The other day I came across a flyer for a concert by an artist I loved many years ago and would love to experience live. I checked the date and location and it seemed like it would work out for me to go. Better yet, the tickets were within my price range.
My first impulse in situations like this is to say, “I should talk with my husband and see if he’s interested,” or “That’s so far away, I’m not sure if I’ll feel like going that day,” or “I should definitely look at this later.” The problem is, I forget to talk with him, I convince myself it’s not worth going, and later never comes.
As I was looking at the tickets, triple checking the dates (#obsessive), I was reminded of something my dad taught me.
I had failed an assignment in school. My dad was very disappointed in me and I was upset. We went for a walk. He asked me if I wanted to do better. Of course I did! He asked me if I would try harder. Of course I would!
Then he challenged me: “When? When are you going to start?”
I answered, to the best of my ability and with utmost confidence that this was the correct answer, “Tomorrow.”
He said, “No, that’s not good enough. When are you going to start?”
“Today?” I sheepishly answered, unsure what he was getting at.
“No. Right NOW.” He said. There is no tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. If you want to make a change or try harder, start right now.
In a bout of spontaneity and tribute to my dad, I bought the tickets.
So often we put off til tomorrow what can be done today. Going to the gym, washing the dishes, folding the laundry – routine chores or mundane tasks.
But we also put off the bigger things, the harder things – like apologizing for something we did wrong; making amends with a friend or reconciling with a family member; taking care of our health (mental or physical).
We think that there will be time tomorrow, or next week; that there will be an opportunity to do those things later.
A former youth leader of mine friend requested me on facebook back in the fall. I remembered her fondly so I accepted. She commented or liked a few of my pictures and statuses, and I hers. I thought about reaching out to her to hang out for a cup of coffee but just…put it off, thinking that later would come. It never did. She passed away unexpectedly.
What are you putting off until “tomorrow?” Who might you be avoiding talking to or reconciling with because it may be uncomfortable or awkward? What healthy habits do you wish to cultivate that you have been postponing until later?
Buy the concert ticket now.
Call your friend and make up now.
Reconcile with your family members now.
Catch up with someone over coffee now.
Write a card to someone letting them know you are thinking about them now.
Write the book now.
Get the tattoo now.
Lay in your hammock now.
Take care of yourself now.
Enjoy life now.