Here’s a story for you.

Several years ago, I was looking for a chair to use with a writing desk. One fine day, in a local junk shop, I found one that caught my eye. Like most chairs you find in junk shops, it was older and wood, real wood, with a slightly padded seat. It had plenty of character in the form of scuffs and scrapes, but it was solid and even fairly comfortable. And, at 10 bucks, the price was right.

When I got it home and slid it in front of the writing desk, it was a nice match. As I knocked some of the dust off of it, I noticed a cigarette butt stuck in between the seat cushion and the chair back. I tried to grab it but the gap was too small for my fingers. I went the extra mile by leaning over and trying to blow it out, but it didn’t budge. I had a fleeting thought of getting the vacuum cleaner and using the handheld attachment to suck it out, but I had other things to do. I don’t remember what those things were but I’m sure they were important. Later, I thought. I’ll do it later.

And now here we are. Several years have passed. I have a new desk, but I still have that same old chair. And, you guessed it, that cigarette butt is still stuck there between the seat cushion and the chair back waiting on later to roll around.

Here’s the thing about later; it can get away from you. Fast. If there is something you want to do, do it now.

For years, I wanted to write a book, but I just kept putting it off, telling myself I would do it later. After all, there were more important things to do.
Luckily, I came to my senses somewhere along the line and I wrote that book. When I look back on it, I can’t recall a single one of those more important things that needed to be done. All I recall is how much fun I had writing that book.

My point is, don’t let later take away the things you want to do, whatever those things may be. If you want to write a book, start writing it now. If you want to run a marathon, and I can’t imagine why you would, start working on it now. Take those first steps, then keep taking steps no matter how small or how big. The outcome might not be what you had hoped, but that’s okay, because it also might. Either way, you will never have to wonder what if.

By the way, I’ve been on both sides of the outcome. Writing a book was a great experience and I plan on writing many more. I also ran a marathon. In an ice storm. And it sucked. I’m not certain I will ever do that again, but I now know I can, even if I didn’t do it well.

I know, and that’s what counts.