“After I __________, I’ll ____________.”
Fill in the blanks.
“After I get married, we’ll buy a house.”
“After I retire, I’m going to travel.”
We’ve all done it. But tomorrow is not guaranteed.
My brother-in-law, John, taught me not to wait to fulfill my dreams. John worked out almost every day and had a very physical job. He was one of the healthiest people I knew. Then the headaches started. Like most guys, he didn’t like to visit the doctor, but my sister insisted. The doctor put him on headache medication.
When medication didn’t solve the problem, he went back. The diagnosis? Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer. John was 48 when he was diagnosed and died about 18 months later. That’s when my philosophy changed. I kept putting things I dreamed of doing off until….whatever. That was about 10 years ago. The following year, I traveled to Africa.
The time to live life is now. That doesn’t mean I don’t take care of paying my bills or saving for retirement. It means that if my dream is to travel, I begin going to places I can reasonably afford. The next city, the next state, the next country.
A lot has changed in the last 10 years. My sister is remarried to a wonderful man. John’s grandsons, who he never met, are playing basketball and will soon attend middle school. I’ve traveled to a number of countries and visited several continents, including Antarctica.
I think of him often. John changed my life in a number of ways, but most importantly, inspired me not to put off living my life. I miss you, John.
Are there dreams you are putting off until you can fill in the blanks? In some small way, can you take a few steps forward?