It's what we do between the time we get here and the time we leave. And we only get one shot at it, right? So what stops most of us from making the most of it? From living life to it's fullest extremes and making ourselves happy? We have the ability to make decisions for ourselves and decide how we want to live and what we want to get out of it, so we all need ot start doing it.
I learned a hard lesson this past summer. I may not be here tomorrow. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone knows that. But how many people live their lives that way? I didn't. I lived on the principle that there would always be time to do the things I wanted to do and experience. I assumed that there would always be a tomorrow. Now I realize that there may not be. And because of that lesson, my life has changed and I act in a different manner. I am starting to live my life on my own terms.
I found these 10 rules that seem to me to be a great starting place for living. A few rules, so to speak.
1. Give yourself permission to claim your life.. That's right —Permission. You're the only one who can decide you are in charge of Your life. Even though it feels like you're not supposed to do so, turn off the internal editors, the old tape recordings, the "shoulds, have to's, and musts", and the rules that didn't come from you.
2. Define what living means to you. It's not as hard as it sounds. Just picture yourself at the end of your life looking back. What words would you want to describe how you lived your life and who you are as a person?
3. Stop living in the future. Every time you think "someday" or "when I have time I will," stop. Ask yourself, "Why not now?" Think about this sentence, "I always wanted to, but never did." Start doing the things you always planned to do. Choose your life every morning. Plan one thing you will do that day to feel alive.
4. Surround yourself with people who enjoy living. They've obviously discovered how to have a life and live it. Why not hang with the pros?
5. Lay down your pain and your anger. Carrying them around makes living harder and less fun. It doesn't bring anything, and it steals a lot.
6. Let the losers win. Don't argue about things that you don't care about. Unless there's some real threat, let the folks who have something to prove, prove what they need to. Why waste your living time trying to fix what's wrong with them?
7. Create energy. Jump to forgiveness and love, then figure things out. Most conclusions we jump to are not only wrong, they're negative. Negative conclusions lead us to prepare a defense. Being on the defensive isn't living. It's hiding from life.
8. Learn the physical symptoms of when your head and heart become disconnected. We know when we're having a knee jerk reaction, when we're feeling sorry for ourselves, and when we're being blind to people's feelings. We can remember how it felt physically while we were behaving badly. Get to know those symptoms, and you can stop the behavior. Living life will feel a whole lot safer because you won't be in danger of shooting yourself in the foot.
9. Take small risks that push your boundaries in every way. The joy of life is packed in learning that matches our skill set. When we stretch just a bit intellectually, physically, emotionally, we grow. Living is growing. Even your cells know that.
10. Value and protect the people and the places you care about. A job isn't a life. It's just a part of one. Let the people you care about come first, and let everyone know that you do.
So, this weekend, I am living in the moment and taking life into my own hands. Want to know what I am doing?
I have flown down to Vegas with my kids and my mom to surprise my little sister with a visit before her and her family leaves for Italy for 3 years. She doesn't know me and the kids are coming and is only expecting my mom. My other sister, her daughter and her boyfriend, and her grandaughter will also be there for a visit so we should be having a wonderful time. It's been really hard to keep this from you internet peeps but I just had to keep my mouth shut to save the surprise.
I don't have the extra money for the trip as expenses have been piling up around here. I don't get paid time off work ever. And there are a million and two things that should be done right here at home. However, I am happily referring to rules #3 and #10 above. I may have the opportunity in the future to walk Venice Beach and the see the Hollywood stars with my little sister. I may in a month be able to responsibly afford this trip but I may not be here in a month. And my kids won't see their cousins for at least 3 years as flights overseas are not in any way affordable for my family of four. So now is my chance. Now is our chance to sieze the moment and make the memories that will last us though our entire lives...however long that may be.
(((((This post was pre-written on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 and set to post on the following Saturday because holding this surprise inside was no longer something I could tolerate and I just needed to get it out!!! I promise to bring back adventurous stories and humorous pics from my trip to Nevada/California.)))))