He was scheduled to have his test and my siblings were going to go with him so they told me not to worry about it. They would call. That test came out good, but another was scheduled. My medically savvy sister warned me. This isn’t going to go well, Marc. They will find something. The next test was on a Wednesday and I got the phone call while I was driving in the Walmart parking lot. She said they had news. I stopped the car. It was a hot and sunny August afternoon and as I stopped the car my world started to spin. It was pancreatic cancer. It wasn’t good. An appointment was set to find out how bad it was and treatment options. I sat there in shock. Three months later we lost my dad. In three short crazy months his life was over and our lives were changed.
Does it really take moments like these to wake us up? Does it take a diagnosis, a divorce, a layoff or major life transition to wake us up to the fact that life is short and we need to make the most of today? Even this life event didn’t wake me up. It should have. It took four more major life events and a text message that said, “Marc, they found a lump” before I got the message. Life is short. All we have is now. Putting our life on hold for a future we might not have is the definition of insanity.
- I want to create illustrations, but I am too tired from work.
- I want to get more serious about growing mushrooms that I can sell to local restaurants, but I am so busy at work.
- I will work on the dream later, right now I have this job.
- I am not sure if I will succeed so I am not going to try.
- If I had the money I would start a new hobby.
- If I had more time I would sit down and write.
If only……the hardest thing to live with and the hardest thing to overcome.
Being creative in everyday life is not reserved for the creative elite. There is not a magical circle that we must enter, course we must take, or degree we must earn to be able to live artistically everyday. Classes and degrees can help us learn more about our craft, but they are not required to begin living creatively and be fulfilled today.
Perhaps we are trapped in a cast. In a life that has restricted us from seeing how we can develop our creative muscles. Perhaps we need something to shake the plaster off and give us the freedom to live a fulfilled life. Perhaps there are a group of creative elitists. A group of people who decided not to let life or others dictate how they were going to live and work. Perhaps they are above us because they have the courage, dedication and fearlessness it takes to live life now.
My father was a creative genius who lived his life feeling ostracized and alone. He felt as if know one understood him and I believe no one did. He had ideas and he tried them. He wasn’t afraid to take chances and this led him to start several businesses, design and open a golf course, write a financial planning book, and develop marketing materials. He never let the cast of life confine his creative muscles and for that his legacy is engrained in my heart. I love him for the example that he showed me and left for others to follow.
When dad passed away from this world his only regret was that he didn’t get more time to try more ideas. He had spent his whole life being who he was and that was an inherently creative man. There were no if only I hadn’t been so tired, hadn’t had those mundane things in my life, had the chance to go to art school, or hadn’t had four kids. There was only I did it. I had an idea, I created something from that idea, and took the opportunity to express a part of who I was. I couldn’t be more proud to be his daughter and I hope that I can continue where he left off. There is no time for if only’s, but there is time today. What can you do to stop looking into a daydream future and start embracing today?