the trouble is

buddha“I turned thirty today. Wondered where the years have gone. I was never going to be thirty — ever. And here I am.”

After reading my birthday post, my Uncle Russell told me: “And now you think you’ll be in your thirties for forever! LOL!” And while he said it to be funny, it hit me suddenly — “By God, he’s right!” Every year seems to go faster than the last. Can you believe 2014 is already almost a quarter over?

And then I started thinking about my last post. We all have so many dreams, and so many people put them off for so long. “When I get that promotion . . .” “When the kids are grown . . .” “When I quit my second job . . .” “When the time is right . . .” We wait and wait and wait to go after the things we love. Often we wait so long that we forget what we are passionate about.

Recently, my sweet friend Carol told me:

“Don’t waste the years ahead. You are the creator of your future.”

You are the creator of your future. I love that. But we love to make excuses, do you know that? “I can’t because . . .” “I didn’t because . . .”

Of course this life isn’t all about us. Throughout life, sacrifices must be made. We have responsibilities, lovers, children, mothers . . . The best things in life are the ones that aren’t about us. But then another dear friend, Tony, reminded me that, while it may be terrifying to [go after what you love], going after what you love is “not as terrifying as approaching the end of your life and thinking, What if I had [fill in the blank]? Why didn’t I at least have the courage to try?”

We all have one life to live. What are you doing with yours?

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P.S. Happy Birthday to an old friend. I always remember.
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42 thoughts on “the trouble is

  1. Happy Birthday Jess, can vouch for the fact that time speeds up the older you get, enjoy it all while you can!

  2. dearmonaefox says:

    Great point. Good thing is that you have realized this. I think about the reality of death everyday, not in a miserable or depressive way, but as a motivation to do everything I can with the time I have. Great post! I need to start reading more of your work!!!

  3. Mikels Skele says:

    Hell, 60 is just around the corner. No big deal – we all get there, or die trying. In the end, none of it means anything.

    • Jessica says:

      I like what you say, “No big deal.” Too many people fret over getting older. However, I’m not sure I agree that none of it means anything. I think even small things can matter… And no thing is really small, if you think about it… You’ve definitely given me food for thought and a future post, though. Thank you!

  4. Happy, happy birthday! Hope you had a great one.

    And so true… we create our own reality, we make our own choices. It doesn’t always feel as if we’re in control but we are. Now I just have to keep telling myself that ;)

    • Jessica says:

      Me too, Mark! I tell myself that every day… Sometimes it works… Obviously we can’t control everything, but we can control how we react to the things we can’t control. And *that* can make all the difference.

      Hope you’re having a great day!

  5. john zande says:

    Warning: the years just keeping going by faster. I can’t explain it, but it’s frightening.

    • Jessica says:

      I must admit: I’m a little worried!

      • john zande says:

        It’s really quite weird. I think it has a lot to do with falling into ritualised behaviour. Time is subjective, so its only natural that it’ll whiz past if there is predictability to the experience. Advice: avoid auto pilot. Hands on the wheel at all times :)

  6. What am I doing with my future? Reading incredible blogs, like yours and trying to live as peaceful a like as possible:)

  7. Chris says:

    Never be afraid to reach for a brass ring.

  8. Time sure is elastic, stretching along as we see fit. I remember waiting for three o’clock to come in Elementary school and those minutes felt like an eternity. I certainly don’t have that feeling anymore but I disagree that time flies by as we get older. True, there isn’t enough time, but every moment is a wonder, a gift. With age comes wisdom and we can choose to spend our time as we see fit. Carpe diem as they say (or as I have heard recently, yolo? not sure if it is the same thing. I’m losing touch!).

    • Jessica says:

      To me time goes faster as I get older because I have more responsibilities. When we were kids and ten minutes ’til three lasted an eternity, I had going home to play and maybe doing some homework to look forward to. Now, there are bills and dinner and jobs and laundry and all kinds of other things to worry about. While I agree that every moment is a gift, and I really do believe we are the authors of our futures, it *does* seem like something has changed since I was a kid. I remember looking at the calendar in my classroom — a month seemed to last a long time. Now, it feels like every time I turn around a new month has been posted on the calendar. That’s why I really want to try to make every minute count, and to not let myself forget my dreams. I never want to look back on my life with regret.

