A sound causes me to look up from my desk. My husband is standing in the open doorway of my office, a pained look on his face.
“Robbie died today”.
What? My initial response is that he is joking. His face crumples and he lowers his head as a loud sob escapes – I immediately realize that he is not.
I jump to my feet and grab hold of him. Instinctively stroking his head and mumbling “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” We stand there holding each other for what seems like an eternity trying to process this shocking news.
Robbie Macmillan, my husbands Uncle, died suddenly of a heart attack last week. It was so unexpected. He was a vibrant, boisterous, fun-loving man. He loved liquor and off-color jokes. A more loyal friend you will never meet. Although he left suddenly, those of us who knew him know he would not have wanted it any other way. He was not the sort to have lingered with an illness or the slow death that comes at the end of a really long life.
The sudden loss of a loved one serves as a poignant and useful reminder that our time here is not indefinite. It gives us an opportunity to take stock of how we are living this precious life, this gift, we have been given.
It is an opportunity to reflect and ask ourselves “Am I spending my precious time with the people I love, doing what I love? Am I making my life count for something? Living up to my full potential and going for MY dreams? (I wrote about that last time, if you missed it, you can read it here)
Or… are you simply passing time? Tolerating your life’s circumstances, or waiting for someone to give you permission to really start living your life?
I learned the lesson that life can be short, and unpredictable, very early in life when I lost my sister in a car accident at 19. That shaped my determination to create a life (and business) that I love to wake up to every day.
A few years ago, I was asked to make a list of the things I was tolerating in my life by a coach I was working with. It was an insightful exercise. The list was long, but what was even more interesting were the rationalizations and excuses I was using to justify the things I was tolerating!
“I can’t afford that!”
“It’s too expensive”
“I don’t have the time”
“It would upset ________” (spouse, boss, child, parent, friend)
“I have to wait until_________” (the kids are grown, my husband gets a job, I make enough money, next month/year)
It’s incredible how the little things you are tolerating – which by themselves seem like no big deal – add up and drain your energy, lower your productivity and steal your joy! They tend to slow us down, hold us back and create an underlying drag on the system – and your life
The things you are tolerating are what’s standing between you and your joyful success!
Here are a few of the things on my list the first time I did this exercise:
- A job I didn’t love (but I tolerated because it was close to home and paid good money)
- Clothes that did not represent my true style (do you immediately go to the sale rack in certain high end stores because you assume you can’t afford anything at regular price?)
- Doing everything myself in my business (because I told myself I couldn’t afford the help – plus that made me smart and efficient right?! Lol! )
- A computer that’s slow because “hey, it still works!” (Ugh!)
- Less than stellar performance from an employee because “it’s such a hassle to find and train someone else and besides they’re a really nice person AND they do some things really well”
What are you tolerating? Make a list and start to do something about them – one at a time.
Do you settle for what you think you can get instead of going after what you really want?
Are you constantly sacrificing your needs or wants so others can have?
This precious life you have is all you’ve got, make the most of it, before it’s too late.
Slide into home plate at the end of your life knowing you have been true to yourself, you’ve lived fully and made the most of every opportunity!
Uncle Robbie wasn’t “perfect”. He pissed a lot of people off in his lifetime. 🙂 He lived life on his terms. He made some mis-takes and learned from them and was not afraid to admit he had faults. He was never afraid to speak his mind. We will remember him with love and always with a smile!
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