The Trouble is You Think You Have Time.

trouble is you think you have timeI had written a blog post about my love/hate relationship with running but after the heartbreaking events at the Boston Marathon it no longer seemed appropriate. Instead it got me thinking about another more contemplative post that I have wanted to do about not delaying your life for some future date. It’s something we all do to some extent or another. We plan for that mythical future day when we will weigh the weight it says on our driver’s license, get in shape, get the dream job, start our own business or even just take that vacation with the kids to Disney World.

My dad was recently diagnosed with liver cancer for which there is no cure, only treatment. My dad is 66 and relatively healthy so the diagnosis was a huge shock. Immediately your mind wraps itself around the fragility of life and how easy your world can be turned upside down in a blink of an eye. The events in Boston, while completely different in origin, reinforce the message that our time here is limited.

Of course we all know that we are going to die but I think in the western world we do our best to shield ourselves from that fact. Death is something that happens to other people and usually in the sanctity of a sanitized hospital. Death is seen as a distant event and there are always reasons for why tomorrow would be better. Maybe money is a factor, or not enough time. Maybe it’s a hard decision like ending a marriage that no longer works or quitting a good job in hopes of starting your own business or going back to school. As the saying goes – the trouble is you think you have time.

And then something happens and you realize you don’t have all the time. Time is limited and non renewable. It starts to make you think about the time you’ve wasted and panic about all those things you said you were going to do “someday.” I am very grateful I made the decision to change my life a year ago and not wait any longer. I am only sad that I didn’t do it a lot sooner. The changes in my lifestyle and body have given me enthusiasm to try new things that I wouldn’t have done a year ago. I let my weight prevent me from doing all sorts of things and truthfully it’s still holding me back from doing some things like say – maybe – for example…. attending a class at Blitz.

youI am a procrastinator extraordinaire. I put everything off, the good, the bad and the ugly. I always need tons of information before I make even the smallest decisions from which mascara to buy (Maybelline Great Lash) to how to eat properly to achieve maximum weight loss while at the same time scarfing down whatever the hell I want (still working on that one). I put off oil changes, renovations, traveling, and writing blog posts. You name and I’m sure I’ve procrastinated in doing it, and I have the insanely messy house to prove it.

But now with my dad no longer having the luxury of unlimited time I want to change that. Now my mind is turning to what I want to do next. The thing about making big changes in one area of your life is that you start looking around at the rest of your life and see other things that need changing. In typical Vaughn fashion I have a million ideas of what I want to do. The trick will be picking one or two that I can focus on. So right now I’m going to focus on making sure that my boys and I spend as much time with their grandfather as possible, planning a trip to Disney World and San Francisco and maybe taking that Blitz class.

With every heartbreak be it personal or global we all ask what we can do. What can we do to help? First if you’re able go donate some blood. That is something positive you can do right now and it really does save lives. On a more intangible level I think the simplest answer sometimes is that you should go on living your life but do so with the knowledge that your time is finite and it’s up to you to make the best life you can. Take that dream vacation, quit the job you hate and find one you love, or get in the best shape of your life. If you will allow me to indulge in some sentimentality do it to honour the people who lost their lives or were injured in Boston, do it for my Dad or someone in your life, but mostly do it for yourself. Carpe diem! Now! Right away! Go!

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