I recently had the opportunity to have coffee and catch up with a friend. It took us a few weeks to schedule – life has a way of getting in the way doesn’t it? As we were catching up and filling each other in on what we had been up to lately, we discussed several former co-workers and a few folks we knew that had run into some hard times. One friend’s husband is dealing with cancer. Another friend recently lost both his parents. My friend made the point – we have it pretty good and when we start to think we don’t we need to remind ourselves how much worse it could be. She’s right!
We both had worked together at a very dysfunctional company in a unhealthy circumstance. And we both left that behind. While there was good that came from that situation – our friendship – it serves as a reminder and motivator to both of us that it could always be worse! We could be back in a situation where we are working too hard, under-appreciated and consistently stressed out! I can’t speak for my friend but I can say – I allowed myself to stay in that bad situation too long. What was I waiting for? Things to improve? That wasn’t really possible and the writing was on the wall. I missed opportunities to take trips, vacations, spend time with friends and do the things I love – like running and taking care of myself. All for a job that I hated. It was never a good job and yet I kept waiting and putting off what would make me happy.
My friend wisely also said over coffee – life is short – it could change tomorrow – and we should do what makes us happy and better today – why wait for the ‘right time’. Again, she’s right. As much as we may not want to think about it – illness or tragedy could strike us and change or end our lives at any moment. Will we be glad we delayed our own happiness and lost touch with friends? Will we be glad we put off making a positive change or stayed complacent? Or will we be glad we took all that life had to offer and moved forward?
I could have easily rescheduled our coffee – there’s always more work to do- but I would have missed out on fun with a friend and some good reminders of where my priorities should be. There will always be ‘work’ or ‘life’ but there may not always be time or opportunity to enjoy it if we don’t choose now.
Does that mean you should quit your job and go on vacation? Maybe or maybe not – If you hate your job it could be time for a change. But if you like what you do – it’s also good to take a break from time to time and not lose site of what is important. Do you want your tombstone to say “she worked a lot” or “she lived a lot”?
Some of us become caught up in collecting wealth and possessions which means working hard for stuff not memories. As they say – you can’t take it with you but you’ll always have your memories. So don’t wait- go to coffee, take a vacation, try something new, workout, cook – do what you love. Cherish the moments you have – make the most of them – now because you never know how many tomorrow’s you will have.