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(Disclaimer: there’s a good chance this article contains affiliate links if you click on one of them I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)
The One big Reminder I’ve taken away from this Global Pandemic shutdown
By now, I’m sure that you and everyone else around you has experienced some sort of disappointment in the wake of this global pandemic. Maybe it’s been in the form of a trip being cancelled, a wedding being postponed, a death (I’m so sorry ?) or the growing realization that you’re not going to be able to afford that dream vacation you’ve been daydreaming about for so long.
I get, I’m in the same boat. We all are.
My big disappointment was the cancellation of a bikepacking trip across Catalina Island that was supposed to take place a few weeks ago. I had painstakingly mapped out a route, made campsite reservations, booked ferry tickets and even splurged on a fancy hotel for the last night of the trip. And the kicker? I had bought a brand new bikepacking bike + bikepacking bags just for this occasion (and obviously many more future bikepacking trips, but I bought my Santa Cruz Chameleon and Moosetrek bags with the Catalina Island trip in mind).
That trip was cancelled, no surprise.
So yeah, disappointments all around.
But this whole global shutdown and scary pandemic crisis has reinforced one of my important life credos:
We’ve all heard it before but maybe you need to hear it again. Don’t wait.
What does that mean? For me, I’ve always lived my life to the tune of my own drumbeat – following my passions and interests without really a ‘plan’. I’ve tried a lot of things, failed a ton, burned bridges and definitely struggled at times. It hasn’t always been easy despite what my life might look like on the outside, but I’ve also seen the world, had SO many amazing experiences, and honestly can’t say that “I didn’t try”.
That being said, my bucket (or bike-it?) list is about a mile long and there are so many adventures that I want to go and and new things that I want to try. I’ve put some off because the price tag is scary and I’ve said no to others because they personally sound scary. But one of the most common deathbed regrets is:
How does that statement resonate with you in the wake of this scary global pandemic that we are facing right now?
Don’t wait until the timing is perfect because chances are it never will be.
Don’t wait until someone agrees to take that amazing trip with you because maybe no one will ever sign up. Go by yourself!
Don’t wait to book that dream trip because retirement may never come.
Don’t wait to learn how to ride a bike because you’re missing out on a whole world of two-wheeled fun!
Don’t wait to say “I love you” because you may never get the chance.
As Steve Job famously said is his 2005 Stanford commencement speech: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
So in light of all these current cancellations and major uncertainties about the future, what have you been putting off for ‘someday’? What will you regret not doing when you come face to face with mortality? What haven’t you done because you’re afraid?
Chances are, fingers crossed, that this pandemic will slowly fade away within the next few months or maybe even a year. Times will be tough – no doubt – but hopefully you can reflect on how this crisis has upended your life and how it has brought to light the buried priorities and “wish I had’s” that you have been putting off for so long.