A lot of people in this world believe they have an endless amount of time. Well, at least they act as though they do. All too often, people will put things on the back burner so they can “get to it later.” Unfortunately, life does not work that way.
You might try to tackle the day but decide to put it off because you were either too lazy or were distracted by something else. The things you wanted to do are too often put on hold because of a myriad of excuses.
And I call them excuses because a lot of the time, there really is no reasoning behind the action.
Then one day, you might be excited to try tackling the day again and be hyped only to have your world come crashing down around you. All of the positive energy inside you is tapped immediately, and you’re tossed into a pit of despair.
Perhaps you get a phone call that one of your children has died.
Existence is Not Infinite
As a parent, you’re never really prepared to lose a child. You take life for granted and think that you’ll have plenty of time to make the most out of a relationship. But in a flash, it can all be taken away.
It’s one of my goals to have my children proud of me. In fact, it’s vastly important. And I remember feeling envious of my son’s excitement and well-being on his graduation day.
I wanted him to be as proud of me as I was of him.
But like so many other people, I felt as though I had plenty of time to improve myself and our relationship. That I had plenty of time to meet the man he was turning into.
And now, I will never have the chance to tell him how proud I was. Or how he helped inspire me to do better. How his zeal was something I was jealous of.
The hardest part as a parent is thinking, “Was there something more I could have done?” Being a state away makes interaction a bit difficult. But maybe I could have spent more time on social media and interacted with him.
I’ve never been an active user of sites like Facebook and Twitter. But this generation is. Maybe I didn’t do enough to engage on those platforms…to let him know I was always here for him.
And because I wasn’t as interactive as I should have been, I will always have that guilt.
Push Beyond What You Think are Limitations
The truth is, no one has an infinite amount of time on this world. Putting things off because of trivial excuses might end in never finishing them. And as a result, you’ll never know your true potential.
Take me, for example. I want to do so much with YouTube, Twitch and my writing. But then I get a laziness streak in me that thinks, “Oh, I can do better tomorrow.”
And I often think that way with a lot of things in life.
Have I talked to my sons yet? I can do that tomorrow, it’s getting late. Or, it’s a Saturday night, he’s probably out with friends.
But what if tomorrow never comes?
All of those insignificant distractions become moot. This leads to wasted opportunities and potential because maybe you got sucked into watching political videos on YouTube or binge-watching something on Netflix.
A lot of my problems stem from simply forgetting. But, that too, is merely another excuse. I could set alarms to work or make phone calls. I can take a few minutes to write a post on Facebook to someone I care about.
Success in Anything Takes Effort
I preach about effort quite a bit on WriterSanctuary.com. Part of why I was a successful freelance writer was because of effort. But just because I was successful in one aspect doesn’t mean I was successful in all of them.
Whether it’s making that next YouTube video, writing a blog post, or interacting with family, it all boils down to your level of effort.
And yes, at this moment in time, I feel like I failed in a myriad of ways. Then again, what parent wouldn’t?
But it’s not just the death of my son that is prompting me to feel this way. I look back at the past few years and realize that I didn’t do much to promote success in anything.
Being as broken as I am made the journey quite difficult. And I should have sought professional help in 2016 when I crashed. But I thought I could handle it.
I didn’t make the effort to really fix myself. And part of me thinks that if I did, maybe my son would still be around.
You can’t go through life thinking opportunities will simply present themselves. That you’ll have plenty of time to experience some of the great things you imagine.
You need to make them happen if you truly want to experience any kind of success.
It’s all about taking those steps, even if they’re outside of your comfort zone. Because even the smallest of steps can greatly impact any potential outcome.
Even if it’s just three simple words on someone’s Facebook feed.
You can’t take anything for granted in this world. Time is not an endless commodity. You need to seize the day, every day. If you don’t, you could miss out on something pretty amazing.
To My Son Keefer…
I can only hope that you understand how loved you were and how you affected those around you. I am so sorry that I never got to meet the after-high-school young man you were turning into.
It’s a regret that I will have to bear throughout my days. But always remember, I always love you no matter what. And it’s hard for me to picture a world without you.
I know that I was never Dad-of-the-year material. But there wasn’t a day that went by over the past 19 years that I didn’t love you or any of your siblings. You guys are always in my heart and mind.
I’m just not very good at showing it. And I hope you can forgive me because I don’t know if I can forgive myself.