Live a Little


travel_smlHarry and I were talking on the phone today and he told me I was a good coach. We’ve been going to the gym and he’s noticed that since I’ve “forced him” into doing cardio, he’s noticed that his body isn’t retaining water like it used to and he’s feeling better. The first few times he really did not want to do it at all. But this weekend while I was away he chose to do it on his own.

I like motivating people…and his compliment got me in the motivating mood, so I’m going to take a stab at it today.

I know full well that nothing can happen until someone makes an internal choice without pushing and prodding. But sometimes all it takes for that to happen is to hear some cheering along the way from someone who can SEE the light at the end of the tunnel that sometimes is difficult for us to see ourselves. If I can help someone take the initial steps maybe they will see for themselves.

So here goes:

Most of us are excited for vacations but dread the hard work it takes to get there. Early wake up calls, long hours on the road, lay overs and delays. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and we lose luggage, get wrong directions, or miss opportunities. But in the end, when we kick our feet up on that lounge chair on the beach, or flop down on that super cushioned hotel room mattress we realize it was worth the effort because now we get to enjoy being there.

I have friends who never go on vacation because it’s just too much hassle taking off work, deciding where to go and what to do, or they don’t want to go through the hardship of the travel itself and they can’t get passed it enough to bite the bullet and go.

I never put a high priority on travel until my 40th birthday. Prior to that, I thought spending money on travel was a bit indulgent. I justified spending thousands upgrading the plumbing in our house, or buying furniture because those things lasted and effected our every day lives. But travel was an experience that was often fleeting and had no guarantee. But when I turned 40, I went to Ireland and I came back a different person. It was then that I realized the experience itself was life changing and I would have the memories forever.

It’s hard to get out of our comfort zones and “live a little” but it’s worth it.

Vacations are a little bit like life. If our relationship is stale and we know it…don’t settle for it. Do a little bit extra to get yourself to a new place. If you are in a dead-end job you hate, do what it takes to get re-trained or find something better. If you hate where you live research different neighborhoods, cities, or states and make a change. All of this takes work and sacrifice but you will wind up in a completely different place with new friends, and experiences, and memories that will change you forever.

You will grow. You will become wiser and stronger – even if you experience bumps or even crashes along the way.

My daughter is entering college with plans to become a physical therapist. She is filling out her Stafford Loan information and was asked to calculate what her expected future salary will be to estimate what her repayment costs will be per month. The high-end was $110,000 per year and I asked her if she could imagine making that much money. She shook her had no and said I haven’t a clue. I told her that she would get a life, buy a house, a car, go on vacations. She stopped me and said, “Mom, that scares me to even think about.” And I told her, “That’s life baby. You have to live, this is what it’s all about.”

She could decide that it wasn’t worth all the trouble. She could decide not to fill out the application, quit college and be stuck working in some job she hates and never reach her potential for the rest of her life. But the work, the hassle, the crap…it really is ALL worth it.

On Friday I leave for 10 days in New York City. We have a four-hour layover in Minneapolis and we have to get up at 5 AM or earlier to get to LAX on time. I don’t even want to think about that part. There will always be the bad with the good. That is life. But if we opt out of the good because of the bad we lose and we don’t really live.

So think about it…what do you know needs to change? Be willing. It will be worth it in the end!

I run (not as much as I should lately) but before I leave I chose my route knowing that if I plan a 2 mile run that is what I will have to do. I know that half way through I’m going to want to opt out because I’m going to feel horribly tired, hot, and yet, I also know that I’m a mile away from home so I just have to do what it takes to get there.

When I’m stranded for 4 hours in Minneapolis it would be really stupid if at that point I said, “You know what? This isn’t worth it I’m just going to go back home.” How lame is quitting before you get to your destination. All you have is wear and tear and cost on your life with NO REWARD.

Keep going. Keep reaching. Don’t quit midway through. SEE IT THROUGH.

Don’t let obstacles stop you from doing what it takes. Find a way around them. It will be worth it if only for the sheer fact that you will KNOW deep in your soul that you did everything in your power to succeed. And then, wherever you end up, you will be able to enjoy BEING THERE with no regrets.

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