It is early in the morning. Still in my PJ’s, coffee in hand, I switch on the TV and decide it is time to catch up on some news. Within seconds I find myself watching a fire erupt from the Lac-Mégantic derailment in Quebec. Even from my tiny TV screen, I knew the flames were huge.
In the day that followed I read a couple of newspaper articles on the disaster. In particular, I remember a young man recalling how he spent the night hanging out downtown, decided to leave around 1 a.m. and said goodbye to his friends that were still hanging out in the cafe. Had he decided to stay just three minutes longer…
Some would say it was a miracle he left when he did. Others would say he survived because it was not his time to go. Whatever the case may be, it has caused me to think on a lot of things.
How many of us go through each day and say to ourselves, “there will always be tomorrow.”
Life has many obligations, I get it. No matter how much we stamp our feet, there will always be bill payments, mortgages, and life. But do we ever wake up one morning to realize one year (or ten) has passed and not a single thing on our “I want to do” list has been accomplished? Will you still have enough time to realize items on your list before “tomorrow” stops coming around?
When I was attending University, I had always toyed with the idea of taking a few months off to travel once I obtained my first degree. I had no idea where I wanted to go, but I had this overwhelming desire just to go somewhere beyond my front door. In the end, I succumbed to life. The life of having no solid idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up (and needing to discover that, FAST), and the life of trying to get on some solid career track so I wouldn’t give my parents any more grief. In my parent’s generation, it was rare for anyone to go achieve their traveling dreams until they were well into their 20’s, so what was the big deal?
I woke up five years later, back in school, and none of my travel plans were even close to being realized. The hardest part to swallow, was realizing the initial passion for traveling was almost all gone. Sure I can still buy a ticket to somewhere and go, but now I would have a lot more considerations to take into account. Most notably my limit of a two-week vacation, made even tougher by the fact I get jet-lagged. In fact, the last time I went to Hong Kong to visit my ailing grandmother it took me the whole two weeks just to get over the jetlag, and then I had to fly back home the next day.
I know life has many obligations for each and every one of us. School, work, career, mortgage, and family. It is not always easy for us to put everything away and solely focus on what we want to achieve on our Bucket Lists. But don’t put your Bucket List away for good either; you may wake up and discover ten years have passed and you can’t figure out what you have done with your life.
Worse yet, tomorrow may never come.