I sit here in Nashville on this rainy day to share with you some of my thoughts that have been circling around in my mind. A few weeks ago I went away to my place where I like to go to escape, Sewanee, TN. I must admit, this is the place where I can breathe and think. I am able to sort out things in my head and have peace. Sewanee is a place like no other…..
While I was there, I was able to think a lot about things going on with me personally, my children, the organization and the future. I was able to hike and take in all the beautiful things that surround Sewanee. I must admit, some of my thoughts were a bit discouraging yet there was also a ray of hope as I walked on the sidewalk and looked up at the old buildings that are drenched with deep history on The University of the South campus. As I looked at the buildings, that I have seen many times before, I couldn’t help but think of what others thought years ago as they were walking on this same path. Did they too dream of their future? Did they find themselves questioning the direction of their life as well? Did they wonder what was the next step to take personally and professionally? Did they wonder if they would let people down if they chose a different path in life? Did they want a chance to have a “do-over” in their life? I am sure all these questions raced through their minds as well.
As I was leaving Sewanee, I stopped at a little store that I had longed to go to many times while visiting the area and never did. This was my chance to stop in and not miss the opportunity to see this little store. I looked around and bought a few items. While checking out, I asked a question and the sweet lady said she would have to get back to me on the answer. I handed her my business card and said, “Call me when you find out the answer because I am leaving Sewanee today.” The woman looked at my card and began telling me of someone she knew that had passed away from epilepsy. As I stood there listening to her tell a brief story about this young woman that had died, my heart began to race a bit. My own fear of dying from epilepsy one day, began to creep into my mind. I thought about this young woman and wondered what she had planned for her life…..As I drove away, I was reminded of why I needed to press on with the organization even when things get hard or discouraging. While driving home to Nashville, I began thinking of all the times I could have stopped at that little store and didn’t. Was that store a missed opportunity or was it just the right time to stop on that day? I guess I will never know…….
One thing I know is that I have really thought about other missed opportunities. The things in my life that I have put off, be it because I was busy or thought I needed to focus on others instead of myself or my children or my family. Life is too short to miss opportunities, to miss out on the things that are placed right in front of you, so grab hold and experience them. I am going to grab those opportunities that have been placed in my path and no longer push them to the side.
What opportunities are in front of you?
- Do you have the chance to find love?
- Do you have an opportunity to find a new career?
- Do you have the opportunity to move to a new place?
- Do you have a chance to write a book?
- Do you have an opportunity to dance in the rain with your children?
- Do you have an opportunity to live your life to the fullest without being held back?
- Do you have the chance to give one more kiss or hug to the ones you love?
- Do you have the opportunity to turn off the electronics and soak up meaningful time with the one you love?
- Do you have the chance to get one more photo together?
- Do you have to the chance to dream your dreams and live them?
- Do you have a chance to stand up for others?
- Do you have the opportunities to speak for the ones that can’t speak?
I know I have the opportunity and I am going to take the opportunity! CARPE DIEM, MY FRIEND, CARPE DIEM! Make sure you share with us about your opportunities! I look forward to seeing all the opportunities that you seize for the next year, 6 years, 16 years, 26 years and beyond!