  9. Stephen Cyphers says:

    Hadn’t heard that quote before. I like Make the most of today.

  10. Bumba says:

    Happy Birthday! I guess when you get older you get more used to the quick passage of time and don’t get excited about it. Enjoy life when you’re young. And enjoy it when you’re old too.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks, Bumba. That’s good advice. We only have one life to live. Might as well make the most of it — and yes, that means all of it!! (That’s why I try very hard to take care of myself now. Good health can go a long way!!)

      Great to hear from you. Hope you had a good weekend! :)

  11. 1EarthUnited says:

    Happy B-day Jess, 30s just a #, we’ll all get there and beyond. Actually I’m looking forward to it because I feel like I have so much more to contribute. Appreciate u’r thoughtful insights about life! Here’s to the beginning of something really wonderful♥

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you so much, sweetie. Yeah, 30 hasn’t been bad so far. People still think I’m far younger than I am, so I’ll take that for as long as I can! Hope you’re having a great day!

  12. JayM says:

    I definitely agree with your sentiments Jessica and I have the same outlook! “What if” and regret are what keeps me focused on what I need to do to achieve my dreams. Like you said we only have one life and we have to live it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jessica says:

      And thank you for reading, Jay! Yeah, “what ifs” don’t do us much good. It is far more productive to think about where we are going than where we have or what could have been. I’m so glad you agree… And, as you’ll see in my next post, I think it’s really important to be open to learning from absolutely everything!

  13. Your post reminds me of the book “a million miles in a thousand years” by Donald miller. Have you read it? If not you should totally check it out. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000XPPW50

  14. Simon says:

    I love this post Jess. I’ve been absent from blogging for a while and your post confirms for me that it is good to be back.

    I agree with all of the sentiments you and your followers have posted, both positive and negative, but the one thing that stands true the most (for me) is how important it is to enjoy yourself on the journey.

    I like to look back at last year and make note of six things that happened that were really great. It doesn’t matter what the scale is. Just make that mental note and let the negative things fall away. When the end gets closer you will have a very long list of great things to remember.

    • Jessica says:

      That is such a good perspective, Simon. Thank you. I agree that looking back it’s important to think of the good and let the bad fall away. That’s *exactly* what I do when I think of Asia. ;)

      And, yes, enjoying the journey is absolutely key — to success in life, I think. It’s good to have you back. I know I have a few posts of yours to catch up on, too!

  15. Dalo 2013 says:

    The older you get, the faster times flies…it is science. I watched a young couple and an old couple poolside a few years ago. By the time the old couple got unpacked and settled into their lounge chairs, the young couple had already unpacked, jumped in the pool, played around, got out and were settling into their lounge chairs just at the same time as the older couple. Getting old it just takes us a longer time to do anything that it feels like time flies…ha, ha, I hope that thought isn’t too depressing, just have to make the best of the time we have!

    • Jessica says:

      Very very good advice, Randall! I will say that the above episode just gives me more incentive to stay active and in shape, though. I want to be mobile and agile for as long as I can!!

  16. The trouble is, yes, indeed… I was just contacted on Facebook by someone from high school, and it turns out this year is our 20 year reunion. I’m totally spun out that much time has passed. Sometimes, I wish I could do high school again from the perspective of now…

  17. Jess,

    I didn’t know that your birthday is the same as my daughter’s! Oh God! ANOTHER Marchy – Lord save us all! ;)

    I have a slightly different angle on existence and life scrambled up somewhere in science and Quantum Mechanics and metaphysics, but we both firmly agree about ceasing now the moments that count, or at least finding the beauty in the little things when the big ones elude us.

    Happy belated birthday beautiful Lady!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Professor, and actually my birthday is in February! February 28. I was almost a leap year baby, though. ;)

      And, yes! Life is all about finding beauty where we can.

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