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And so it was.

6.14.2010 | Motivation, My Blog

I’ve always been one to enjoy a good quote. I love how a random phrase can so succinctly sum up a lifetime’s worth of feeling in a single sentence. I love that “EXACTLY!!” feeling that happens when I read something that just ‘clicks’.

And then there are mottos. Words to live by, words to love by, words that give you some sort of hope, and possibly a glimpse at what it could be like to guide your own destiny, should you simply choose to follow those words.

When I started working with people who have Dementia, my motto in life changed after my very first work day was done. It isn’t a poetic motto by any means, and in fact, it’s really rather grotesque in simplicity. But it works for me, and it’s already made a difference in how I choose to look to the future.

At work, I saw so many spouses devastated by the fact that a disease was denying them the right to grow old with the person they love.  As Dementia stole their partner moment by moment in an agonizingly slow progression, so it stole their own life, too.  Here was a person they had married 35, 45, 55 years ago, and had endured a lifetime of trials and joys with them. They had worked hard together, and looked forward to the time when they could both ‘start enjoying life’.

The words, “we were waiting until retirement to…” went from being just plain smart, to being painfully tragic.

I had husbands tell me that they had no idea what they were going to do with their lives, given that their wife was now incapable of recognizing them, let alone traveling through wine country with them. So many missed trips to Europe, so many cruises, golf vacations, RV adventures, and visits to the grandkids in Sacramento… there was no one to do these things with anymore.

All the best parts of life, the reward for all the hard work, had been put on hold until they had ‘the time to do it right‘.

And now, they can’t do it at all.

It was heart-breaking. Aside from grief and anger, the surviving spouse also was left with an oppressive sense of helplessness and disappointment. “What we could have done if only we had more time…” and worse, “we had so much planned…

And so, my motto simply became “Do it. Do it now”.

Do it.

Do it now.

Because everything can become nothing in a single moment. Because looking back should not be all about what could have happened if you had stepped forward, instead of just looked forward.

So, do it. Do it now.

Whatever it is.

Because you deserve to remember that you did it, and not be broken by the fact that you didn’t.

As for me, I’m off to catch the ferry to Victoria, where I will spend the afternoon with my brother hearing all about his 6-week trek through Tibet and Nepal as we hike up Mt. Finlayson.

And I’ll be wearing the hiking boots that will take me to the summit of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.




I totally forgot to give you credit for that motto during the Delta Cable interview! Sorry! It’s a good motto and I recommend everyone adopt it as their own.




This motto really hits home especially when you have a near brush with death.

Some years ago, I was misdiagnosed with some disease. A serious one because the doctors just couldn’t find out _EXACTLY_ what was wrong. Admist all the painful tests and blood draws, everyday become ever more depressing. And lying there in the hospital bed, it truly hits home. The quote “Time and tide waits for no man” is not just another saying. It hits you in the face, delivering a punch of epic proportion. There was so much I have NOT done.

That day I promised myself. If I EVER get out of that situation alive, I will live everyday as if it’s my last. Fear of embarrassment? Fear of failure? Fear of looking stupid? Kiss.My.Ass.

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” – Dorothy Thompson

That’s the summary of my life today. 🙂

Michael Rudd

Great post and great motto and so true.

My quote is ‘This is It’ and gives me the same feeling – This is it, make the most of it. It helps me live in the moment and make the most of it.

Have fun up Mt Finlayson, love that hike.



I didn’t even know you said that during the interview, Ali! That’s hilarious… I’m glad you like it.

And Claudia, your “Fear of embarrassment? Fear of failure? Fear of looking stupid? Kiss.My.Ass.” just got added into my brainodex under ‘Awesome’.

Michael, taking yoga has helped me live in the moment and make the most of it, so thank you for sharing your motto with me that way. 🙂

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