Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Wait

During a seventh grade dance Anthony told me that if I lost 50 pounds, I would be really good looking. He was a kind boy who had stopped girls from calling me names. He was trying to be helpful and give me advice. A year later he was killed in a car crash. I can still picture the coffin going down the aisle.

In tenth grade Dominic dived into a quarry and never came up. His mother had hand-sewn a dress as my birthday present in second grade. Then Maria’s house was on fire and although she came to the window and people yelled for her to jump from the second story, she went back to get her mother and they both died. I found out in advanced chemistry that morning when they made the announcement. She had been the lead in the musical and had a beautiful, unforgettable voice.

Lately I can’t stop thinking about them.

At 43 years of age I finally lost the 50 pounds, so I think about Anthony … then it snowballs. Anthony was right. I wish I hadn’t waited my whole life to feel so good about myself. I was so tired of being overweight. No matter what anyone says about accepting their weight and it not mattering, you feel like a failure when the methods exist to lose it to be healthy and you don’t. My greatest fear is that I will fall into a bad place and gain all the weight back, hence the constant training and exercising.

We don’t know how much time we have. If you feel bad about something in your life then change it -- now. Find the epiphany moment before it is too late.

Often when people are interviewed they express surprise at deadly situations. Bad occurences never surprise me. I’ve always felt bad about taking them in stride. How could I do that? Clearly, a very long time ago, I accepted how life could be over in an instant. For good or for bad, it carries with me each day.

I only have five years until I’m the age of my father when he died. He didn’t have long. I might not either, and I don’t want to squander my time.

So I’m constantly asking myself, “What’s important?”

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