Stop Being Still. Start Moving! (5YTL)

Red RunA few years ago, I had stepped out onto the back porch to realize that there were some baby raccoons out there that had been feasting in the bowl of dog food we used to keep outside.  When I stepped outside, they had climbed the screened windows and were “hiding” with their heads in the rafters.  Of course, we could see them plainly, but their assumption was that we couldn’t see them as long as they couldn’t see us.

I like to take time in the morning to read my daily devotional, meditate for a while, and enjoy the quiet and stillness that belongs exclusively to the morning (I also do some of my most productive writing in the early morning).

Beyond the morning, my days are seldom still.  There exists a belief in many scenarios that stillness equals safety.  If your insurance company had their way, you’d be still far more often than moving (except your health insurance company, that is).  The truth is that there’s little reward without risk.  We have to “live a little” in order to live a lot.  We have to stick our necks out to stretch ourselves and find out what we’re really capable of doing.

I talked with a friend today about how she used to be in a job that she really hated.  She worked in that job for years, unhappily.  Ultimately, she got caught up in a lay-off that forced her out of her proverbial nest and into new adventures.  Today, she’s in a career that is endlessly more satisfying and that exploits her strengths and passions to her betterment and the betterment of the students she now teaches.

Why do we do that?  Why do we hide under the security of the devil we know?  In this season where I’ve found myself, and in the spirit of making different decisions with five years to live, I have to constantly ask myself if I’m doing what I should be doing.  Am I having the impact I want to have, and am I helping others in a way that I want them to remember?

Like those masked bandits, we often assume that stillness equals safety.  The truth is that those little guys were no safer with their heads in the rafters than they were in plain sight.  As it is with our own hiding places.  We can pretend not to see what we should be doing, but in our hearts we know.  We know what we should do better.  We know what actions we need to take to replace complacency with progress.  Something as small as taking a walk is a beginning to combat obesity, depression, writer’s block, and a myriad of other maladies that plague us.

I rode a bike today, and I’m glad I did.  What action will you take TODAY to START MOVING?  Tomorrow Begins Today.

Five Years To Live (5YTL)

5 yearsLater this month, I will celebrate a birthday.  

It has occurred to me lately that my mother celebrated this same birthday five years before she died.  As the truth of that has sunk in over the last few weeks, I began to imagine what my mom might have done differently if she had known that she had five years to live.

So, here I am, not knowing the eventual length of my own life but believing it a good idea to look at my life, my relationships, my contributions, and my legacy in terms of having only five years to live.  The question I pose to myself is the one I have now imposed on my mother.  What will I do differently, knowing that I have only five years to live?” (Tweet that)

In the coming weeks and months, it is my intention to write about the things I’d like to see, feel, and otherwise experience differently with this hypothetical looming deadline ahead of me.  I want to reimagine my responses to life, people, circumstances, and even challenges through new lenses.  In fact, I challenge you to do something similar as well.  Life is short at best, and we certainly have no guarantees of tenure.  Shouldn’t we all look at each day as an opportunity to do something amazing and impactful?

I’m here with the ability to share my thoughts and share my stories with you.  I hope and trust that you will also take advantage of this opportunity to share your stories.  I commit to share any stories with this online community.  Please feel free to share, either publicly or privately, your stories of renewed sense of purpose and how you are living your last five years differently.

“What if you don’t die in five years?” you may ask.  Great!  Then I get to start this project all over again and decide what my next last five years to live will look like!

Anyone care to live my last five years out with me?  Tomorrow Begins Today.

Tomorrow Begins Today