Living A Life You Love

by Linda Daniels

My father and I decided to take the two and a half hour drive down to the Monterey Peninsula coast in California to spend time with my sister over the long Memorial weekend. The three of us spent the weekend sharing, laughing, having fun, eating home cooked meals and watching old movies.  We laughed until our sides hurt … it was … the good old days.

Near the end of the following week I received a surprise phone call from my sister. My Dad’s appendix had burst and he was in the emergency room. He was never to recover. Several months later he died.

My father’s death and his passing made me sit up and pay attention. I took comfort in the fact that my father had often told me that he had lived a good life and had lived his dreams. I felt peace that my dad knew I loved him and I knew he loved me. But, his unexpected death, underscored for me the fact that none of us know what day (s) will be our last. We have only so much time and we don’t know whether that will be 50 years, 10 years, a lot more or a lot less.

The inconvenient truth is that our time is a real commodity. It’s a resource with a very finite supply. We can spend the “coin” anyway we want, but we can only spend it once.

I promised myself I would dedicate myself to living my life to the fullest.

I thought about what I might regret in the future and if there were different actions I could take today. I wondered, “Am I living a life I love?” Am I having fun or am I letting opportunities slip away I’ll later regret?  Losing my father, as close as we were, became a wake up call for me to the fact that we’re here to live before we die.

I made some changes in my life. Facing a loved ones or one’s own mortality has a way of aligning your values, and bringing forward your true desires, as everything else in the end is secondary.

I stopped working so hard at work and started having more fun. I took a new look at the things I loved and began looking for the opportunities and people that best led me in that direction. In short, I began checking my heart to find my path, trusting that my dreams, my end desires … would find the best means.

My father’s death sparked a shift in my consciousness. At the end of your life I concluded, you undoubtedly have one of two thoughts, either,” I wish I had” or “I’m glad I did”. You’ll either wish you’d given yourself a chance or are glad you did (even if things didn’t turn out all you hoped they would).

If you have more, “I’m glad I dids” than “I wish I would haves”, you will most probably have lived a good life.

A favorite “life quote” of mine is a little long, but worth reading:

“As we grow up we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You’ll have your heart broken and you’ll break others’ hearts. You’ll fight with your best friend.

You’ll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt.

Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts.

Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.” Unknown.