be complete until you your passport is so full you need extra pages? Have you always wanted to learn to salsa, sing on stage, sell a painting? Are you planning to write the next great novel? Have you always dreamed of driving across the country, visiting each of the national parks or every ballpark in the nation? Or do you simply wish to spend more time with those you love, loving them? Are you waiting for a magical day to begin?
What is stopping you?
Don’t wait to live your life
It’s so easy to get caught in the day-to-day grind, that weeks and months pass without being one step closer to fulfilling those dreams. Do you need someone to tell you your time on Earth is running out? Without a doubt, it is! You may have another 50 years. You may have only a few. Either way, time is limited.
I asked a friend, who was given a not so great medical diagnosis, why they did not just drop everything and go to Europe, as I knew they hoped to do. The answer was simple reality.
There were financial limitations and a spouse to consider who would be left behind. It wouldn’t be fair to sink the family into debt and then leave them “holding the bag” now would it?
Dream crusher! Reality can be such a drag.
It’s true there are some practical issues to deal with, but waiting until your doctor tells you it’s “time to get your affairs in order” is not the push you want before acting on your desires.
I have some lofty goals in the arena of fun and games. It is about choices. I would like to have it all and I understand it is possible but just not all at once and not all right now.
So, I am learning to save and to make plans. I am prioritizing the most important and sub categorizing by the most feasible.
I say yes as often as possible to social invitations. Yes to concerts. Yes to boat rides. Yes to dinner out. Yes to road trips. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Planning helps me feel like I am not wasting another precious day doing what is necessary instead of doing what I want to do. Retirement is nowhere in sight. I do look forward to that time, but I refuse to wait for it in order to live.
Besides, how often do we hear about people who have saved their entire lives for their retirement only to drop dead within the year?
I know some will never understand it. Others attribute it to my fear of missing out. I confess. I am afraid. Life is short and getting shorter all the time.
I encourage you. Go. Be. Do. Spend time near water. Visit friends and family. Make amends. Tell those you love that you love them and be with them whenever possible.
Live this life like it is the only one you have. The result will be amazing.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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