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  • Billie Jeanne Stewart

Live today like "someday"

I turned 41 last week. Thinking about the audience to whom this post is focused on, I imagine 41 is your mom, your aunt, or your teacher, not you. Not an age you day dream about, but an age you’ll find yourself at.

An age when people will ask, “What would you have done different when you were younger?”

An age of reflection.

I’ve often thought about this reflection, and I’ve also thought about how grateful I am that I realized early on that life didn’t have to always be a backwards look on what I wished was different. And neither do you.

At 21 I started saying NO to only doing the things others wanted me to do and always choosing the comfortable options. I ended the day dream of when life would change and started making tough decisions to live the life God planned for me.

I made hard moves. I took "scary" new jobs I wasn’t qualified for on paper. I said YES to adventures outside of my comfort zone and I started believing that being happy wasn’t just for the “one day”, it was for everyday. I started reading books for fun. I ran. I made cookies and Christmas crafts. I played music loud. I made new friends. I quieted the voices in my mind that told me it would be too hard to reach my goals.

I felt alive.

What are the goals, or dreams you have?

When you think about being 41, what does it look like?

Are there things happening in your life today that would scare you if they were still happening when you are 41?

What are your “one day”s?

What’s stopping you from walking into every day filled with joy?

You hold the keys for what today and tomorrow look like. Someone may be directing your time right now, but NO ONE controls your heart.

You chose to live free and happy even when boundary lines are put around you. Those lines may grow or shrink at times in life, but the decision you make in your heart to be joyful and fight for everything you believe in will always be a choice YOU make.

I have a favorite quote about this life. It’s one that reminds me over and over that life is lived in the mundane. Did you read that, I said LIVED. being ALIVE in the mundane of your daily life enables you to stop looking back wishing you could have lived differently. I challenge you, the teenager, to live each day with age 41 in mind.

Go to new places, try hard things, don’t allow a “no” to stop you, and always chose JOY.

“It’s rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. It’s much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love. We could just live our normal, day-to-day lives, saving all the good living up for someday, but I think today, just plain today, is worth it. I think it’s our job, each of us, to live each day like it’s a special occasion, because we’ve been given a gift. We get to live in this beautiful world. when I live purposefully and well, when I dance instead of sitting it out, when I let myself laugh hard, when I wear my favorite shoes on a regular Tuesday, that regular Tuesday is better.”

-Shauna Niequist

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