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Days of Our Lives

Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives! This was the line I would hear every afternoon when I returned home from school. My hardworking mother would be sitting in the recliner watching the soap opera Days of Our Lives – what she referred to as her “story.”

I often think of my parents and wonder if there was anything more they wish they had accomplished or done before they ran out of sand.

I believe many people die with their dreams inside of them. Days become weeks, weeks become months and then years. I wonder how many businesses were not started, books not written, songs not composed because so many thought they had more sand than they did?

I read a line in a book this week: a woman went to her pastor and said, “The doctor told me I have only a limited time left to live.” The pastor responded, “You actually needed the doctor to tell you that?”

So true!

This got me thinking about my own story.  For most of my life I tried to accomplish what I felt my dreams should be. I wanted to fit in and do what everyone else did, but I wasn’t able to achieve that as quickly as those around me. When I felt I couldn’t keep up, I immediately defined that as failing. Failure causes pain, and that made me stop trying altogether. I surrendered to anxiety and existed only in my comfort zone.

About eleven years ago I decided I was sick of being sick and tired. While caring for that sweet Days of Our Lives fan I began blogging. I knew as I watched her hourglass running down that there was much more to me, Donna, than being Julia’s daughter. In my blog, I wanted to share the joys and frustrations of caring for her during a time  I referred to as putting my life on hold. I now realize that no one but me was putting my life on hold.

Over the years, I’ve come to see that for me, a “vision board” doesn’t work. I feel as if I’m constantly worrying about achieving my “vision.” At the age of 58 I have decided that a “success board” is healthier – a board that records my increasing progress in life.

Five years ago I could never have gotten on an airplane at all, let alone by myself. That was one of the first things I put on my success board. I shake my head at how ridiculous I was all those years for letting fear stop me. It took a move to another state to realize that if you want to see your family often you’d better kick yourself in the butt and change.

How would you feel if you were able to think about all things you have to be grateful for versus the things you cannot do?  How would you feel if you really stopped to think we are only here for a limited time?  What story will you leave behind?

I used to fear what people would think if I posted too much or wrote blogs about my life.  Here’s the good news. I no longer care!  This is my hourglass.  I don’t plan on dying with my story buried inside me when there is something that says, “Keep writing.”

My mantra now is Don’t let fear stop you!  If you want to try it then go ahead!  What is the worst that can happen? Quit worrying about how everything is going to turn out and make the best of each moment.

Pat yourself on the back for every day you made it!  Each day may not go as hoped, but find something good in every day. Take note of your successes. That is how I now live my life. We all deserve rewards for showing up and trying our best during the days of our lives.

That’s what I want my final drop of sand, my legacy, to be.

Now get going. You have a success board to create.