On Steve Jobs and Living the Life You’re Meant To

There’s a For Sale sign on our lawn.

The listing for our house will officially appear tomorrow, but the sign is on our lawn now.

“How can you make a decision like this so calmly?” a friend asked a couple of weeks ago.

Calm? I’m not calm about anything right now (and evidently I wasn’t entirely prepared for that sign to go up).

I’m not calm about the stuff going on at work, and I’m certainly not calm about the fact that there’s a FOR SALE SIGN on the lawn of the house we’ve lived in for almost 9 years – since before we were married, since before we had our dog, since way before Connor was born.

As far as the stuff that happens next – big move, new house, new job – I’m excited about parts of it and, frankly, in denial about the rest. I’m almost 37 years old and I have spent most of my life living very near my parents. I’ve got really good friends here – pseudo-family kind of friends – I don’t want to leave. Both of those things make me want to barf.

But here’s the thing: I can’t stay here. Oh sure, in the literal sense I could. But in the larger-than-life philosophical sense, I can’t.

Last night as we cleaned and tidied and did the last few things needed for a photographer to come and take pictures of our house, I saw the news that Steve Jobs had died. I was sad; more sad than I would have thought, actually, but I’ve enjoyed revisiting his words of wisdom. Such as:

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

I think this is genius. We always hear, “Live each day as if it were your last,” which is romantic and inspring but totally impractical. If I knew tomorrow would be my last I’d hop on a plane for Hawaii. I’d go out for dinner with my boys and overeat to an insane degree and then have the most decadent dessert on the menu. I’d spend hours sitting by the ocean. I’d write a really, really long letter to my son. Some of those are things I could do today – or any day – but I can’t do them over and over and savour the moments as though they were my last. Life doesn’t work that way.

The brilliance of the above quote by Jobs is the “too many days in a row” part. Ignoring the little voice that says, “no” is how years go by until we realize we haven’t done what we want to do in this lifetime.

I certainly don’t have it all figured out and I’m not entirely sure what I want to do next. I know the general direction, but not the specific vision. According to Mr. Jobs, that’s okay:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

So I had my little cry about the For Sale sign. I’m not saying I won’t shed many more tears by the time this process is done and I’ve left my first house and the city I grew up in, but in my heart I know those things are secondary.

House for sale sign

Wanna buy a house?

Linking up with Just Write – The Fourth:


 

Comments

  1. Phenomenal post. We celebrate and honor the gift of life when we are doing something we love. Love how you focused on the “whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” We are so often willing to just accept circumstances and not try to thrive in life any longer. We are made to live life with passion and purpose regardless of circumstances. Your post got me pumped to take on the day. Thank you.

  2. It is terrifying to move, especially if it’s away from family. Eight years ago my new husband and I did just that and transplanted ourselves over 900 miles away from everyone we knew.

    It was an adjustment. I’m still not used to the insanely hot Texas summers. I have learned to love my new “winter”.

    I made friends.

    This is home now.

    You will sink in those roots and have a new home.

    And I love the quotes you chose. I love the “too many days in a row” part too.

    It is so very true.

    Hugs my dear, and good luck to selling the house quickly!

  3. Big leaps always take faith. Clearly you do have the faith and the commitment, so I hope everything (sale, move) goes smoothly for you. Think ahead, think of the exciting new things to do, to see, to experience when you’re in a new place. The possibilities!

  4. I love how you wrote this intertwining Jobs’ quotes. He was a brilliant man.

    As far as selling your house… a new chapter is dawning and that’s a good thing. Hard, but good.

  5. Your sister and brother will be close by and your parents won’t be long behind you.
    See you in my land
    xo

  6. You need faith to take that leap. You’ll do it and you’ll be fine. It will be a new, fresh beginning for you and your family. A new chapter in your adventure.

  7. Jobs really was an inspiration. Change is okay but it’s also scary at times. I hope all of your changes work out for you.

  8. Steve Jobs was an extremely, extremely inspiring and intelligent man. The husband and I both spent time last night watching some of his videos on YouTube. That quote stuck with me, too. Keep pressing forward. There are really exiting and really amazing things in store for you. :) I just know it.

  9. Did I read and just not comprehend where you’re going or was that not in there? I’m sorry. I’m trying to stay up with my bloggy loves but it’s proving to be rather difficult.

  10. So lovely, Robin. I’m glad you guys are doing it. Change is terrifying but can be wonderful. I know well that feeling of jumping off a cliff. It’s hard and exhilarating. And I think you will be happy you did it.

  11. This are great bits of wisdom.

  12. Yes!

    Even when it’s so hard and scary…well wait…it’s best when it’s hard and scary because I think it means we’re fully alive. Really living.

    KU-DOS :)

  13. this is something I needed to read and to take in…for you and for me. You know what? Everything in life is scary at first, even the stuff we truly want…moving out of the comfort of what’s familiar can be terrifying, but the LIFE CHANGING moments it brings, the stuff you can bring to the table afterwards because you made it through to the other side, is what will make that journey easier, worth it.

    MY friend, you are going to be GREAT…xo

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