“Go for it now, the future is promised to no one.” – Wayne Dyer
People often ask me how I make the time to get the things done. [I have a four-year old, work full-time, own my own company, I’m a sub chair on a Calgary Stampede committee, volunteer around the city, read, exercise, cook & clean daily.] Phew! It always takes me aback because this is the first time in two years I’ve been super organized and somewhat in charge of my life.
But I only got to this point because two people I trusted most told me I was on a downward spiral and needed to snap back to reality. I’m so grateful for that swift kick in the ass (and I am so grateful to have them both in my life).
I started yoga. I loved it. It literally changed my life. But just two short months after, I had the scare of a lifetime.
I was having a routine eye exam when the Doctor had me wait out in the reception area as he went through results. He called me into his office and shut the door. He said, “Kat, I don’t like what I’m seeing on your scan. Let’s call your family doctor.” There were a million things going through my mind. Am I losing my vision? What the heck is this guy talking about.
I held my breath as he called, but he couldn’t get through to my doctor; he left a message saying he was with me and came across something incredibly serious that needed attention immediately: as in, today. When he hung up the phone he said, Kat, I don’t mean to worry you but this is serious; there’s a problem, and it may be neurological.”
He pulled up a test and showed me what he meant. There were many areas in scan where it appeared my eyes were not getting/sending messages to the brain. He went on to say, “This can mean a few different things. There may be something blocking…. a tumour. Or there could also be a clot somewhere. An aneurism…Or maybe MS.” At this point my mind was really racing. And so was my heart. I had a six month old baby at home. I was devastated. [I should have prefaced this by saying I became an extremely sensitive person post-baby; this literally felt like the end of the world as I knew it.]
Tests were set up immediately. I had loads of blood work and met with the emergency neurologist right away. Within a few days, I had an MRI; which was absolutely terrifying and uncomfortable, FYI. We waited very anxiously for the results. Within 12 hours the Dr called me personally to tell me himself that everything came back clear. I can’t even describe this sense of relief. I knew that this wasn’t the end of the investigation, but that they ruled out the life threatening things. Thank God.
As cliche as it sounds, that experience changed the way I think about life; it put everything in perspective. I realized I was being selfish in some of my most cherished relationships. I took my family and good friends for granted. Instead of putting time into the people and things that mattered most, I was doing the reverse. So I came out of it with the following rules:
- Make time and put energy into the things that are truly important: health, family & friends. You need to be healthy to have healthy relationships. As soon as I started running again, I found myself more productive. I made time to focus on relationships that were important.
- Be true to who you are. This is tough. But don’t waste your time trying to be someone you’re not.
- Forget about material stuff, it ain’t that important. I’ve met so many people who are so driven to keep up with what other people have that I wonder, “what the hell is the point?” The size of your house, bank account, the type of car, where you vacation – it really doesn’t matter in the end…
- Tell it like it is. I know this pisses some people off, but truthfully, I don’t care. There are too many people who worry WAY too much about what others think of them. Here’s a secret: if you’re a good person, it doesn’t matter. You will NEVER please everyone. Don’t bother trying. So if I die tomorrow, no one will be guessing about where I stood. (I’ve earned the reputation for ‘no bullshit’!)
I was unbelievably lucky that my fate wasn’t one of their earlier suspicions and it gave me the perspective I needed. That experience constantly reminds me that every single day you must do your absolute best to make the most of it. There will be good days and bad days. But don’t take any of them for granted. I knew I had to get my ass in shape. I knew I had to make some pretty serious lifestyle changes, but not just for me, so I was a better mother, partner, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.
So how do I make it happen?
I make lists. When something is important to me, I put it on the list.
I like to be busy. I feel like this is the best way to get the most out of life – pack it full of stuff to do! My family is important, so I make time for them. For work. For volunteer endeavours. For health & wellness. For social. For brainless activities. And misc. I started a bookclub with a good friend, joined committees, signed up for sports and decided to quit with the excuses like: “I don’t have enough time.” Because we all know that’s bullshit. You just find the time, whether it’s first thing in the morning, middle of the day or at night – don’t make excuses.
As soon as you decide not to let yourself make excuses you’ll be amazed with what you can do in a day.
On any given day, I can be found juggling a lot. Aside from 9-5 work, I make quality time for my son and husband, I volunteer and make sure I exercise.
So make the most of every day, because as the saying goes ‘tomorrow is never promised.’
“JUST DO IT!”