Round Rock, Texas
You Only Live Once. This is how we used to say this. Now it’s simply YOLO! And, believe it or not, YOLO actually made it into the 2012 list of new words in the Merriam – Webster dictionary! How it did, among several others like it, is another story.
Over the years, I have caught myself saying this a lot of times, mostly to myself. And it’s usually when I am about to do something I am not completely sure I want to. Times when you just have to dive into it in, as we say, blind faith. I usually tell myself then, “well, you only live once!”
I am not a risk taker. I am one of those who wants to be really sure of my actions and decisions. I would take an issue, and turn it over, this way and that way, weighing pros and cons, and cause and effects, thinking and over-thinking the how to’s and the what if’s, almost to the point of being perceived as procrastinating. Until the deadline was yesterday!
I love my comfort zone. It is warm and fuzzy. But I know I cannot stay in there forever, and still live my life. I always needed a nudge, oftentimes more than just a nudge, to even peek outside the box. I have to thank my children and close family and friends for some, or most of these nudges that led to my life-changing decisions when I stepped out and walked out of this familiar, albeit infamous, much-maligned box. My children were the big motivations for me to saunter out of that comfort zone, even with a swagger of confidence. Anything that would be to their benefit or for their good, there would be no second thoughts, no if’s or but’s. I would do anything in a heartbeat for my children.
When the empty nest syndrome set in, and the children all had their independent lives, I seem to to be drifting back into that comfort zone, because I now have to make decisions solely for myself, and for no other more sublime reason. So I would once again hem and haw, think and rethink, and make lame excuses to myself why I should or shouldn’t.
Until it hit me! What other sublime reason do I need, other than, ME? The only thing that will happen when I stay out of and away from that lurking box, is everything that is good! Good for me, and eventually good for everyone around me. Afterall, “You only live once!”
This became my mantra – You only live once! Even more so now, as I grow older. When I turned 60, I found myself so far away from that box, and literally closer to the people and circumstances that truly matter to me. This mantra makes me fearless, to do anything I want to do.
After I watched the movie “The Bucket List,” I started making a mental list of things I think I want to do before I turn 70. But I refuse to use the word “bucket.” It is such a sad, demeaning word. It trivializes life! Especially the phrase is really, “kick the bucket.” Is that what happens when we die – we just “kick the bucket?”
So instead, I like to call it my YOLO list! Things I want to do at least once in my life, because “you only live once!” But I better get my act together – I have only three years left before 70 comes rolling in! My list is no big deal to most people who have easily “been there, done that!” But where I am at this late date in my life, is a big deal to me. So here goes!
My YOLO List:
• write a book
• of course, have the book published
• go on a cruise
• have a significant other to go with me on that cruise
• visit Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in France
• visit the Holy Land
• ride a helicopter
• learn to paint (on canvass, not a house!)
• ride a hot air balloon
• write another book – a fiction novel
• of course, have the novel published
I can go crazy with this list and go on forever. I did not number my list, to give me freedom to just be open and let any one of these happen first or last, as the opportunity presents itself. Or some other thing outside of the list, can present itself. Who knows?
I have a confession though, I left out two items from my list, which were somewhere on the top when I was 60 years old, when I started trying to flesh out this list. But I like to save this for a later story. Because it is a story in itself.
And, who knows? It might be one of those things that might present itself in my life. And I will definitely welcome it, because…..YOLO!