Do you have a dream that you’ve been waiting your whole life to pursue? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time? Have you ever decided to take a leap but then changed your mind out of fear. If you answered yes, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too.
On my About Page, Kairosive Defined, and other posts I shared how I was waiting until I retired to start pursuing all of my interests. For some reason, I thought that you need to spend your whole life working and saving so that you can enjoy someday. One day it occurred to me that someday may never come.
I’ve commented about all of these things that I’ve been waiting for, but I have yet to explain what they are and how I made them happen. Today I want to share what I stopped waiting for. My hope is to offer encouragement to you so that you will start chasing your someday dreams too.
My someday dreams were really simple. I dreamed of volunteering, perhaps helping out at a school, growing a garden, being physically active and just enjoying each day. Of course I want to travel and have lots of adventures, but what I was longing for was balance in every day.
It’s not something that happened overnight. For more than five years we have been setting goals and making changes. We stay pretty busy and have a full schedule, but we’re having a blast. I would love to help you do the same. Here’s what we made happen.
In the spring of 2011, Jer built two 4×16 garden beds. I bought some seeds and tried gardening. Everything grew and I discovered that pulling weeds and playing in the dirt was a great stress reliever. Each year we added more. We buried pots in the ground and moved our herbs into our landscaping. We planted blueberry bushes around the house and added strawberries as ground cover. We added raspberries along the fence line, an apple tree and eventually two more beds.
The lesson is to start small. This helps avoid overwhelm and makes your new habits sustainable.
Hiking and Fitness
My dream was that we’d spend our summers during retirement on the North Shore of Lake Superior. We could spend our mornings hiking the Superior Hiking Trail or kayaking the Lake Superior Water Trail. While the location and the activities have transformed, the theme of physical activity has remained.
I realized that I would have to be much stronger if I wanted to do those things during my golden years. That realization pushed me to incorporate a daily fitness routine that’s been a part of my life for more than six years.
Around the same time, we began a quest to create financial freedom. We cut our spending so that we could funnel everything toward paying off our mortgage. Needing to find cheap activities to fill our time, we started riding our bikes and our obsession with cycling was born.
The lesson is that once we took action our dreams transformed. We wouldn’t be enjoying the life we live today had we not taken those first steps. Start now and be open to all of the changes that comes your way.
Volunteering and Working with Children
As far back as I can recall, I’ve been conscientious and drawn to helping people. I wasn’t born with a trust fund so I also had to find a way to make ends meet.
When I had a “real job” it was nearly impossible to volunteer. I worked for people who believed that all of my time was their time. I was often forced to work 3 weeks straight, 15 hour days, over holidays (as a salaried employee).
I searched for a volunteer opportunity where I could fill in during my free time but nothing panned out. Eventually, I just did it anyway. Jer and I happened upon an opportunity to teach life skills classes to adults struggling with poverty. With my background in writing, speaking and training, it was a perfect fit.
We were able to take on an additional opportunity to work with children when I left the corporate world. One week each quarter we work with families experiencing homelessness. These children are incredible and we’ve gained more than we could ever give.
The lesson is to do it anyway. There will always be someone or something in the way. If it’s important to you, do it. It will all work out.
Reading, Learning and Writing
I always loved school – researching, learning and studying. I longed to spend my mornings on the deck with a cup of coffee and a book. I wanted to share my knowledge and help other people create change in their lives. But as I mentioned earlier, who has the time?
We all have 168 hours each week. The lesson is that we get to choose how we spend that time. If I could only get back all of those hours I wasted watching television, browsing Facebook, and playing solitaire.
If something is important to you, you’ll find the time. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, happiness is a choice. But sometimes we encounter circumstances that seam too heavy to bear. The lesson is that we have more power to change our circumstances that we admit.
Have a terrible boss? He’s not going to change, you need to change your circumstance. Have trouble dealing with a toxic family member? Set firm boundaries and expectations. Tired of being stressed about your finances? Create a plan and begin taking steps to change your circumstances.
We don’t always realize it, but we have the power to change our circumstances. Creating the right circumstances will help us to live happier lives. Lives that we don’t have to wait to start living. The choice is up to you. Stop waiting and take action.
What have you been waiting to do?
Make a commitment and share in the comments below.