Last night I opened my Facebook page, and I saw three posts on my timeline. One was from my stepbrother’s wife about a fire that had killed her friend’s young nephews. Another post was from a woman waiting to go to the hospital for a liver biopsy, and her only prayer was that the cancer hadn’t metastasized. The last one was from a man that is battling another form of cancer.
I saw many other tragic stories yesterday on social media. My conclusion? People are struggling and life is unpredictable and often short.
My husband and I are fifty and we both have serious health issues, and we frequently say to each other that our dream is to make it a few years into his retirement so we can spend our days together. He will retire in twelve years. It isn’t a given that both of us will make it to our golden years or fulfill our dream.
We need to find a way now, today, this moment to start living a piece of that dream every day. We can’t afford to wait twelve years for a future and dream that may never arrive.
At dinner every night we share the two best things that happened to us during the day. And this is a wonderful practice for looking over even a difficult day and finding something to be thankful for and pleased about. We need to find more practices like that. We need to find ways to carve out time together.
I am home every day. I can easily walk down to my husband’s office and have lunch with him a couple of times a week. I can also walk down a few evenings a week and pick him up so that we can spend the time riding the bus or walking home together.
I am going to think of other ways for us to spend time together and share conversations and bits and pieces of our lives.
If you are waiting for some time in the future to do the things you want to do, my suggestion is to find ways to incorporate your desires into your life right now. You may not be able to do all that you dream at once, but you can start in small ways, with small steps and small chunks of time. If you want to travel, but don’t have any vacation time and little money plan some weekend road trips. If you want to paint or draw or write more, spend less time on social media or less time watching Netflix and create the thing you long to create.
I once won an honorable mention in a short letter writing contest by sending in this, “When it is time to take my final breath, I want the words, thank you, to be on my lips.”
You don’t need to go far to realize that today may be the only day you have. It doesn’t matter if you have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or any other illness or disability – get the most out of life that you can. Grab the opportunities. Follow the rainbow. Don’t let dreams gather dust. I believe we only get one chance, and I intend to make the most of it. Hop on my caravan and seize the day!