Knowing the real reason why you do what you do, in the long run, can determine your fate.
It’s never about “having more stuff.”
It’s quite often about freedom.
It’s almost always about something that touches the heart.
For me, my why is about “being there.”
The reason why I do what I do – why I work as hard as I work – is because I never want to make heart decisions based on money.
Or more specifically, the lack of it.
These past five days, I’ve been dancing face to face with my “why.”
Eleven days ago, I left on a ski trip with my family. A day before we were scheduled to head home, I received a call that stopped me dead in my tracks. You know the kind, the ones that usually come at two in the morning and cause you to suck in your breath as if it were your last.
The kind that bring your priorities into such crystallized focus you wonder how you ever could have put so much energy into the paint color of your walls or why your green tea only had two pumps of sugar instead of three.
Within three hours I was sitting in the only available seat on the last redeye flight out of the nearest airport, on my way to eighty-degree weather wearing fleece pants and snow boots.
A four-hour layover.
Any rental car available.
A mad dash to the hospital I don’t actually remember.
Hours alone outside the operating room, wearing a wedding ring I’ve never seen off its owner’s finger.
The realization that a series of miracles conspired to create a successful outcome.
Extraordinary gratitude that only comes from body-shaking sobs of relief.
When I left to go skiing I never thought I’d end up on the other side of the country. Life hits you fast. It’s the moments that turn my life upside down – the ones I never expect but always embrace – that solidify my why…
…I want to be there for the people I love.
I never, ever want to tell someone I love, “I’m sorry, I can’t be there for you because I can’t afford it.”
The flight is too expensive. I can’t afford a rental car. The only seat left is in first class. I can’t stay and take care of you because I have to go back to my job. I only have enough to buy groceries. I’ll have to postpone my visit. I can’t afford to send you to that camp. You’ll have to wait until next year. I love you but my hands are tied. I just can’t help you.
I want to be there for the people I love.
I want to say, ” yes.”
And that is my “why.”