This year seems to be one that is determined to make me think about mortality.
January started with the profound and intense experience of being with a close friend, and his wife, as he passed away from cancer at the too-young age of 48.
More recent events of a friend undergoing life critical surgery, others battling cancer and those dealing with the shock of loved ones who have died suddenly and unexpectedly have made me realize that so many of the clichés we use about life and death have probably become clichés because they are so true. I am reminded that life is short and that we all will die. Including me.
But the knowledge that has really settled into my bones and blood is that none of us know how short, or how long, our lives truly are.
What motivates me, and what lights a fire in my belly, is not that I will die someday. But that I could die tomorrow. Or today.
And I could die with things left undone. Words that have not been spoken. Places left unvisited. Time still wasted on actions without heart or passion.
I am finding myself becoming wildly determined to not to wait to do the things that are important to me. After all, what am I waiting for? Last year’s journey of “fierce” has combined with this year’s journey of “stretch” to urge me forward on my path leaving behind the “I should’s” and moving toward the “I want’s”.
Two weeks ago an opportunity came up to buy a condo in an area of town in which I’ve always wanted to live. In nine days, I bought the new condo, got my place ready to sell and accepted an offer. Nine days. And I took Sunday off to visit with friends!
My initial thought was “it’s too fast, I’m not ready, I can’t do this”. But as the Committee in my head began the bickering process of why it wouldn’t work, I could also hear the insistent whisper of my heart saying, “this is what we want, what we’ve dreamed of, we can do it”. But is my blood and my bones that are new to the conversation and who are speaking up and saying “We are doing this and we are doing it now. So get it in gear and figure it out”.
So with help from friends, a good real estate agent, and an amazing mortgage broker, I made it happen. And, with the bit of money left over I am starting my travel fund to finally travel to Africa on safari. I want to see elephants in the wild.
I don’t know how long I have left. So I am doing it now. I am not waiting any longer.
As the cliché says, “there is nothing like death to make you appreciate life”.