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Challenge..I have seen you before

Updated on June 10, 2012
While on vacation, always, always, always hug the first palm tree you can find.
While on vacation, always, always, always hug the first palm tree you can find.

Choosing now over someday

“We should give meaning to life, not wait for life to give us meaning.”

Someday I will plant more beautiful flowers around the house. I have said this for three years now. I will not stop with just the ones that can only be seen as you approach from the road, but I will plant a beautiful bed of color and life around the side of the house, where my kids play and where I go to find peace. They will be seen only by my family and to be honest, probably noticed only by me. I think of this and it speaks to me in this moment of clarity. With limited funds for landscaping, I have planted flowers I love so dearly only in the front of my home, their importance and purpose to be visible to strangers passing by, offering their beauty up to please others rather than myself. Why do I do that?

Because I feel I am undeserving. I said for seven years that someday I would go on a family vacation. Someday, I will find time each week to take charcoal to paper and feel the exquisite joy that only comes from the art of creation; the wonderful feeling of smudging the lines, of creating the shadows and contrasting highlights out of…nothing. Smudging is my favorite. I never did like keeping within traditional lines or having clean hands for that matter.

Someday I will do all the things I dream of doing. Only with recent discoveries, I realize now that I have been thinking this for years. But that time never comes. I continue to groom front yard flowers for others to enjoy and I leave my personal patch of earth baron, all the while thinking that someday my time will come.

I see now that I spend way too much of my life focused on what I must do, focused on working toward a future; on the work, trying to take care of all worries and responsibilities. I really do attempt to live in the now, and I am so grateful for all of my blessings, but I think I am forgetful and loose sight of the larger picture during the day-to-day process. I think we all do. I put being responsible and doing “the right thing” above those wonderful splurges that add meaning to life. I push aside vacations and forget the amazing healing powers they have on the soul and on the family. I forget that moments and memories are mine for the making, right now and that I do deserve them. I say it again, I do deserve them. I forget that giving up an afternoon of artful creation in order for my floors to be clean, groceries to be bought and dinner to be ready is a sin against my soul and my personal health.

And now I am being pushed to see all of this. Pushed again, born with eyes that can never close, I am being forced to see and to remember what matters in the moment of today and yes, what I will see in the future when I look back on this time. Did I make memories and follow my dreams? Did I honor what makes me…me, and what I love to do? Or did I just work and survive, loving those around me and taking care of my responsibilities, plugging away and creating the appearance from the road that flowers also grow in the back yard, all the while thinking…someday. Someday I will plant my garden.

Well, once more, I have been faced with one of those moments where all you can do is quietly reflect and try to process the cards you are handed; a time of challenge that, not surprisingly, has occurred before in my life and caused me at that time to change the whole course of my life. It was one of many broken pieces in the road that changed my course and put me where I am today. And if I look at it that way, I have to be grateful. It actually was a very positive thing.

I was asked by a wise person yesterday, “what was happening in your life the last time this occurred?” I have thought about this a lot in the hours since. I was in a very, very dark and unhappy place 14 years ago when faced with this same challenge. What followed was a time of clarity where I realized, when faced with an uncertain future, I did not want the life I was living to be all there was. I realized that the lack of love and any semblance of peace and the lack of respect for myself for not getting out and changing my circumstances, all of these emotions and more collided together with my health challenge and made me take action. I enrolled in college. I went to the gym each day. I began to form a true plan to change everything and no longer wait for “someday”. I realized then that someday should be now.

So what is happening today in my life that might require the same challenge to return and give me a great big push? Well, I am very happy and have love in my life, which I only dreamed existed many years ago. So my reaction as I process this life-challenge is from a polarized opposite perspective, being that I don’t want any of what I have to change or to be limited. I want more of what I have, of each and every moment and experience. I have dreams of things I want to do with my husband and kids, flower gardens to plant, vacations to take and places to see…this time, embraced in a loving relationship and with everything in my little world feeling just right.

I think maybe the big push is about my living in the now. When one’s now is so right and amazing, why would I not live in it? But as I said before, I get caught up in what I should be doing rather than taking the leap of faith required to choose what I dream of doing. And it is fine to do this some of the time but not all of time. What if sometimes, I choose making memories rather than making money or dinner? This recent challenge has made me realize it is time to make that bucket list of things I want to do and places I want to see. And the time to do these things begins now, not someday. No regrets. No, I should have done this or gone there while I still could.

My bucket list will be long and it will carry me through this because I think I understand the message in this challenge loud and clear. Live now, love much and create those memories today with no regrets. I deserve to do that.

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