There’s a quote by author Jack Kornfield that I’ve always loved where he says, “the trouble is, you think you have time.” I first discovered the quote in high school and was so enamored that I taped it to my bedroom wall for good measure. That said, the quote always confused me a bit. I was a frantic, stressed out teenager. I knew I didn’t have time. By the time I had left cross country practice and piano lessons and babysitting, I was rushing to get my AP class work done before midnight. My alarm clock would be ringing at 5:30 the next morning whether I was ready or not.
It wasn’t until years later that I stumbled upon the quote once more, only this time, it felt very different. It seemed like ages ago that I had jotted that quote on the back of an index card and taped it to my wall. I thought back to who I was at 15, sprawled on my bedroom floor desperately trying to understand algebra and using the crutch of my quote wall for late night inspiration. Not even a decade later, and still that moment of time feels like a far off world.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about time and how we spend it – about how every year I seem to come to the same shocking relationship about December (how did we get here so quickly)! Then I remember Jack Kornfield’s words. You think you have time.
Perhaps he’s more right than high-school Liz realized. I do think I have time. I have plenty of time to do all the wonderful adventures I’ve planned and read all the books on my ever expanding list. I have time to get to know this person or to make an impact in my community. I’ll get there eventually. There’s time. Right?
But what if there isn’t? There’s another over used mantra about living each day like it was your last on Earth. Of course, this isn’t really realistic. Nobody would spend their last day on Earth doing laundry and well, I need clean socks at some point. All of this is to say that if you want something, do it now… which brings me to my annual New Year’s reflections where I give myself 2 minutes or less to type out my stream of consciousness aspirations for the calendar switch. And… begin!
Maybe start going by Elizabeth.
Be aware of the way each day passes. Those days become weeks that turn to months and years. Don’t lose a year to things that don’t make you happy. Don’t lose yourself in that process.
If you say you want to be a writer, then be a writer. There is nothing stopping you from submitting a manuscript. Stop talking about it. Do it.
Be the kindest person you can be.
Thank God every day that you have legs to carry you through long runs and a heart that doesn’t know the definition of giving up.
Remember all those who have left. Honor their memory in word and in action.
Greet everybody you meet with a hug.
Watch lots of movies. Read lots of books. Explore lots of parks.
Cross at least one thing off your bucket list every month.
Revise the bucket list.
Never be too busy for a dinner date.
Never be too busy for a work out.
Never be too busy to call a friend.
Never be too busy to sit in silence.
Learn to sit in silence.
Educate yourself. Advocate. Find things worth believing in. Never stop seeking knowledge.
Be intentional. Don’t do things just to do things, but do things because they matter to you. Because they challenge you.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you. Who inspire you. Who make you better every single day just by being who they are.
Jump into something head first and don’t look back. Work hard and never doubt that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.
Set your mind to something.
Roller blade. A lot.
Do things that aren’t on brand. Switch up your routine. Pull an all-nighter for no reason. Sleep til noon at least once. Okay, sleep until 10 am at least once.
Dance. Almost as often as you roller blade.
Don’t try to just “get through the week” or “make it to the next vacation.” Be present in every single moment. Stop wishing away time. Stop waiting for something spectacular. Make every day spectacular. Wake up each morning with the promise of an untouched day. See how beautiful you can make the canvas.
Most of all – love.
Thank you to everyone who made 2017 amazing. I can’t wait to see what happens next.