“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver

As I approach another birthday next month, I’m thinking even more about how quickly time flies.  In the past year alone we’ve experienced both the death of my mother and the births of two new babies in my family. I am becoming more aware of the feeling that time between birth and death seems short and how incredibly important it is to stay conscious of what we are doing in every moment of this gift called life. In Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day,” she asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Will we hold on to past hurts and resentments or will we forgive and learn what we needed from the experience? Will we realize the wrongs we perceive someone has done to us don’t really have anything to do with us at all? Most likely, it is a battle the other person is fighting within themselves. Can we stop gossiping, judging and criticizing and finally realize that we can’t change someone into the person we want them to be, even when we know they are capable of so much more? It’s actually not our place to do so. That’s between them and God and sometimes it’s a life-long process full of inner wounds and struggles we may know nothing about.

Will we make the hard choices to live our lives according to what’s best for us or will we stay in situations that aren’t serving our highest good because we are afraid of change more than our own well-being? Divorce, changing jobs or careers, moving to another area, etc., are all full of challenges, but eventually the challenges subside and we are better for them. Staying in a mental prison because we fear what’s on the other side never allows for growth or the happiness we deserve.

Will we be vulnerable and put ourselves out there even it feels awkward and people think we’re weird? Will we start a side-gig, take classes, express our creativity or take up a new hobby or sport regardless of how old we are, or if we stink at it at first? Holding ourselves back because of what other people think can cause lots of lost time and opportunities.

We only have one life, so what will we do with it?  It’s never too late to decide.