AUTHOR BIO: Sam is a twenty-something with a passion for writing. She works as a Marketing Assistant for online ad network, CPX Interactive, and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Sam loves meeting new people, so be sure to check out her blog: Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates, and say hello. With all of the bloggers our there writing about politics, current events, and saving the world, Life’s Chocolates provides readers with a personal and refreshing perspective on life – which is why I love it, for it’s simplicity and honesty.
My dad has a t-shirt that says “Change is good.” He got it when we took a vacation to Vegas about ten years ago. The meaning of the message in Vegas terms is obvious, but the meaning for my dad went far beyond the slot machines.
When I was about nine years old, my dad had a heart attack. It was the scariest night of my life, and I will always remember every detail. Thankfully (in a way that words cannot even begin to express) he ended up being okay, and began a long recovery that required him to re-evaluate how he was living his life. We soon found out that the non-medical cause of the heart attack was stress. As a rabbi, he has always taken other people’s problems upon himself in an effort to help them, and there is often a lot of politics going on behind the scenes that can get pretty stressful. It turns out that my dad had gotten pretty good at bottling it all up inside him, too good, and his body had responded. He realized the magnitude of the situation, how lucky he was to be alive, and that if he didn’t make some serious changes, he might not be so lucky next time.
We are all set in our ways, content with the level of balance we’ve achieved in our lives. Though we may not enjoy our routine, it’s familiar and comforting. Our job might not be the most fulfilling, but it pays the bills, and we can always look for another one. No one wants to rock the boat because they’re afraid of falling overboard. Some of us spend our days putting others before ourselves, and we don’t even notice. Others want to help the less fortunate, but always assume that someone else will do it and never take action themselves.
So, why make the effort to change if things are fine the way they are? Well, when you look back on your life thirty or forty years from now, are you going to wish you had done things differently? What if you’re looking back much sooner than that? Will you still be content with “fine,” or will you find yourself wishing it could have been “great”?
Yes, change is often inconvenient, it’s difficult, and it will challenge you, but the best things in life are worth the risk. Don’t spend your life waiting and wondering, make every moment count. The truth is that life is unpredictable, and we never know what the next day will bring. Make the effort to get out of your rut and make changes in your life. Even the smallest change can have a big impact.
My dad was lucky, he got another chance, and he has definitely made the most of it. He takes better care of himself, manages his stress differently, and asks for help when he can’t handle everything alone. But, I know he wishes he had made these changes sooner, and hadn’t needed a near death experience to motivate him. It’s important to take care of ourselves, and others, no matter what we have to do to. So, take a good look at your life, stare change straight in the eye, and embrace it.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
–Pastor Martin Niemöller