By Laura Drake
I heard today that a distant relative, after enduring brutal treatment for lung cancer, is in remission! I’m so very happy for him, and his family. He’s such a sweet, giving man.
It reminded me of something I learned back in 1990, when I lost my sister to cancer. She was 32.
DON’T WASTE A SECOND
I thought I had a busy life already; I was married, had two kids, and worked full time. But I could no longer afford to let the years flow by, thinking I’d do things later. The gaping hole in my life was a constant reminder that ‘later’ isn’t a given.
I realized a basic truth — wherever I am at any given time is a result of what I’m focusing on. If I’m not where I want to be, all I need do is make changes in what I’m focusing on to change it. Sounds too simple, doesn’t it?
It’s not. The following is a quick list of my major goals and accomplishments since then:
- Finished my degree. Since I kept working full time, it took 4 years, and my kids and I doing homework together, but I got it done.
- Learned to ride my own motorcycle. I’ve logged 100,000 miles.
- Learned to fly fish.
- Learned to write – In December I sold a three book deal to Grand Central
Along the way, life happened. Kids got married, and produced the most beautiful grandkids (don’t make me pull out photos!) My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in March. We’re looking for a place to jump out of the rat race and into retirement.
People always are amazed when I tell them I get up at 3 am to write before going to work. I’m down to about 6 hours sleep a night. Hey, I’m getting older – I have less time to waste!
Would I have completed these things if I wouldn’t have focused on my ‘bucket list?” I don’t think so.
But the best part wasn’t ticking off the items on the list. It’s the fun I had along the way to achieving them. The challenge of trying to do something I’d never done – and not sure I could do.
So? What about you? What would you attempt if you realized there wasn’t a second to waste?
Laura has always been a storyteller. She began on her front porch, telling ghost stories to the neighborhood kids. They ran screaming, but kept coming back for more. If she wasn’t telling a story, she had her nose in one, bumping into students on her way to classes.
Her settings are Western, but Laura grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit. A tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into their Pintos and moved to California, sight unseen. There, Laura met her husband, a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie, and her love affair with the West began.
Laura rides her own motorcycle. She owns two; Elvis, a 1985 BMW Mystic, and Sting, a 1999 BMW R1100. She’s put on a hundred thousand miles riding the back roads, getting to know the small western towns that are her book’s settings.
On an annual pilgrimage to Texas, Laura was introduced to her first rodeo, and loved everything about it. She was even more excited to discover Pro Bull Riding was shown on television every week! She’s since attended any event within driving distance, as well as two PBR National finals. Several people in the industry have been gracious in sharing their knowledge with a city girl. Her love of this sport has grown into three books to date.
Ideas are still growing.