If I had to name one activity that my daughters enjoyed doing most in 2011, it would be sliding down the hill behind our house.
My children slid down the hill for the first time in February 2011 and haven’t let up for the past 11 months.
Sometimes they spend hours at a time, just sliding down and running back up, a perfect balance of delight and exertion.
The number of times these two sisters have gone down the hill must be in the hundreds, which leads me to believe that each trip down is a unique experience in itself. And each trip contains an element of excitement because they never quite know where they might end up.
And I have just one thing to say about their favorite activity of 2011:
Thank God they didn’t wait for snow to slide down that hill.
Because they never would have gone down.
My children would have missed the chirping of the crickets that surrounded them while they slid down the hill on warm summer nights.
They would have missed the chilly autumn breeze that invigorated their souls as they coasted down the leaf littered terrain.
They would have missed the joy that comes in creating grass stains on their pants, permanent springtime reminders that getting dirty is the best kind of fun.
They would have missed delightful hours of playing in chilly winter air creating puffs of warm breath when they laughed.
They didn’t wait for it to snow to slide down that hill; they just pushed off.
I thought of my disheveled, hill-sliding children when I saw this powerful quote by Karen Lamb:
It is one of those sentences that requires me to read it several times before I grasp the full meaning.
And from the moment I “got” it, I have felt compelled to share it with you, my faithful companions on this journey to grasp what matters.
How often do we put off our dreams until the perfect time?
How often do we ignore that little voice in our head that keeps urging us to pursue what we were born to do?
How often do we put off our ambitions “until”?
Or put time limitations on our dreams …
When I am not so busy
When I lose 15 pounds
When I have more time
When I get my personal issues sorted out
When things slow down at work
And then suddenly, another year has gone by and we still haven’t started what our heart longs to do.
You’ve heard me say that the cost of distraction is mighty high.
It can cost us our relationships.
But it can also cost us our dreams.
Given this poignant fact, the first message of 2012 from the Hands Free Mama is simple. And it goes like this:
Don’t Wait …
Don’t wait to fill that notebook.
There’s a story to be written. And it starts with one word.
Don’t wait to put on those running shoes.
There’s an open pathway to a healthier life. And it starts with one mile.
Don’t wait to grab the paintbrush.
There’s a masterpiece waiting to be created. And it starts with one stroke.
Don’t wait to open that book.
There’s a discovery to be made. And it starts with one page.
Don’t wait to shed that heavy cloak of self-deprecation.
There’s a beautiful you waiting to emerge. And it starts with “I am worthy.”
Don’t wait to simplify your life.
There’s excess to be purged. And it starts with the word NO.
Don’t wait to go where you have always yearned to go.
There’s a journey to discover. And it starts with the word YES.
Don’t wait to live the life that’s meant for you.
There’s a greater purpose to be found. And it starts with one step.
I hope something on the “Don’t Wait” resonates with you today. I speak from experience when I tell you that the day you start doing something your heart has been calling you to do is the day life truly begins.
One year ago, I wrote the first words to the book I had been yearning to write for five years, but had always put off because I never had “time.”
My first step looked like this:
And now here I am, 122,400 words and a 58-page book proposal later …
How did I do it?
I said NO to the daily distractions that sabotaged the time and energy required to carry out my dream.
For once in my life, I put my dream on the priority list and dedicated ample time and effort to it each and every single day.
Did I ever have moments of uncertainty? Moments of frustration? Did I ever find myself doubting if I could actually do this?
Yes. Yes. Yes. But I quickly identified the negative inner dialogue as a distraction that I did not have time for and forged ahead.
It is impossible to put into words the feeling I had when the last page of my book proposal came out of the printer.
To know I created something using every ounce of my heart, soul, and spirt.
And I am certain of one thing:
I had to let go of distraction in order to do it.
I had to stop waiting for the “perfect time” to start.
I just had to push off.
I am simply the messenger on this journey to grasp what matters. And it is by the grace of God that I have this message to give:
Start living your dream.
Say YES to where your heart yearns to go.
Don’t wait until the snow falls to slide down that hill.
Because that snow may never come.
Just push off.
Enjoy the ride.
And see where you might end up.
Who knows where you might be a year from now?
What does that little voice in your head say about how you should be living life?
Where does your heart urge to go?
I suggest you write down or print a picture of your dream. Tape it where you can see it and be reminded of it every single day.
Let your dream be known. Tell the people closest to you: “This is what I am going to do in 2012. A year from now, this is where I will be.”
Here is the image going up on my bathroom mirror today:
This is my daughter reading books at the bookstore. My dream for 2012 is for my children to be able to grab my book off the bookstore shelf.
I am dreaming big, but I might as well. I only live once.
“If you stop dreaming, you stop living.” -Arthur Cohn
What is your dream? Declare it right here and now! I would love to hear your thoughts and aspirations.
The A Year From Now by Hands Free Mama, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.