If you know me at all, then you know just how passionate I am about going after your dreams, NOW. Today. Not tomorrow, or next week or “someday.”
And of course, it’s easy for me to say someday may never come (and I’ve said just that in previous posts) but it’s also very easy for it to go in one ear and out the other, so to speak.
Easy for you to say, “Yeah, yeah, I know…I’ve heard it all before, but I’m young, or I’m healthy, or I’m ‘fill in the blank’ and I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll get to it…eventually…someday.”
So, instead of simply telling you yet again that someday may never come, I’m going to tell you a story instead.
Once upon a time…
…there was a strapping, healthy, active young man who loved life and lived it to its fullest. He worked hard and played harder.
He loved the outdoors and loved to go camping, fishing, hiking, spelunking, and rock climbing. He enjoyed cooking and dancing with his sweetheart, playing competitive pool, riding his motorcycle, surfing, deep sea fishing, and sky-diving.
He regularly spent time volunteering, revitilizing school playgrounds and parks, and he was studying Fire Science to become a firefighter.
He was barely 22. He was young, healthy and strong. He had his whole life ahead of him. A world of possibilities lay before him…
Until one fateful day, when, in one brief moment, everything changed. He blinked too long, fell asleep for the barest of moments, while driving on the freeway.
He no longer works, or volunteers. He’ll never rock climb or ride a motorcycle or sky-dive again. He can’t salsa dance with his sweetheart, or play pool, or surf or deep sea fish. And he won’t become a firefighter after all.
The accident that day broke his back. He fractured one vertebra and broke another. Several discs are damaged, bulging and herniated. The damage to his lower back is so significant that he can no longer bend over without excruciating pain and he can’t stand, sit, walk or lie down for extended periods.
He is in constant, unrelenting pain.
This story isn’t just a bad fairytale. I didn’t simply forget the happily-ever-after fairytale ending. This story isn’t a fairytale at all.
The young man in this story is my son.
The accident happened just three weeks after his 22nd birthday. Nearly three years ago. It was one of those momentous events that literally and dramatically altered the course of his life.
The vision he’d held of his future…of someday…was the fairytale. Gone in an instant.
When he first bought his motorcycle, I was beyond terrified, but I supported his choice and I’m so glad that I did, because…terrified as I was that day (and even more so the day he laid it down), I’m now equally grateful that he went after that dream. That he didn’t put it off until a “someday” that would never come.
It’s a toss up whether the bike instilled more fear in me or the sky-diving did, but as with the bike…I’m so very glad he went sky-diving when he did. That he had that experience. An experience he describes as one of the most amazing of his life.
Had he put it off until “someday,” he might have missed out entirely because sky-diving is no longer an option.
Most of the activities he was so passionate about he can no longer do. He can’t lift, or stretch to reach, or bend or twist, and so the simplest of household tasks and even personal tasks, like showering and dressing and putting his own shoes on are difficult and painful.
Things you and I take for granted, are a struggle for him. My once healthy, active son now walks with a cane. And although he rarely complains, the pain of the past three years is etched into his face.
Just last week I accompanied him to the most recent doctor appointment, where we were told that not only is his injury not going to improve, it’s going to get worse. The injury and instability in his lumbar spine are causing near-constant irritation of the nerves and will accelerate the degeneration that’s already begun.
Traditional medicine, for all it’s advances, cannot help him. The only thing that might, is a very expensive and experimental procedure.
His hopes and dreams now center, not on exciting adventures or wild new experiences, but on perhaps, someday…being free of pain. Being able to sleep through the night again, or dance with his honey, or hold a job doing work he finds meaningful. Being able, one day, when he has children, to pick them up, to run and play with them.
I don’t tell you any of this to elicit your sympathy. My son is an amazing young man, and while this is hands-down the most difficult thing he’s ever faced, he’s facing it with strength and courage and (most of the time) a really positive attitude.
He misses a lot of his old activities but he’s also developed a few new ones…he learned to make his own fishing lures (he still goes lake fishing with a friend every once in awhile) and he can crochet a mean blanket. ; )
My Heartfelt Plea to You
It’s my hope that sharing this personal story will have a greater impact than simply speaking hypothetically. That it might touch you in a way that will make you more open to my heartfelt plea…
Please, please, please…I’m begging you…whatever it is that you dream of…don’t wait for a fairytale someday that may never come. Go after it NOW.
Forget the New Year’s Resolutions this year. Instead, make a list of all that you long to do, or be, or experience, and then pick one. Just one. Identify the first small step you can take to move you toward it and do it. Do it now. Take that step, go after that dream, now, while you can.
Someday is a fairytale. It isn’t real. Someday lulls you into a false sense of security. It convinces you there will always be more time, later, when the reality is… there are no guarantees.
“Someday is a dream killer. It will kill your dreams in a heartbeat if you let it.”
~ Sandi Amorim
Please, if you go into the new year with nothing else…go into it with the determination not to let a fairytale “someday” kill your dreams.
Go into the new year determined that this year, this day, this moment…you WILL go after your dreams. No more waiting, no more excuses or rationalizations.
You will never regret going after a dream, but if you allow someday to kill your dreams…that you may well regret one day.
This. Is. It. This is your life. Live it boldy, fully, no-holds barred, no room for regrets.
With much love and heartfelt wishes for a wonderful, dream-filled New Year…