Although my love affair with writing started in high school, I never expected to be able to make a living as a writer. So I worked in government jobs for a few years, then started my own business—first a plant shop, then an interior landscape company. I always planned to write “someday”—when I had time, when I could afford to retire … “someday.”
Then I walked into a chiropractor’s office for a routine treatment and had to be carried out after suffering a stroke. I spent months in rehabilitation learning how to walk again, learning how to function again. I wondered, Would I ever be normal again? Would I be able to run my business? Would I be able to take care of myself?
Would I be able to write—or would I even be alive—when that mythical, magical “someday” arrived?
I realized “someday” is today. I was not—and you are not—promised anything beyond this present moment. If I wanted to fulfill my dream of writing “someday,” I had to start.
Realistically, I couldn’t start immediately because I was too incapacitated. However, I made the commitment that I would work as hard as I could to become functional again and that as soon as I could, I would start a novel. Nineteen years ago when I was in rehab, there were no computers in the therapy area. The rehab hospital allowed me to use the office computer in the therapy department as part of my occupational therapy to learn to type again. I worked as hard as I could every chance I got to practice typing—one letter at a time until I mastered them all, then gradually increasing my speed.
“Someday” actually arrived several months after my stroke when I returned to work during the week. I didn’t have a computer at home, so I went to the office on weekends to write my novel on my work computer. That first novel was Stroke of Luck, a romance novel about a woman who had a stroke similar to mine. The writing was not only the culmination of a lifelong dream, it was also beneficial to my emotional recovery. Writing itself can be therapeutic, but so can achieving—or even taking steps toward achieving—any dream.
I’ve written other posts about my stroke wake-up call, but a recent comment reminded me that few people—or maybe no people!—were reading my posts in the early days of the blog, so maybe it’s time to re-visit the topic.
Rhys from How to Preach left a comment on my post Stroke Awareness Month 2011:
Just reading one of your posts where you make this quite momentous remark; “After the stroke, I realized that ‘someday’ is today”.
It took me many years to discover this, and I think you could well write more emphatically on just this point.
It is tragic when we discover we didn’t do something, and it is now TOO LATE because that person is no longer there!
Do you have a dream that you’re putting off for “someday”?
Are you delaying a family visit for projects at work or putting off starting your own business until you feel financially secure? Are you waiting to reconcile with an estranged loved one until he apologizes to you? Are you postponing learning a second language until you have some extra time or avoiding returning to school until you aren’t so busy? Are you deferring your art while you focus on your career or suspending a career change until the economy gets better? Are you procrastinating on something you really want to do because you’re afraid you won’t succeed?
Are you putting your dream on hold until that mythical, magical “someday” that may never come?
Someday is today! If you have dream, start on it now. Maybe all you can do is the equivalent of my sitting at a computer and hitting one key to type a single letter. But that single keystroke led to more keystrokes and faster keystrokes and more accurate keystrokes—until the keystrokes turned into pages of text and eventually a novel.
Make that first keystroke. Take that first step. Today is “someday”!