As we’ve been talking with friends and strangers about our family’s plans over the past couple of months, we hear many common statements.
“Wow! You’re brave!”
This is a nice way of saying “Wow! You’re crazy!”, which might not be untrue.
“If anyone I know could do that, it’s you guys.”
That’s encouraging to hear, since we pretty much feel the same way.
“That’s my dream! I would love to do that someday!”
This one is hardest to know how to respond to. I want to encourage these folks that they CAN do it, but that it’s not easy. And I never know if they are the kind of person to put legs to their dreams or if they are content where they are and enjoy simply dreaming.
There’s nothing wrong with that at all, if you are truly content, but Jason and I are not that kind of people. We put legs (or in this case, wheels!) under our dreams and make them happen.
I have always claimed that I desire to live a life with no regrets. 3 years ago today, I made a seemingly innocuous choice that has led to the single regret of my life, but one that I’m choosing to learn from. Beginning 2 years and 364 days ago, I decided to never put off the important until tomorrow. Tomorrow might be too late.
3 years ago tomorrow morning, my dad was suddenly and tragically killed in a freak car accident. To make a very long story short (and not at all in the manner that my dad would tell it, if he was still living), it was a perfect accident in the sense that if even one small variable had been different, my father might still be here today. 3 years ago tonight, I nearly picked up the phone to call him, just to talk–because that’s what he liked best (good gracious, could that man talk!). However, it was after 10pm and I thought it might be too late to call, or that by the time we got off the phone it would be pushing midnight, so I would call him the next day. Before 8am the next morning, my dad had passed through the veil between “Here” and “There” and I would never have the opportunity to make that phone call.
All that being said, when we felt a stirring last summer to move forward with our long-term dream of taking this show on the road, I was reminded of the urgency to act, because we never know when it will be too late. Now, hopefully that doesn’t mean the loss of someone dear to us, but even as quickly as kids grow, we may soon lose the window of opportunity to travel while they are young and portable. Health is not a guarantee, and while we are all in perfect health, we should take this opportunity to do what wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
So, while living a life with no regrets is a valiant goal to strive toward, I now believe that having a single regret might lead to a better life. Once you know the impact of that regret on your life, if you can learn to never again go down that road, it is worthwhile. My dad gave me many gifts and taught me many lessons in his lifetime. I am blessed that his final lesson was equally valuable–even if he’ll never know that he taught it to me.
One more set of statements that we have heard many times over about the adventure we are embarking on:
“Your dad would have loved this!”
“You are your father’s daughter.”
“This sounds just like something your dad would have done.”
And as someone who modeled living life fully, I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t know if he lived a life with no regrets, but I suspect that if he had any, he chose to learn from them and make a better life from them. I’m choosing to do the same.