I have a very dear friend from college and we have stayed in touch since that time.
I live vicariously through her, because while I am married and raising a daughter, she’s living it up as a single gal and experiencing adventures no one but her could experience (which has always been true, even in college).
I always look forward to talking with her; she never lets me down with her stories from a date or… a Thursday.
I often tell her she needs to write a book on her stories. It would be a best-seller, I’m convinced.
Anyway, there is a lot to love about my friend, but two of my most favorite things about her are her spontaneity and living her life with very little regret. She is the embodiment of “live the life you love, love the life you live.” I sincerely admire her for that because I don’t think enough people take advantage of the time they’ve been given on this earth.
I know it’s said a lot (particularly when it comes to kids), but life really does start to speed up after a certain point in time. For me, it was after I graduated college. It seems like not long ago I was walking across the stage getting my diploma and now, a short eight years later, I have a career, a mortgage and a baby.
Stephen and I got married a year after we graduated college and we had an unwritten list of items we wanted to check off before really settling down with a family. Some of the more important ones were: complete graduate school, take a vacation every year (with the last pre-baby vacation being the best and most favorite – a cruise to the Caribbean), and buying a grown-up car – the SUV.
Though some made fun of us for our list, it was our way of making sure we did everything we wanted to while we could be selfish with our time. When we made the choice to have kids, we wanted to be 100 percent invested in raising them and not wishing we would have done something more.
We checked every item off our list and when we made the decision to have a baby, knowing we checked those items off helped us feel even more ready; our life as the two of us felt complete and ready to add a third. I can honestly say I don’t have anything I wish we would have done.
I know checking everything off a list is not in the cards for some, but no matter what order you choose to live your life, don’t live it in such a way that when you get to the end, you wonder what you did with all your time.
It is often said the greatest gift we can be given is the gift of time. Unfortunately, this usually comes up when we face the death of a loved one or, more specifically, someone who has not had the chance to live a full life.
Living your life to the fullest doesn’t have to mean traveling the world. It doesn’t even have to mean traveling down the street. Just be satisfied with how you are choosing to spend your time.
I think we should all have a bucket list. This year and next, several of my friends and I are turning 30 and creating “30 before 30” or “30 when 30” lists. There are items on these lists not even close to taking a big vacation; some of them are as simple as trying different cuisine or running a marathon.
Whatever your choices are – living the single life, having kids, traveling the country in an RV – it doesn’t matter as long as you are happy, fulfilled and can look back knowing you enjoyed every minute you were given in this life.