There are times when I come home from a stress-filled day and just want to rip off my shoes, click the TV on, and shut down my brain. But I resist the urge to vegetate and instead, I walk to the mailbox, mostly expecting to find unwanted envelopes. I know that insurance packet is coming any day now. Always fun stuff to read! The bills that still come in the mail are normally the big ones, so I dread those too. And was that traffic light yellow or red when I went through it? Well, the city will let me know…through the mail.
I open the little door, eyes half closed, and reach inside to grab the stack. I quickly survey the pile and realize there’s nothing bad here, unless you consider junk mail bad. Upon a second glance, I see something interesting. A smiling, tanned family is staring at me from the pool of a cruise ship. They’re surrounded by healthy looking people who appear to be having the time of their lives. That looks like a blast. When was the last time my family did something fun like that?
Another card addressed to “Current Resident” features a group of people dancing in a studio. They’re all wearing brightly colored outfits, but the brightness of the material is no match for their gleaming white smiles. I subconsciously rub my tongue across my teeth. The card has a coupon stamped on it – 50 percent off salsa dance lessons. You know, I have ALWAYS wanted to try salsa dancing. It looks like so much fun.
I move to the next offer, and this time it’s for something simple – buy one salad and get a smoothie for free. Yes! I’m in! My recent eating habits have been below average, to say the least. A tinge of guilt passes through me.
I turn to the last piece of mail and see a card from my dentist. My appointment is coming up soon. Maybe I’ll ask her about teeth whitening options.
As I step back into my house, I slam the mail down onto the table. Why do I feel frustrated? Is it because I should’ve been doing stuff like this all along? Signing up for dance lessons, eating healthy, actually taking a vacation – these are things that shouldn’t wait. I need to do them NOW. If I hold out for a better time… well, there is no better time than right now. The perfect day may be one day too late. Hobbling around a cruise ship or a dance floor 20 years from now would certainly take away some of the appeal.
I snatch up the offers and practically run to my computer and phone. I call the dance studio and speak to a woman with a Spanish accent. Her voice is so inviting. I sign up my husband and me for lessons. Cool, I have a good excuse to shop for a new pair of shoes now too!
Now, about that cruise… let’s just check it out online and see what my options are – Bermuda, Bahamas, Panama Canal, so many choices! Can I choose all of them!? My excitement is building just looking at the pictures on the website. Is the ocean really that blue?
This may take a while, so I should fuel up on that salad and smoothie first. I grab my keys, drive up the road, and turn into the café, where a person dressed as a large smoothie cup waves at me. I wave back, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. Why don’t I come here more often? I like their food a lot.
You have one life and it goes by fast. There’s limited time for you to do stuff you actually want to do. Think about how you want to spend your free time. What do you enjoy doing? Do you have everything you need or do you have to buy items?
No more excuses. Buy what you need. Research the options. Carve out the time to take part in the more enjoyable aspects of life.
Don’t let your life be just about existence and survival.
Make a list and set goals for yourself. Take steps to realize these goals. Then do what you love to do, and make the most of the things you have to do.
Tomorrow when you go to the mailbox, you won’t have a feeling of dread or trepidation. You’ll open that door with excitement!
1. Share with our readers one activity you have done in the last year that has made you feel “alive.”
2. What circumstances prevent you from doing the things you love in life? How do you overcome these obstacles?