My missed opportunity



It was the opportunity of a lifetime. It needed to be acted on in the moment, or it would be gone forever. But I didn’t take action. I blew my chance.

For four years, I envisioned my mother seated in a chair in front of the Christmas tree during our family gathering. My sister and I would stand at her shoulders on either side. My twenty-something daughter would be seated near her feet with my sister’s two young granddaughters in her lap. Four generations of strong women. A beautiful moment in time, captured in a simple photograph and treasured for a lifetime.

But once again, that evening was like most family gatherings. The chaos of people coming and going, food being prepared, gifts being opened, toasts to health, and another year ahead meant the evening flew by. Maybe next year, I thought.

But another year was not to be. My mother passed away the following October. That holiday was a hard one to begin with, but I found myself dwelling on that missed opportunity, adding salt to my still open wound. Kicking myself for thinking about it but doing nothing to make it happen. The deep pain I experienced at the thought of that missed opportunity surprised me.

Why did I think about it every year, but do nothing about it? I talked about it. Every. Damn. Year. What the hell was the matter with me? It is still piercing to think about.

This experience puts an exclamation mark on my work with women who want to write their books. It makes me want to light a fire under every woman I encounter who tells me, “I want to write my book someday.”

You’ve heard this before: someday never comes.

It never comes because we just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or next month, or next year.

Are you capable right now? Hell, yes. Do you have time right now? Hell, no. But can you make space in your life? Hell, yes...with a chisel and hammer.

I shared these statistics in my last article, but they are worth repeating: something like 85% of people say they want to write a book, but only 3% actually do it.

And I can tell you why in two words: missed opportunity.

If you’re keeping score, this is the second time this month I’ve talked about time. Some might call me obsessed, but I’m okay with that. I’ve been called worse things.

As of tomorrow, we have twelve short weeks left in 2022. Twelve jam packed, hectic, holiday infested, family gathering, party attending and hosting, gift-giving, crazy-making weeks. And that’s just our personal lives.

If you choose not to start your book in the next twelve weeks, I will understand. Kind of. But promise me you won’t put it off in 2023. Because a missed opportunity can sting for a really long time.

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