With increasingly regularity these days I am reminded that life is short, that we should fill it with as many moments of happiness, love, and memories as we can.
Which sounds like a massive cliche, especially when everyone is talking about ten year challenges and new year resolutions and what not.
Normally it takes a negative event for thoughts like this to happen, to commit to seeing friends more, or to start making ourselves happy more, or to do that thing we’ve been putting off for ages.
We KNOW that life is short but we allow ourselves to get sucked into the mundane quite quickly after telling ourselves that ‘this is going to be the start of something new’.
A few years ago I was texting someone who asked me something about my life that I don’t actually remember now. But, I remember what I said – I just really don’t want to get to 90 and realise I lived a boring life.
I lived by that for a bit. I ran 30 races in a year to raise money for charity. I took my kids to Switzerland and London and spent a year saying yes to everything. I had some of the worst first dates that anyone has ever had, and refuse to do anything but take the piss out of myself for it. I started writing my book, because someone told me that I had enough of a story that people would read it. Started, note that. I did so much stuff, that wasn’t boring, that was so me.
But along the way I drifted off, I boxed myself up and I became less me. I used to think this happened whenever I met someone and got involved. Which actually it did, but I assumed that was ok. I got into relationships that just dulled me down.
I planned a 10 week solo adventure with my kids once. 10 weeks, 10 countries, four back packs and a shit load of courage.
We didn’t go. I met someone, decided it was ‘too’ much. I decided that in order to live it was better to moderate who I was.
But life is really short.
Too short to be worried about being ‘too’ anything.
Recently, I had a hugely profound sense of clarity. I woke up one day and realised I wasn’t being myself.
At just about the end of 2019 I set my fire to my life. I took control back and decided that the book I stopped writing in 2017 needs finished. Literally and metaphorically.
Throughout life you will go places and see new things, you will do things that you will remember forever, things you never imagined to ever be possible. But at the heart of it are the people that you do these things with. Hold on to these people. They might not stay in your life very long, they might stay in your life forever. But regardless, they will leave imprints on your heart that will last long after the adventure has ended.
Your people are everything.
Your year can start whenever you want it to.
But whenever it starts, make sure the people you’re taking with you are the ones that you don’t to box yourself up for.
Because life is short. Too short to not be ‘too’ you.
So be yourself. And as a wise man once said – be yourself as hard as you can be.