Last night, my 67-year-old mother called me to ask if she should move to Hawaii for a few months before a planned move to Florida from California.
I was actually rather shocked – this is, after all, the woman from whom I’ve learned my lifelong belief in saying YES to travel in any form, whenever the opportunity arises.
She was struggling with whether it was silly, at her age, to run off to Hawaii for a few months, as well as with all of the details that go along with such a trip (storing belongings, whether to take the dog, what to do with her car…). And these things can get completely overwhelming if you let them! How will I make new friends? Where will I live? What if I can’t find my way around?
The right answer, in my mind, was never in question.
So I told my mother exactly what she needed to hear: Just. Freaking. Go. Go now, before it’s too late and you don’t have that option anymore. Go now, before family and real estate and a million other things tie you down.
If you’re struggling with a similar decision, here is my reasoning:
If Not Now, When?
This whole I’ll-do-it-when mindset is garbage – you know that, right? If there’s something you’re being called to do, find a way to make it happen sooner rather than later. None of us know what’s coming next, and I promise you it will be a surprise.
My mom went on to talk about my great-aunt, whose life-long dream was to move to Hawaii. During a 30-plus year career in teaching, she always swore she would do it after she retired. But then, when she retired, her mother was in poor health, and she didn’t want to leave her. When her mother passed away, apparently my mom asked my aunt whether she was going to move to Hawaii finally. Her answer, sadly, was “What, at my age? I’m too old for that now!” She was 76.
What Will Your Grandchildren Think?
I don’t know about you, but I want my grandchildren to be thoroughly scandalized by my behavior! Actually, I want them to think “Wow, look at what Grandma’s doing…I’d better get moving so I’ll have great stories too!”
Whose Life Are You Living?
Stop for a minute and ask yourself what’s stopping you from making this decision? Is it because it’s outside the ‘norm’? Work to clear away the mental clutter so you can see what YOU really want to do; typically the answer to questions like these is already in our hearts.
Will You Regret Not Doing It?
We each have to live with the chocies we make. For me, travel or making a bold move, has never been something I’ve regretted. But this is different for each of us.
Are You Fighting an Uphill Battle?
One thing I’ve noticed throughout my life is that when something is meant to happen, the stars will align to make it so. Conversely, sometimes barrier after barrier pops up because God’s trying to tell us we’re not meant to do whatever it is we’re trying to do. So sit back for a moment and observe which is occuring for you right now. Are things mysteriously falling into place easily? Or are you having one mishap after another? For example, when I decided to move to Japan, I took the leap and booked airfare for two weeks out without knowing how I was going to rent out my house, store my belongings, and store my car in less than 14 days. The first day I listed the rental, I got an application from a young man in the Coast Guard who actually put on his application (without knowing me!) that he was willing to help the previous person move out if he could move in sooner. It all just aligned.