Now is the time to live your most awesome life

Hiking

Me and my mom on an awesome hiking trip – How I would spend every summer if I didn’t have to “work”

I’ve always loved those “Are you living the right life?” quizzes. Questions like,

  • “What would you do if you only had one year to live?”
  • “What would you pursue if you never had to work again?”

And, probably most important for me,

  • “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

Answering these questions are all kinds of fun. I’m a hard-boiled planner, whether for five years into my future or five minutes down to the grocery store. Planning is even more fun than doing because it has yet to be hampered by anything going wrong.

When I was researching the San Juan Island Stories, my research trip was almost delayed by a funeral.

An aunt had come home for the final stages of terminal cancer. She was a luminous personality, a delicious cook, and an advocate for international justice. She was also only 45 years old. Why? No, seriously. Why??? SHE WAS A LUMINOUS PERSONALITY. Her diagnosis felt infuriatingly unfair.

See me? I'm that speck at the top with both arms raised!

See me? I’m that speck at the top with both arms raised!

But whenever my aunt (or anyone else) would take the time to ask about my writing, I always hedged. Not because I wasn’t working hard. But because my head was so filled up with the big goals and the perfect over-arching plans that I hadn’t figured out how to celebrate any of the little steps that make up the majority of any journey. They didn’t feel important. My aunt couldn’t encourage me because I couldn’t say, “Oh yeah, I’m writing this and this and heading here for a research trip,” even though that was exactly what I was doing. I always coughed and said, “Oh, ha ha, I’m working on it. So, what have you been up to lately?”

Setting goals is important. Working towards being an awesome author who tells life-affirming stories that celebrate true love is a great over-arching plan. But now I feel sorry that my own fears of inadequacy meant I couldn’t just say, “I’m writing this and this and heading here for a research trip. How about you? Shall we share a cup of tea to cheer ourselves on?”

So let me ask you:

  • “What would you do if you only had one year to live?”
  • “What would you pursue if you never had to work again?”
  • “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

Are you already doing those things? You are awesome. Rock on.

************UPDATE**************

I am giving away a 4-pack of the San Juan Island Stories FOR FREE at the 12 Days of Christmas Facebook event on Saturday. Join free and win swag from 70 other authors, including bags and bookmarks and tiaras and more, starting tomorrow. You do not need to actually celebrate Christmas, but you do need to have a Facebook account. The holidays are starting early! See you there!

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