If Not Now, Then When?

“Family means too much, friends are too valuable, and life is too short, to put-off sharing with people, how much they really mean to you, and pursuing whatever it is that makes you happy.” – Anonymous

I woke up this morning and headed to the gym.  While there I decided to check my Facebook page on my phone when I came across some upsetting news.  A friend from high school, Randy, passed away yesterday of a stroke.  He was my age, 38, and just had a newborn son just 3 weeks old and a two year old daughter.  I was shocked by the news and upset.  We graduated the same year and played on the water polo team together.  Like so many do, we drifted apart after high school but through Facebook, I was able to see his life and all his blessings.

Occasionally I log into Facebook and I see people I went to school with, and honestly, I admit I sometimes envy the lives that some of my friends have built for themselves.  They have beautiful families and a successful and most important they are surrounded by friends and family who love them.  I sometimes feel a little jealous, I’m ashamed to say.  Randy was one of those people.  He was someone I always admired.  He was smart, handsome, and a really good guy.  In high school I wished I was more like him and more recent I saw his life unfold online, and wished I had more of what he did.  When his baby was born just three weeks ago I was really happy for him.  He had the perfect family, I thought.  In a flash it’s over and we can only wonder, why?  He leaves behind a wife and two kids and I’m so sad for his family and can’t stop thinking about what a huge part he played in my life.

Why is it that only when tragedy strikes that we start thinking how precious life is?  I’m 38 years old, Ph.D. and not always smart enough to realize how short and precious life is.  I pass the time thinking there’s always tomorrow.  We all have those plans: I’ll get to it on Monday.  I’ll start next week.  I can wait till next month or next year.  And the time passes and we wonder where it went.  I’ve wait for the perfect conditions to live… to really live.  Since no time is ever perfect, I’ve let my time pass wasted.  I’m 38, single, and my business is struggling.  Instead of going out and changing my life, I waste the day checking on Facebook and envying the lives of people I know.  While I’m happy for them, tragedy reminds me I need to be happier for me.

I started this blog recently with that intention to be more mindful of how GREAT my LIFE is… Life is short, this I know, and I’m reminded sadly at the passing of my friend.  I don’t know how long I have left… nobody knows.  But I can be grateful for today… I can take some steps toward a GREAT LIFE.

If not now then when? Seriously, when?  There is no tomorrow… I don’t have another Monday or next month or next year… nobody does.  I only have today.  Will I live it like it were my last?  Will the people I love know how much I love them?  Will I stop being afraid and start living my life like I could die any day now?  Most days I’m very happy and optimistic.  I love my GREAT LIFE and I’m committed to it every day.  But will I leave this life in envy of the lives others lived or will I leave it having others envied me… or will I leave this life an inspiration that we can all live a GREAT LIFE one day at a time?  God I pray, may I have the courage to inspire others by letting go of shame, envy, and fear and move with purpose toward a GREAT LIFE?

Rest in peace, Randy.  I pray for your family and I pray Gods plan is bigger and better than we can imagine.