Do it now!
Do it now!
This quote from the original Terminator movie says a lot about my philosophy of life. Here’s another one from Hugh Laurie (actor from House and many other TV shows and movies):
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
My father has always (at least as long as I’ve known him) been an expert at waiting until he is ready. What that means for him (at the ripe old age of 88) is that he has many regrets. Typical conversations with him often start with, “I have no regrets, but if only ...” And then I get to hear the litany of regrets. The list is not always the same but usually very similar. It includes regrets about career and relationships (missed opportunities, mostly), not learning skills such as the flute or golf (“If only I’d stuck with it.”), not giving talks or classes at his church, not getting regular exercise (“I’d be in much better shape.”), not travelling (“I would love to go to England again, but I’m too old now.”), etc.
I’ve worked hard to do things that are important to me, such as ending my first marriage (which was making both of us unhappy), changing careers from tech to therapy, and leaving Silicon Valley (it only took me 30 years). Yet I still find myself delaying on some things like self-care (getting a massage, going on a long vacation, doing regular mental hygiene such as meditation, etc.). I tell myself things like, “When ____ is done, then I’ll have time for _______.” Unfortunately, that ____ is rarely done and when it is, I come up with another reason for delaying.
Those important things like “putting on your oxygen mask” always seem to fall down the list to somewhere after “assisting others.”
My recommendation: Do it now! Whether that means scheduling “me time” into your day, taking a night every week to meet with a book group or bridge club, having date night with your partner, getting a massage, going to the gym, or even going back to school. You don’t want to wake up in 30 or 50 years with the If Only’s.