Do you know what my son Tom said when I told him I was taking my business on the road for a Year by the Water? “So, you’re finally going to put yourself in the story.”
Wow. What an interesting and astute observation.
I’m not the only one. I encountered many people on my travels who were NOT putting themselves in their own stories.They wistfully talked about the dreams they’ve put on hold. Many told me they’re so busy taking care of everyone else, they don’t have the time, energy or freedom to take care of themselves. They have bills to pay, kids to raise, projects at work, parents with health challenges …the list goes on.
Some seemed to think it’s selfish to do something – even if it’s once a week – that makes them happy.
Sound familiar? One of the most important epiphanies from my Year by the Water is that doing something that puts the light on in our eyes is not selfish; it’s smart.
And we don’t have to quit our job, win the lottery or walk away from our obligations to do this. We can do something that puts the light on in our eyes even if it’s once a month. Even if it’s for an hour or two.
It’s not indulgent to do more of makes us happy – whether that’s to curl up with a good book or get back into a hobby we used to love – it’s inspiring. It sets a precedent and gives the people around us permission and incentive to do the same.
What did you give up because you got busy or were told it was selfish? What used to bring you joy you no longer have time for? What did you abandon because you were told it “wouldn’t pay the bills?”
Bring it back into your life. It’s not too late to become, as Charles Bukowski says, “the person you wanted to be before the world told you what you should be.” Trust that everyone wins when you take responsibility for doing something that lights you up.
You will never regret putting yourself back in the story of your life; you will only regret not doing it sooner.