Tantalizing Tidbits!

By GiGi Sampson

Don’t Wait!

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Believe it or not, I am one of the WORST procrastinators you will ever meet! Often times I find myself putting off until tomorrow what I don’t want to do today – – but I am working on that. I’ve learned not to put off, not to wait, to do important things – like making sure the people who mean so much to me, know that they do.

Is everyone familiar with Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Discovery of them was a turning point in my life.

Let me share my thoughts and beliefs with you about one of those Habits: Being proactive. This is so much more than merely planning ahead and trying to anticipate life! It’s taking

P ersonal
R esponsibility and
O wnership of
A ctivities,
C hoices,
T houghts,
I ncentives,
V alues,
E nergy Expenditures.

“Response-ability” according to Stephen Covey is the ability to choose our response. It is far better to exercise our ability to choose our response to people and to situations, rather than reacting without thought.

Even better is exercising our ability to choose our character. Choosing our character incorporates being PROACTIVE. After all, what makes up our character? Our activities, choices, thoughts, incentives, values, and where/how we expend our energy. Choosing our character makes “response-ability” easier and accountability essential to our nature! Choosing our character is never more critical than when relating to and interacting with other people.

Relationships are the most important elements in our lives! Nothing merits more time; nothing requires more attention. With relationships, being proactive is critical.

A wise young man once told my son, “You can’t choose family, but you can choose your friends. Choose wisely.” I would add “invest with a sense of urgency.” Don’t wait! Invest in those relationships you value NOW! Why?

In September 1985, I was still a little out of sorts with my dad over a decision he’d made but we still talked and met for lunch on occasion. My sister, on the other hand, was down right MAD at him. On a Friday morning, my dad called to see if I wanted to travel with him to visit my sister in south Louisiana the following weekend. I think dad was trying to make amends and “patch things up” with both of us.

I called later that afternoon to tell him that I would go with him. He was napping when I called so I left that message with my step mother. That evening while I was eating dinner, the phone rang. It was my stepmother’s daughter calling to let me know they’d taken my dad to the hospital. All I asked was which hospital and told her I’d be right there. She said okay. On our way, I must have looked worried because my husband patted my hand and told me not to worry; he told me my dad would be okay and that my dad was strong. I turned to him with what he described as a “peculiar” look on my face and told him no, dad wouldn’t be okay – he wasn’t strong.

Dad was already gone when we arrived at the hospital. He died even before I had received the phone call. We never got to make that trip to south Louisiana. There will be no more opportunities to make full amends.

Don’t wait! If there is dissention between you and someone you care deeply about, don’t wait – make it right. Patch things up. Don’t wait!

In 1988 I lost one of my soul mates. Denise and I grew up next door to each other and had known each other for 26 of our 28 years. Our birthdays were one week apart and she graciously served as one of my wedding attendants. She had the sweetest spirit! I loved Neisy! Those of us closest to her called her Neisy. Neisy battled brain cancer for two years and in March 1988, she fought her final battle. I was working two jobs at the time – full-time at a bank and part-time in a retail mall. One Sunday morning as I was leaving Sunday School, I decided to skip church and go see Neisy at the hospital before I went to work at the mall that afternoon. I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to go see her later that week because my schedule was so full.

I had not realized she had declined so much over a few days time. She never opened her eyes and it was a struggle to understand when she tried to speak but I heard her whisper “I love you” when it was time for me to leave. I leaned down and gently kissed her check and told her I loved her too. Tuesday morning I received the call that she was gone. How glad I am I didn’t wait! I didn’t wait until another day to see her. I didn’t wait to tell her I loved her.

Don’t wait! Don’t wait until tomorrow or the next day. Don’t wait!

This past fall, I almost lost another precious, cherished friend. She had been experiencing some serious health issues but was scheduled for surgery the first week in October and that surgery would remedy those issues. I was attending a seminar in Charlotte on a Friday in late September. My husband picked me up at the end of the day – what he told me put me into shock! My best friend had been hospitalized for not one, but THREE strokes! We went to the hospital immediately.

Over the next several weeks, I’m sure I drove her nuts because she saw me or heard from me every day. Her surgery was the day after my father-in-law’s surgery and as it turned out, I was unable to spend time with her in the hospital immediately after her surgery because I was at a different hospital with my father-in-law whenever I wasn’t at work or asleep. But I made sure I called her every day so she knew she was on my mind and in my heart. I wanted her to know how much she means to me and how much I value our friendship. Today she’s almost fully recovered from the strokes and from surgery. I am so happy she’s still in my life!

Don’t wait! Don’t wait for a more convenient time or for a better opportunity. Make sure the people who mean so much to you, KNOW they do. Don’t wait! Take Personal Responsibility and Ownership of your Activities, Choices, Thoughts, Incentives, Values, Energy Expenditures in nurturing those important relationships. Do it NOW! Don’t wait!

If you have comments or questions for the author, you can email GiGi at tidbitz2009@yahoo.com.

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