You Only Live “Your” Life Once
Over a weekend BBQ I got talking to my partner’s dad about his recent sky diving trip to Prague. He had some spectacular videos to share. He’s the type of person that doesn’t find it easy to sit still and is always encouraging us to go out and do things. In his own words, ‘we’re not getting any younger, go out and live life. Tick those items off your bucket list while you still can.’ In truth, I think he wishes he could share his interests with us, while in turn he doesn’t understand why we enjoy spending so much time indoors. He’s right about living life while we can, I’m just not sure if that has to entail throwing myself out of a plane. I have my own bucket list and my own ideas for what it means to live (I ticked one of them off earlier this year when I walked up Mount Snowdon.)
‘You only live once’ are words we often attribute towards certain activities such as travelling, thrill seeking or spending quality time with friends and family. Only we can’t really quantify what it means to live life to the full because it’s different for everybody. We all have our own dreams to follow and bucket lists to clear. Even if the thing we enjoy most is simple, quiet ‘me time’, we should enable ourselves to have that. For the most part I try to keep an open mind; It’s good to try new things so that we can learn about ourselves and not risk missing out on experiences, but at the same time we all have our limits too. It’s not pleasant trying to push ourselves in ways that make us feel uncomfortable. Not everybody is an outdoors type, thrill seeker or particularly social, but they can still live their own version of a full life.
Too often we make excuses to avoid things, even if it’s something we really want. For example, there are certain projects I’d like to work on but will delay by telling myself that I’m not yet ready or good enough. If we’re not careful we may continue to put something off for the rest of our lives. Other times we can feel guilty for allowing ourselves to indulge in what we enjoy most, even if the alternative is living under copious amounts of stress and displeasure on a regular basis.
When I was younger I was full of energy and was always the first one to race out of bed in the morning. Each new morning heralded another day of opportunities; to overcome challenges, to learn, to laugh, to love and to smile. I couldn’t wait to see what another full day would bring. Now, in contrast, I lay in bed while my mind ruminates over the trials to come. I think my younger self had the right idea for what it meant to live life fully. What we want to fill those days with however, is up to us. While I can imagine how amazing sky diving would be, it’s not something I’ve ever considered doing before.