I have a large family. There are nine brothers and sisters on my dad’s side and ten on my mom’s side. Our family reunions are huge. The older I get, the older they all get. Sooner or later age kicks in and the dominoes start fall. Around the time I hit forty, I noticed the dominoes lining up.
I won’t spend much time on this topic, so bear with me. Combining both sides of the family, we have averaged two funerals a year the past six years. A couple of weeks ago, I attended the funeral of an aunt on my dad’s side. She had made it to ninety and passed due to natural causes. Her death was a loss, but due to her age we were able to celebrate her life.
Regardless of the cause of death, or how impactful the loss, you will always find people reflecting on their own life. They are eager to share those reflections with anyone who will listen. The older portion of the crowd will seek out anyone younger than them. They are passionate about sharing their life experiences, both good and bad. They will do their best to convince you to make changes to your life that they wish they would have made earlier in their life.
We can extend this behavior beyond the sad times and look at normal family gatherings. Family reunions, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are among my favorites for this type of discussion. I have an Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is in his late seventies and retired early in his late fifties. He has fished nearly every single day since he retired. He has been the happiest person I have known for the last twenty years. Last year, he ended up with severe dehydration and had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. He, and most of us, were not sure he was going to make it, until we received the diagnosis. My dad sat by his hospital bed until he re-hydrated and returned to normal. At one point, Uncle Bob told my dad, “If they tell you I will never be able to fish again, you go ahead and pull the plug and let me go on to heaven.” Uncle Bob had it figured out.
I went through that to show you how often I have had the pleasure of receiving sound advice from someone older than me. I want to share that advice with you.
Of all those conversations, I never once had someone say they wished they had spent more time at work. I never heard someone say they spent too much time with family or friends. I never heard anyone say they traveled too much or spent too much time on a hobby that brought them joy.
Have you taken a close look at your life?
Have you figured out what’s missing or what you should remove?
If you need some help getting started, I recommend you find what you can remove first. The more you remove the more room you have for what’s missing. When I started this process, I was shocked at the items I could easily remove from my life that were not helping me acquire what’s missing.
Making positive changes to your life can be a long journey. Those changes should be well thought out and planned. The most important thing you can do is start now.
We aren’t getting any younger. What are you waiting on?