There is truly nothing worse than realizing that your life has been filled with wrong turns, mistakes and bad decisions. Don’t get me wrong, as much as the changes that are going on in my life are painful and challenging…I don’t think that I would change a thing because I would not have become who I am today without those challenges. It is not a fault of any one decision or path that I have taken. It is not because of a single person or action that has taken me to the point that the time for change must happen now.
I became complacent with the things that I had achieved. Sure I was always striving for MORE but more does not always mean that. I forgot about balance, and that lack of balance changed the dynamic that I live in. If forced a change in me and those closest to me that I didn’t want but now realize truly deserved.
It is funny, I think back to my summers as a kid, hanging out at my Grandparents farm. Going to church on Sundays, playing in the fields, forest and barn with my uncle but there is a single memory that stands out for me. It was a very early morning, I crept out of the house before breakfast because for some reason I wanted to go down to the lake and see the sun rise (not quite sure why…I was only 11 or 12 at the time)…I sat on the dock contemplating a future, I had a plan, I knew what I wanted and what I would become at that key moment in the summer of 1984.
1984 was the year that I experienced my first real change…I was going to change schools in the fall, there were new people…different from those that I had shared my life with the previous 7 years…there was fear and apprehension, but also hope. That moment, sitting there alone on the dock, looking out on the still waters of Lake Conestogo I could see my life laid out before me. My hopes and dreams all coming true. Success was achievable…all I had to do was work hard and anything I wanted would be mine for the taking.
Over the next 30 years…I have for some reason forgotten about the innocence of that moment…and other moments like that. I became to busy making a life and forgot to enjoy the life that I had made.
If I could go back and visit that younger version of me, sitting there on the diving board, toes dangling in the water…I would tell me “Don’t EVER take the little things for granted. Stop once and a while and enjoy life.”
Now sure…this message would have been lost on 11 year old self…but it is not lost on 41 year old self.
Happiness is not something that just happens. Joy does not just rain down like April Showers. Fear and Frustration don’t need to be shut out, but they do need to be managed and balanced. Each of us has the ability to manufacture our own happiness and when we start to wake up and Today is going to be the same as Yesterday…and we are OK with that…well it is time to say ENOUGH.
I fault no one in my life up until this point for the things that I have become, my actions are my own, my mistakes were all part of a journey to deeper understanding. Will tomorrow be better than today? Well it never will be unless I consciously try…and that is the only regret that I have…that I forgot to make the day that I am living today…the best that it can be.
For everyone out there…reach out and hug your child, call your Mom, write a letter to your Grandma (yes WRITE a letter to your Grandma) and say I love you to the one who is special to you. Don’t take for granted what you have today (no matter how little or how grand) because tomorrow, it could all change.
Change is coming…and I am ready to accept it.