In my next 30 years

Heading off to my regular 9-5 job the other day, a song came on the radio about what the singer was going to do with his next 30 years.  What an interesting thought.  Being in middle age, I, like the singer, used to think the age I am now was old – until I found myself with this number – heck it’s not close to being old!!

In 30 years I’ll be in my 70s???  Wow, is that old!  But wait, it doesn’t have to be.  I don’t think I’ll be ready to hang up my hiking sneakers and dive gear and take up knitting.

So, what do I want to do with my next 30 or 40 years?  Well, I’m still working that one out.  I do know I want to make sure, when I do have to hang up my active life for something a bit more sedentary, that I have lived a whole life full of memories that I can mull over until the end of my days or memories.  I want to have lots of events and good times to keep me smiling and feeling as if I had not wasted a second.

So as I find myself, driving to work, thinking about those rocking chair days, I think, there are things I will need to do today, to make my days worth remembering and reliving…and driving to work each day just doesn’t seem like it.  I continue to develop the life worth recounting, a life where I do not just survive, but thrive.  This is the journey I will continue to write about here, I hope you’ll come along for the ride and share a thought or two of your own.

When you look back 30 years, are you happy where you have arrived?  What do you want to do with your next 30 years?

Whatever I do with my next 30, I know that  island living and travel will be a big part of my distant, rocking chair smiles!Image

If I had a million dollars

We’ve all heard the Bare Naked Ladies song, “If I had a million dollars” and we’ve all thought to ourselves if I could just win the lottery….

So this got me to thinking as the last Powerball jackpot winner was announced, what if it was me?  I began to think, would I give up my cute little apartment that seems to suit me just right?  Would I continue to work at my current job, or would I quit? 

I was happy to understand that I would likely stay where I am at least for the time being, but I would travel more and quit my job.  This led me to a place where I began to recognize what parts of my life I really loved and what parts need to change to be in alignment with my desired life.  It was funny how this all came together so clearly with this little dream exercise because I’ve been wracking my brain lately to really uncover my true self and what I want to work towards becoming.  I am trying to strip out what I’m doing because it’s what I do, and what I believe my true calling and follow where my passions lie.

Pretty easy exercise when I put it in front of myself that way.  So, I ask you, if you were to win millions of dollars (let’s face it 1 million just wouldn’t cut it for this exercise) how would you spend your days and your money?  What parts of your current life would you keep and what would you feel you had the freedom to let go?

The Gift of Cancer

My mother has battled cancer four times in her lifetime.  In my opinion, those experiences make her somewhat of an expert by default.

I was six years old when my mother first contracted Hodgkin’s Disease, a lymphoma.  Like most people, she had never heard of this before, nor had she understood that the lump she had in her neck for an extended period of time was something to be concerned about until my pediatrician noticed it during my visit and implored her to visit her doctor.  Stage III was her diagnosis when they finally began treatment (there are only four stages).

The first lesson that was drilled into my head from that experience was that early detection is EVERYTHING! Please take note.

My mother survived the first cancer, it was tough and she was terrified, but she made it through with the support of so many people who came rushing to assist her. She went on to battle two more cancers and had one major battle with bacterial meningitis.  All in all, my mother is pretty much my expert on catastrophic illness and resilience.  She often used to talk to new cancer patients, and others about the “gift of cancer” in which she wholeheartedly believed.

The idea of illness being a gift is that a patient, and those who love them, get the opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and the time they have or don’t have in this physical form.  I have grown up and developed my own mantra, “our tomorrows are not guaranteed.”  I use that as a touchstone when making big decisions, and sometimes small ones too.  Being raised by someone whose life was so tenuous left quite an impression on me.

I encourage you to live each day as if it was precious, the gift that it truly is.  It is so easy to get caught up in the to do lists of living, and although those things are indeed important however, how well the dust bunnies in the dining room were addressed is not what most people are remembered for.  Touch those around you, give of your precious time, forgive and release that which weighs you down.  If you don’t want to bring it with you, get rid of it, if you will miss it when it/them or you are gone, spend time with it/them!  Those are truly the things that make a thriving life.

My mother died 23 years after her first catastrophic illness, she succumbed to the last cancer.  Although her life was rarely easy or care free, I never got the sense that she left here leaving anything unsaid or unfelt.  My wish is that we all are able to leave in this type of peace.

What is your touchstone or reminder to live your life fully?

Here is to living as if we were dying!

-E

Don’t just live your life, Thrive your life!

This is the beginning of my journey with you, however not the beginning of the journey at all.

This is a spot I hope you will find you can turn to for inspiration, support or confidence to see it can be done – whatever it is!  I hope you will feel free to share your own experiences, ideas and reflections.

I am inspired to create this space for people who are looking for just that additional motivation to answer the call.  You know the call that says, “is this all my life really is?  Isn’t there supposed to be more?”  I am here to say, your life is exactly what you create.  Your experiences and successes are only limited by your own self.

So here we go, if you chose to come with me, let’s toss off the bow ropes and set sail and be limited only by the horizon, and when we get there, let’s head to the moon!

You coming with me?

-E