Life is not a dress rehearsal

This weekend I attended a memorial service for a friend. He was only 49-years-old and passed away after a long battle with colon cancer. Although the service was supposed to be a celebration of his life, my heart was heavy at the loss of this husband, father and friend.

There is much debate over the origin of the phrase “life is not a dress rehearsal.” That quote came to mind as I watched the PowerPoint presentation of my friend throughout the years. Although he was active at work and in the community, the pictures shown were of him with his family. During the eulogy, his daughter shared memories of sitting on the deck of their pool and talking with her dad. This was confirmation that it’s not the big things in life we remember. It is simple, sweet, daily interactions that shape our relationships.

Today, write about a simple, sweet conversation that made a lasting impression on you.

Write about developing a new skill

My 20-year-old daughter is learning to drive. Finally her desire for freedom has surpassed her fear of operating a vehicle! This weekend she drove on the Long Island Expressway, which is a huge accomplishment and puts her another step toward getting her license.

I still remember how terrified I was as a new driver. Fortunately now, since I’ve been driving for decades, the process is mostly unconscious. So it’s been interesting to re-experience the challenges of being a new driver – only this time with the responsibility of helping her safely navigate the process. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to learning to drive. You gain mastery by putting in time behind the wheel.

Today, write about something that you struggled with but is now automatic. Alternatively, write about teaching someone a new skill.

What do you have planned for the summer?

Summer tends to be a slow season in my business. In general, my customers tend to procrastinate on all things writing – especially if they’ve never done a newsletter or any email marketing – and don’t want to spend the summer months doing anything beyond the basics of their business. I think that, in our hearts, we are all still little kids who believe we should have the summer off! This is especially true if we’ve got anyone in our household who gets an extended summer vacation.

I have to admit that I did some serious slacking last summer. I was planning to create several courses about writing and also to implement systems that would make my business run more efficiently. That never happened – and I’ve regretted the missed opportunities on many occasions. This summer I have a master “to do” list, as well as an accountability partner to help me stay on track.

Today, write about your plans for the summer. Are you taking time off? Do you have any big projects planned for your business? What are your goals?

Write about something you learned recently

The addition of a rescue dachshund to our household has prompted me to learn a whole lot more about dogs. A lot has changed in the ten years since we got our previous fur-babies!

One of the things I’ve learned is that early spaying or neutering pups may not be in a dog’s best interest. In a study of golden retrievers, dogs that were neutered prior to a year old had much higher incidences of hip dysplasia, knee injuries, and cancer (hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma and mast cell tumors). According to our trainer, this is because neutering reduces hormones that are essential for skeletal and muscular growth. You can learn more about the pro’s and cons of neutering here. (Source)

The purpose of this article isn’t to debate how to care for your pet. It’s to point out that sometimes our core beliefs are no longer accurate. When we don’t have a reason to question our beliefs – or we’re not exposed to new information – what we think can be wrong.

Today, write about something new you learned. Did it change what you believed?