I shared this morning’s sunrise with a lovely friend. I hadn’t seen her in awhile and she had been through a rough year health-wise. Last summer, she sat in my living room and said two words that changed me. Today I was able to tell her how grateful I was for that single moment.
She said two words that have guided me on this year of faith and optimism. These two little words have given me the courage to face my fears and helped me walk down unknown paths alone and with my family. Two words that have kept me watching sunrises daily. They have inspired my writing and have pushed me out of my comfort zone over and over again. Because of these words that ring in my ears, I am more present with my children. I am more conscious of what they really need. I am a better teacher because I can deliver material based on their individual authentic needs and not my own. I am more conscious of what I am modelling. I am tending what’s in front of me right now – my relationship with my husband, my family, my friends – my team of support. Because of these two words, I no longer say, “I should…” or “When I have more time, I will…” or “When we have more money, we can…” or “No, I just can’t…”. Now more than ever, in my whole life, I say “Maybe…” and even a whole-hearted “YES.”
She said to me, “Don’t wait.”
That’s it. I think at the time it was in reference to a passing comment that I made by thinking of travelling for an extended period of time with my family. We were thinking of going somewhere a little warmer during the winter for a month. But it was a lot of money. A lot of time. A whole lot of discomfort and fear. And then we talked about her awful circumstances, and then she said, “Don’t wait.”
And when she said those two words, a shift happened. Something shook me at the core.
That day, after she had left, I remember talking to Ever-Patient and asking him, “What are we waiting for?”
He was stumped. We had created this life to do exactly what we were afraid of doing – travelling, living in the moment with our children, teaching them through amazing life experiences, leading an unconventional life while giving back and inspiring people. We were basically waiting for a future that didn’t exist. It doesn’t. We were living and working for future memories. Future possibilities. Future sunrises.
But what about today’s sunrise?
This is what my family has embraced this year. Today’s gifts and the infinite possibilities in each moment of now. And the more we are grateful for this moment and the more we give ourselves to this moment in the name of faith and love, the more we get. We have received so many blessings this year from detaching our death grip of the future. Our lives keep unfolding in ways we have never imagined and I’m not just talking about the travel although I am grateful for the doors it is has opened for my children and the way they see the world and their dreams in general. There have been so many amazing opportunities for my children, for our family, for our marriage, and for us individually. We aren’t wealthy. But there is always enough to let us live this way – a life of possibility. Going out on a limb and living for today doesn’t mean I don’t care about the future. Actually every moment leads to another moment which is the future. But it’s a chain reaction. Every time I live fully in this moment, I am led to a more alive moment in the next.
I am still afraid sometimes. I am afraid of taking a leap. I am afraid to write all of this because it sounds crazy. It’s even crazy to look back on what we’ve done and how we live. I am afraid to be happy because I think sometimes my life is too good to be true and it’s as delicate as a house of cards. I am afraid that by telling you I am happy that I am jinxing it. I am afraid we will fail and everyone will say, “I told you so.”
But then I go see a sunrise. And I believe again. Faith is restored. I remind myself that for the last 19 years, life has felt like frosting on the cake. I AM happy. I have surrounded myself with a safe circle of people who would never say “I told you so” and would say “What can I do to help?” I remember that having faith and gratitude have given me so many gifts this year. Then of course I hear those words, echoing in my head with urgency.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.