All it takes is another birthday to serve as a reminder that life is way too short. Unless we start doing the things we’ve always wanted to do today, we may run out of time. Yes, starting something new is scary and so very easy to put off until “tomorrow”. But every single one of us should be more afraid of never trying than of failing. Because what is failure, really? A bump in the road? Even if we do encounter some failures along the way, the result is almost always less devastating than the stories we tend to create inside our own heads.
The seasons will change. To get the most out of this big, beautiful life we are blessed to live, we need to continue to change and grow, too. Bravely deciding to take that next step will feed your soul.
What is it they say about hindsight? It’s always 20 / 20. I recently turned 52 years old. As I look back at my adult life, it seems there are definite compartments.
My twenties included embarking on a new career, a marriage, a first home, and eventually the kiddos began to arrive.
My thirties are a bit more of a blur. We were raising our family and navigating the world of work. Looking back, it was a decade of doing what we thought had to be done. There was some dreaming but little pursuing of things outside of the box. Now, it feels a bit like a “lost decade”.
My forties brought about a change in my outlook. It no longer felt like I could keep coasting through life if I really wanted to live a life of my own design. My bookshelves started filling with books focused on self-improvement, goal setting and the Law of Attraction. Never having journaled much before, suddenly there were half-filled notebooks all over the house. I started a side gig and it was invigorating to realize I really did have the ability to have more control over my life, but only if I started to consciously make different choices.
Now, in my early fifties, I have every intention of doing more new things on a regular basis. This includes trying to help others live their best lives. I would love to go back to my thirty-year-old self and push myself harder to fill each day with more variety and less routine.
Don’t misunderstand, those were happy years and I was never miserable. I’ve just come to realize there is so much joy to be found in busting out of the routine. I can’t go back, but I can encourage others to dream big, get started now, and don’t waste any more time.
Or don’t. It’s all up to you.
I posted this on the wall in my home office to serve as a daily reminder that I’m in charge of designing my days and, ultimately, my life.
Last week I started a new book I’m sure I’m going to love: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I’m only a few pages in but the author’s words are already resonating with me. She is quick to point out she’s not perfect, no one is, but she’s learned to ditch the excuses. Get out there and do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Only you can take the steps necessary to live the life you want to live. No one else can possibly do that for you. Stop making excuses and get on with it!
Fall can be a great season to try something new. Think back to when you were a kid. Most kids feel a mix of fear and anticipation (although many won’t admit to the anticipation part) as they start a new year. It's always uncomfortable to start something new. But the amount of growth those kids will experience between now and next spring can be phenomenal. It could be the same for you, if you just start now.
Even though the school supply aisles are already pretty picked over, I encourage you to go buy yourself a stack of the cheap composition notebooks. There are always fun colors and they are great for journaling. There is still time to accomplish great things in 2018. Usually new ventures take some planning. Put together your plan, get started (because a plan sitting in a pretty yellow notebook is worthless if you don’t take action), take at least one step a day, and redirect as needed.
Friday evening, we witnessed our son take the first step in a huge new adventure – marriage. It was a beautiful day following months of planning. There were nerves and anticipation early in the day leading to a heartfelt ceremony full of joy and love, capped off with celebrating, fun and dance. We often feel all these emotions when we undertake a new venture—just not usually all in one day! Our hearts are filled with joy for this special couple.
My next venture will be the publishing of my second book in the very near future. Again, after months of writing and planning, I’m at the stage of final touches and nerves!
What will be your next big thing? We are never too old to start something new but every day we wait is one day too many. Let us know what’s next for you!
Always cheering you on, Kim
It is amazing to me how much of our lives we spend preparing for something. I don’t normally think of it in that context, but as we start the countdown to our son’s wedding day, I can’t help but reflect.
In the remaining few days leading up to the celebration, our immediate focus is on the long list of small details that still need to be addressed to help insure things go off without a hitch and everyone enjoys themselves. The bride and groom have things under control and I have faith it will be a wonderful beginning to their long life together.
So why am I finding myself weepy when certain songs come on the radio? I know it has little to do with the impending wedding day itself and more to do with the journey we’ve been on to get to this point. As parents, we’ve worked hard to prepare our kids for adulthood. Have we done enough? Have we helped our son to be as prepared as possible as he starts a new family of his own?
As a very wise man once told me, you do the best you can, every day, and that is enough.
So I can take comfort in knowing we’ve done our best. Never perfect, but always with good intentions and love.
And it isn’t just a question of whether we’ve done enough to prepare him for the responsibilities of marriage and adulthood. Have we also done enough to prepare ourselves? For those of you that have raised a family and sent your own young adults out into the world, you know exactly what I mean. After spending twenty plus years with much of your focus on their needs, suddenly the days start to look very different, very quickly.
Sometimes preparing can feel like a chore. We get impatient to get to the “good stuff”—the thing we’re working towards. Whether it's a wedding day, the completion of a big project, or even dinner on the table, slogging through the details to get to the end game can feel endless. I’m guilty of this. I get impatient. But there are so many life lessons to be found within the journey itself. Often the thing we are working towards will come and go in a flash, like a special day. We need to be sure to find the joy and the blessings along the way.
My goal is to never be done preparing. Having many things to prepare for means life is full of abundance. It means we are looking forward to all the possibilities before us. Our daily lives will continue to evolve and change, and when I start to feel a bit nostalgic or sad, I’ll allow myself a moment or two but then I’ll turn my eyes forward and move towards new experiences.
Next Friday, we will pause and celebrate. We will make a toast to new beginnings. We will enjoy time with family and friends, eat good food, and dance until the day is done.
Having things to prepare for is one of life’s many gifts. Try not to resent the hard work that leads up to milestones. The work is what helps make things so special. Whether it is preparing to become parents, preparing to become in-laws, preparing for a new stage in life, or whatever it is you are each working towards, enjoy the journey and know the effort is worth it.
Now, I’m off to buy water-proof mascara, because despite my best intentions, I know there will be a few tears on the big day. Kim
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a self-published fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!