Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't delay - start living well today

If you know me well, you know that I'm a huge Agatha Christie fan. I've read (and reread) a ton of her books, I've seen the Mousetrap twice, and the cats I had as a teenager were named Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Enough said, right?


So when Johnny and I were recently watching a documentary featuring David Suchet (the fabulous actor who has portrayed the famous Poirot in dozens of Agatha Christie movies), I was in heaven. The special feature, available on Netflix for all of you Poirot fans out there, followed Suchet aboard the infamous Orient Express - the train where murder and mayhem abound in one of Agatha Christie's greatest plays - The Murder on the Orient Express. Starting in London, we watch Suchet uncover the secrets of the train and learn why Christie chose the train for one of her most ingenious tales of murder.


I thoroughly enjoyed the show - lapping up each and every detail of the train's history. But one part of the documentary really stuck with me. It was an interview with a couple also aboard the train with Suchet. When asked how they'd chosen to travel via the luxurious Orient Express, here's what they had to say:


The gentleman's mother had always wanted to travel via the Orient Express. It was one of her lifelong goals - but she'd never seem to find the time, the money, etc. to make her dream come true. About a year before the documentary was made, however, her son made it possible for her to make the trip...and she couldn't have been more excited. But just a few short months before her long-awaited trip was to take place, she passed away unexpectedly. She never had the chance to live out her dream. Thus, her son (who was to have traveled with her), decided to follow through with his mother's dream, taking the trip with his wife to celebrate, not only his mother's life, but also their wedding anniversary.


I was struck by this story for two reasons: one, because a trip on the Orient Express appears on my bucket list, too, and two, because I was reminded how short life really is, and how little time we have to live life to the fullest. I think back to the time I wasted, fighting way too long and way too hard against lupus. I wised up not a moment too soon, of course - and have since learned to embrace the disease, incorporating it into my life so that I can still achieve my goals, pursue my plans, and live well, despite it.

Let that woman who missed fulfilling her goal by just a few short months be our motivation for acting today, rather than waiting until tomorrow. Convince yourself that today is the day you'll start napping, or eating well, or asking for help at work or at home. Act today, and you'll still have plenty of time to live well. You wouldn't want to miss the boat (or should I say, "train"), would you?

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