I recently bought a case of the wrong kind of baby diapers by mistake.
They didn't fit our baby well. They leaked. They got soggy. In short, they sucked.
For a couple weeks after, I found myself saying, "I hate these new diapers."
My husband also disliked them, as did anyone else who changed our daughter's diapers after I brought home the offending case.
This was a large case, too, containing 250 diapers. We kept using them, but it seemed like we weren't making a dent in the supply.
Finally, my husband said, "Why don't we just get rid of these and buy a case of the good kind?" And I thought, Of course! What a simple but brilliant idea.
So, I promptly donated the inferior diapers to a charitable organization, and bought a case of the ones we like. Such an easy fix. I wondered why I suffered with the bad ones for over two weeks.
Part of it could be the cost -- diapers aren't cheap, as most of you know -- and part of it could be the idea of "wasting" anything. Part of it could be not wanting to admit failure, even on such a tiny scale. But seriously, I thought, life is too short to subject myself (and my daughter) to a sub-par product for however many days it would take to go through 250 of them.
This got me to thinking about what other things I've suffered through for no really good reason.
The uncomfortable shoes I've worn just because they were expensive.
The lunch dates or outings on which I've gone when I really didn't want to go.
The bad movies I've sat through, or uninteresting books I've finished to the end.
The lackluster meals I've finished, or less than satisfying calories I've consumed.
The clothes I've worn even though they didn't make me feel good or confident, again, just because I paid good money for them.
The time-consuming favors or tasks I've done because I said yes when I really wanted to say no.
The unhealthy friendships and relationships in which I've stayed.
The list goes on (and on and on) ...
This also caused me to think about other things I've done without thinking of the immeasurable value of my own time and how much I may be wasting. Things like holding grudges and harboring resentments, and people pleasing to my own detriment.
I thought about things I haven't done as well, or that I've put off doing, thinking I'd do them "some day." Things like traveling, taking risks, learning a particular hobby or craft, telling someone how I really feel, wearing a special piece of jewelry or using the "good" china, doing something I've always wanted to do. Taking a leap. Stepping out of my comfort zone.
So, what exactly am I waiting for?
Now that I'm in a place where I've had the occasion to contemplate my own mortality, I think about things I wish I had done.
With some of these things, the ship has likely sailed. But with many others, it hasn't. As long as I'm living and breathing, there's no reason not to "just do it."
So maybe I'll zip line in Costa Rica after all, or jump out of an airplane. Or make a long-overdue amends to someone from my past. Or buy that obscenely expensive handbag.
Life is short. And I want to make the most of it, no matter how much time I have left.
What have you always wanted to do, and why haven't you done it?
Image via Dara Carson