Have You Taken Inventory Of Your Life Lately?

A client called me the other day. From the other end of the line I was told the most heart wrenching story I’ve heard in some time.

He told me he and his wife built a business together. They put off vacations and holidays knowing they could go later or sell the business and live off the profits. Then one day she left the office to run a quick errand. She’d be right back.

Oma's Old Telephone

Soon afterward, several cars and a semi crashed on a local highway. There was one fatality.

He told me something I hope stays with me for a long time. He said, “Go home and hug your wife, your kids. You never know when they’ll be gone. Cherish them.”

It’s these conversations that make me take inventory.

Am doing too much work and neglecting those I love? Am I working overtime to buy that thing I want? Does it matter?

Then finally, is my life rich and full, exactly how I want it to be? Not in a selfish sense. But if I am writing too much and not paying attention to my kids, this is a problem.

There is a famous quote by a Isaac Asimov that goes like this –

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

I think that’s rubbish. If I had six minutes to live I’d reach out to those I love and tell them about love and joy, using the best sentences I could construct. If I could not reach them, I’d write a quick letter on a notepad.

Today, think about what you’d do differently. I’m not talking about that thing you did yesterday or last month. I’m talking about right now.

Are you loving people in your life? And are you living well or just getting by?

To My Wife On Her Birthday

My Wife and I took our first date on a golden fall day, right around this time, thirteen years ago. I love fall. The harvest time with cider, fairs, hayrides, pumpkins, the change of the leaves and crisp mornings with ground covered in dew.

To me it makes perfect sense that I fell in love with my wife, and do each year, in Autumn.

Hold my hand

When we got married, over ten years ago, my love affair with writing had yet to begin. But, six months into our marriage, I was taken with words. All these years later I am doing what I am doing because of her and I’ll tell you why.

I used to give up easily. I used to search for something I lost in the house with little effort. If something was hard I would give up or just try later. She would tell me often, in her kind and gentle way, to not give up. I still have yet to give up on this adventure.

I know you’ll read this today Cindy. You are my biggest supporter and my most encouraging friend.

In writing and in every aspect of my life you are steady and I admire that strength everyday. I see it with your unending patience with our three kids (and with me all the while being eight months pregnant!). You inspire me to be better and want to grow and serve this family well.

Thank you for listening to my late night rants about words, books, and conferences. Thank you being understanding even when I am a little (or a lot) crazy. But most of all thank you for believing in me even when I don’t believe in myself.

I love you.

Happy birthday.