Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do,” said Mark Twain. “So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Like so many, I feel that I’ve lived much of my life as a ‘dress rehearsal’, unaware of or perhaps just ignoring the slow but relentless ticking of the clock, always believing that time was in abundant supply and that I’d start to live my dreams once I’d achieved, bought, organised or planned a myriad of things.
Over the last decades, I have occasionally stopped paddling in life’s shallows and launched myself headlong into the torrents of the main stream. But, despite these brief sojourns into life’s wild side, my existence has been mostly comfortable, sedate, safe and dare I admit it, a little dull!
So, when a few months ago, the love of my life announced to me that he had decided to retire at the end of the year, it was a huge wake-up call. The gorgeous young man I married was retiring? How was that possible? I realise that time has passed, but so much time? How? When did we grow so old? This was my call to action!
So, I did what any good wife would do. I began a countdown … of jelly beans. I filled a glass jar with one of these sweet treats for each remaining day until he retired, 346 at the time and he has been religiously consuming one each day on his return from the office. I’ve become so used to his gleeful cry of “Jelly bean time!”, that I barely hear it now.
As I write this today, there are a mere 38 jelly beans in the jar.
I have realised that life is short, our time here is limited and that it’s time to abandon rehearsals and start the live performance. So, in the words of Mark Twain, let’s “throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” I intend to!