Enjoy Life While You Still Can!
THE IMPETUS FOR THIS ARTICLE
I was reading comments on one of my articles yesterday, and came across a striking comment from my friend Leslie. In it she said:
“the thing about you, Bill is that you're not afraid to live - and you're not afraid to die! You have a freedom borne of experience...trial...tribulation...and from overcoming almost impossible odds!
You're like a kid in a candy shop - getting a second chance!
Most will never know your appreciation until it is too late!
I share in your joy de vive, Bill - and wish you many years to explore, discover and delight.”
For the record, it is comments like that one that explain why I write. Leslie has followed me for quite some time, and during that time she has come to realize what makes me tick. Isn’t that remarkable? She and I have never met, and yet because of our online friendship, she has managed to see quite clearly one of my main motivations in life….namely, that we only get one shot at this thing called life, and we really shouldn’t be wasting a minute of it.
LET ME EXPLAIN WHERE I’M COMING FROM
I should be dead. That is not hyperbole to get your attention; no, it is the plain and simple truth. I did everything in my power to drink myself to death, and almost succeeded six years ago.
From that experience came reflections, and over time I came upon a truth that was so powerful that I feel compelled to, not speak it, but live it. The truth is…..that life is wonderful! As Leslie explained, I feel like a kid in a candy shop, because I’m getting a second chance to get this thing called life right! How cool is that?
That day back in November of 2006 was a revelation to me, and I feel compelled to share it. I didn’t quit drinking back then because I was afraid to die. There was no fear of death at that time. I didn’t quit because I was afraid I would lose everything; I had been there, done that, before, and that didn’t concern me. I didn’t quit because of other people in my life, because sobriety based on the judgment of other people is doomed.
No, I quit drinking because I wanted to LIVE! I wanted one last opportunity to experience all that life has to offer, and I have been doing exactly that for the last six years. Livin’ large and lovin’ life in Olympia, Washington.
I come from a place that few can understand. When you are absolutely certain that you are going to die, and then you survive, there is a psychic shift in every molecule of your being. Suddenly, all that daily crap that seemed so important, is not important at all. Suddenly, the things you once worried about, don’t seem terribly scary at all. There is a focus that happens, and that focus is aimed directly at the things in life that should be priorities, things like friends, family, and love for other people.
Today I can see clearly, and from my box seat life is wonderful!
Sing Along With My Buddy
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
You see, the b.s. has been stripped away, and now I can concentrate on my priorities, and make damn sure that my remaining years are years of love and happiness. My heart is open to love and my mind is open to new ideas.
I can sit for hours and watch a hawk soar overhead, or marvel at a spider as it builds its web. I can watch children playing in the park and laugh with them, because I remember the pure joy of that experience from long ago.
I can listen to the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze, and I can hear the haunting melodies of Mozart and the frenetic pounding of rock n roll.
I can feel Bev’s touch….no…I can feel her love, as though it were a physical force, and I am overcome at times by the unselfish present she gives me each day.
There are no words to describe how grateful I am for this second chance and Leslie was correct, that few will know that type of appreciation until it is too late to do anything about it.
And that saddens me!
Number One Priority In Life
- Love: The Word, The Meaning
Love is more than just a word; love is...the single most important thing in life.
You see, I think most people have life upside down. They are so busy going about the business of living that they forget to enjoy the life they have been given. They are so busy providing for their loved ones that they have no time to spend with their loved ones. They are so busy accumulating that they fail to recognize that they are already rich.
I have witnessed, in my lifetime, a complete shift in the way people approach life. I’m not wise enough to know the reasons for it, but I know it is true. I want to grab people and shake some sense into them.
Stop right now and tell me what is more important than love. I’ll wait….well? well? Anyone? No, there are no answers, because nothing is more important than love. So if that is true, and it is, then why don’t people spend more time loving? Why don’t they spend more time with their loved ones? Too busy? Too many obligations?
We are all guilty of it! Last week Bev asked me if I wanted to go for a walk, and I said not today, I’ve got too much writing to do! HELLO, BILL, ARE YOU LISTENING???? How is my writing more important than the love of my life? It took me about a half hour to come to my senses, stop writing, and go for that walk with Bev. I swear, there are times I want to hit myself upside the head and knock some sense into me. And we are all guilty of it!
IT IS TIME FOR A PRIORITIES LIST
I understand; I truly do! I played the game for a number of years, working fourteen hour days, coming home bone-tired, no time or energy for anything, or anyone. It was an endless cycle of work, eat, and sleep, and looking back on it now I realize the insanity of it all. Back then, you could not have convinced me that there was any other way. I mean, the bills had to be paid, right? There were things our family needed, and they weren’t free, right? I needed to work more hours to catch up, and maybe get ahead, and that just takes so much time….there was no time to enjoy the people I was trying to provide for, and therein lies the insanity.
I was at a restaurant a few months ago, and while Bev and I were eating I was watching a family eating a couple tables over from us. The man and wife never talked to each other, and quite frankly they looked bored to tears. The children would say a few words every once in awhile, and the parents would nod at the kids, but that was the extent of the interaction. I found that incredibly sad! Where was the joy? I can tell you this for a fact: when Bev and I are together in public there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bev and I are in love. We hold hands, we laugh, we giggle, we look into each other’s eyes, and we act like little kids. Why? Simply because we love being in love, and we work at keeping that love vibrant and exciting. Bev is my best friend, and I am hers, and we act like it!
Time is running out! What or who are your priorities? Figure that out and then start making them your focus on life and then….START ENJOYING LIFE!
My ebook on this subject
- Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
YES, TIME IS RUNNING OUT
I can’t be much clearer than that! I have seen sudden death. I have had a loved one snatched away from me quickly; here one moment, gone the next, and I can tell you that you are left with the inevitable feelings of guilt. Why didn’t I spend more time with them? Why didn’t I tell them more often that I loved them? Why didn’t I focus more on them and less on my favorite television show or sporting event?
I have sat with the dying. I have listened to them say why didn’t I do this, and why didn’t I take the time to do that, and how could I have wasted so much time on things that are unimportant, and it is sad and it is sobering. I promise you, when my time has come, I won’t be laying in bed feeling the weight of what if’s.
My time to live is now! My time to love is now! My time to ride life for all it is worth is now! I was given a second chance, and daddy didn’t raise no fool!
My wish for all of you is that you reach a point where you are not afraid to live, not afraid to die, and that you finally come to appreciate life as much as I do. May the wind always be at your back, and may the road rise up to meet you on your travels from this day forward.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)