Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Are We Waiting For?

Today's guest post was written by Lisa from Lisa's Yarns.

“Often people attempt to live their lives backward; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” ~ Margaret Young

This was the quote on my page-a-day calendar earlier this month; I have been mulling over it since reading it. I think many of us are guilty of this – at least I know I am. It seems like we are always living for ‘someday’.

Someday, I will rent a flat in the Marais district of Paris for a week.

Someday, I will buy new furniture – but not until I have moved out of my condo and into a house.

Someday, I will figure out which job would maximize my strengths and not keep me up at night, stressing.

The list could go on and on. There is nothing wrong with these lofty someday goals – so long as we don’t wake up at 30 or 50 or 70 and find that we haven’t accomplished them – or at least made an effort to accomplish them.

I fear that by the time I am in the position to take that trip to Paris, my lifestyle will no longer accommodate it. Maybe I will have a couple of kids at home or I will be caring for a sick parent.

When I look back in 20 years, will I still be glad that I set aside so much in savings or will I wish I had splurged and sent myself on the trip of a lifetime?

This excerpt from a forward I recently received has me thinking I won’t regret taking that trip…

“Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round?
Or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butter fly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask, 'How are you?'
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed?
With the next hundred chores running through your head?
Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.'
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die?
Just call to say 'Hi?

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away...
Life is not a race. Take it slower.
Hear the music before the song is over.”

What are you doing to make sure you “hear the music before the song is over”?


Amber said...

I LOVED this post, Lisa! It's really making me think because I've been having the same feelings lately as well.

I think I'm incredibly lucky that in a few months I will have a clean slate. I will be starting my first full-time job in the real-world, I'll finally have money. I don't want to get too set in my ways or too wrapped up in the idea of someday. I want to enjoy the moment and the time NOW!

And I think you should definitely take that Paris trip if you have the means too right now. I would never tell someone to go into debt for something like that but if you have the money saved up then why not. You worked hard for it and YOU DESERVE IT!


Anonymous said...

Well right now I'm trying to focus on each day and not worry about tomorrow or the weekend.

I'm focusing on saving up my money so I can buy a townhouse/home in 2011 and be able to furnish it, decorate it and love it.

I'm planning a trip to Paris/Italy in 2011 with my family, too!

For me, a shake-up in my life reminds me to just go with the flow and also take the bull by the horns and do what I need to do, when I need to do it.

Of course there are other things (like figuring out a way to buy a house in the Hamptons) that will take a bit more time, but I will get there.

Manderz said...

Loved this post; it really made me think. I definitely struggle with this. Sometimes I want so desperately to live in the moment that I don't save for something bigger and better. Other times, I put everything off because the right moment hasn't arrived. Finding the balance is difficult - but totally worth the effort.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Writing this post was so good for me - it made me think about how I will get to that 'someday'.

And now I seriously starting to think about how i can make a trip to Paris work. Part of me feels guilty as I feel like I should be saving up for a house, but the other part of me thinks I will regret not taking a trip like this now....

Thanks for letting me guest post for you! :)