I used to think Monday would be a good day to start a diet.
I used to think when things were a little less hectic and stressful, I’d quit smoking.
You know, the day I actually quit was probably in the middle of my most stressful month ever.
I used to think I needed quiet and spaciousness to write, that ideas couldn’t come through chaos.
So entitled!!! I wrote my last book while on vacation (and didn’t miss a second of family time.)
Where did this idea there is going to be a “good” time to start your diet, take a trip, quit your job, have a baby or write your book come from exactly? It’s just about never true in my experience.
When I started my business, it was for sure the worst time. I was a newly single mom with bills that matched a 2-person income. Cooler heads would have said to wait until things “calmed down.” But ideas move on and life keeps interrupting itself. The only time is now.
I am writing this on a plane to Buenos Aires. For over a decade I’ve been waiting for the right time to visit. A small branch of my family tree is in Argentina but I’ve never been there. I wanted to go when the timing was right — when I had time to see everyone and visit the whole country, when I didn’t have to worry about work, when I had a passport for Jesse, when my schedule wasn’t too packed, when The weather was warm and sunny (but not too hot), when it wasn’t a holiday so I didn’t miss anything in the US, when school was out, when it wouldn’t be an imposition, when everyone was around, when I didn’t have a kitten at home, when I lost some weight, when I saved up a little bit of money. When this! When that!
There is always a reason to put your dreams and good ideas in a dark room.
In August 2004, I welcomed an exchange student from Argentina to live with me in Washington DC. Within that first month, I’m sure I told him I couldn’t wait to visit him in his country. In March of 2005, his mom and brother visited and I told them I’d come to see them soon. There just hasn’t been a good time.
So many of my clients tell me how 13 years or 30 years have slipped by since they first got an idea for a book. You know, waiting doesn’t actually make it easier.
It’s true, there are always trade offs. And some people — some people I love even — would chose comfort over adventure or risk. That’s cool.
But my advice is to CHOOSE. Don’t pretend you are waiting for a good time. Just decide it’s a no.
I’m about to step off a plane and into the arms of my little Argentinian family. The trip will be too short. I’m missing my kitten and Jesse’s big 5th grade project. There are 3 massive time sensitive work projects. I’m exhausted from my book launch last week and my trip to Portland the week before that. I have friends coming into town next week and a quick 24 hour trip with Jesse to see Hamilton and celebrate his graduation. There is too much going on! And there never won’t be.
But here’s the thing: I made a promise to myself when I was 15 that I would live deep and suck the marrow out of life so that when I came to die I would not regret that I hadn’t lived.
Not saying your life needs to be so Thoreau-inspired, but mine is. I’m tasting all of it. Fuck the bite of the apple, I’m choosing to feast at the buffet of life.
There is no good time.
Do it anyway.
Meat. Leather. Tango. Family. Love.
Originally published at medium.com