A while ago when I was in the UK I visited Angela, an old family friend, who I had not seen for over 25 years. When I say old I mean it in two ways – one because she was a friend of my Mother’s and two because in years she is old – 99 years old to be precise.
She was not however old as in spirit and mind. Before I went down to see her I wondered if she would be as I remembered her – always a wicked glint in her eye and always full of fun. It was so lovely to see that she was exactly as I remember – a bit frailer physically – who wouldn’t be with one broken hip. However she lives alone mostly in a two-story house she bought specifically for the stairs to ensure that she stayed mobile!
I loved that spirit and she still had it after all these years. We had brought an old photo album for her to see – one from the days when she was a child and it was lovely to hear her reminisce about the her life. One particular story really impressed me. In 1936 when she was a young woman of 23 she decided she wanted to go to Japan. Alone. At the time this was very an extraordinary thing for a woman of her age to do. She took herself off and went on a 6-week boat trip and went to explore Japan. She ended up staying there two years.
Something that may have been out of the ordinary felt normal to her
What was so interesting was that although she knew that this was quite out of the ordinary for a young woman to do at that time, she did not feel it was a big thing for her. She had such spirit and such stories to tell. It made me wonder how often do we hold back from such adventures because it is not the done thing? I know I have in the past when I was younger although nowadays I do have a tendency to just go for it!
As she spoke about her early life she said in a casual way – “Oh and of course I joined the American army in the war.” When I quizzed her she said that she want to be in Paris and help the war effort. It was only the American Army that would send her overseas and so she joined them. Where there is a will there is a way. I came back from that visit with a huge smile on my face and inspired.
The other side of the story
A week or so later I learnt to my great sadness that a beautiful friend had died unexpectedly. It came as a great shock and sadness to us all and for some reason made me think of Angela and how some of us have a long stay here and others leave us seemingly too early (for us).
Contemplating these two experiences it reminded me that we simply do not know how long life will be for us and so I encourage you all (including me) to be like Angela.
Live life with joy everyday.
Angela was very limited in what she can do physically – but her energy is so infectious. I felt inspired by her and what she represented for me and came away feeling absolute joy to have been with her again. If this sounds like a bit of homage to her then I suppose it is. If I can emulate her when I get to her ripe old age then I will know I have lived my life fully.
What can we do?
I have been contemplating what holds us back from living the life we dream of. What stops us from getting that right t-shirt? I work with a lot of successful people who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt only to realise that they have gotten the wrong one. Why is that?
- They followed the rules they were taught to live by, they follow the ‘shoulds’, ought tos, have tos. Have a think about what ones you are letting dictate your life.
- They don’t believe that they can change their lives after ‘all this time’. Never let that stop you. Exploring what would make your heart sing is free and holds no risk. At least let yourself know what would make you happy.
- It is way outside your comfort zone. Yep all change is – but the good news is that when you stretch outside your comfort zone a bit – the zone expands and it starts to feel comfortable. Everything you want is in that stretch zone – don’t let that stop you.
The good news is that you can go for the right t-shirt at any time in your life. You can make the choices to rebalance your life and start living it to the full. If any of this has resonated with you and makes you feel that you have not yet got the right t-shirt, or maybe you can think of one of your friends who are in this situation, then please do let’s have a chat. My number is +44 (0) 203 239 6155 or you can email me. If these experiences are a gift for us all, it is to wake us up to the fact that now is the time to make the dream a reality. (And yes I speaking to myself too).
What is your life showing you right now? Maybe this has resonated with you, or maybe you are wondering about things that are happening right now in your life. If you feel you’d like some help deciphering your life’s journey then let’s have a chat. You can email me or give me a call on +44 (0)751 891 4604