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Waddingham: Plan for someday, but start living for today

Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:12 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:20 a.m. CDT

I wasn’t nervous to give my speech at the Orient-Macksburg National Honor Society induction ceremony until I looked out into the crowd and saw all the familiar student faces.

But they weren’t so familiar anymore; they were older and matured by life’s lessons. They all looked up at me expecting words of encouragement, motivation and hope.

In my now shaking hands, I held an outline of a speech that highlighted the virtues of the honor society — scholarship, leadership, service and character.

What had I accomplished that made me qualified to give a speech that would mean anything to the students at O-M?

When did I become an expert on being a scholar or becoming a leader?

How had I exemplified proper service and good character?

It felt like just a short time ago I was the one sitting in on the stage at an induction ceremony trying to soak up as many life lessons as I could before stepping out into the real world on my own.

I was 18 and planning my entire life around someday. I went off to college to gain the knowledge that would allow me to make a difference. I spent time traveling the country. I made new friendships, worked late nights and tried great food.

But before I knew it, the someday I had been planning for all along was that day, on stage at my old high school. I felt old, and more importantly, like I had failed what I set out to do six years ago.

With a wavering voice, I gave my speech. Thankfully, some of the students and parents laughed at my jokes, but I left Orient feeling like I was not able to convey the importance of living life for today, not just planning for someday.

What I don’t want to happen is for my someday to turn into yesterday. When I look back on my life a couple years from now, I don’t want to regret the times I didn’t go see friends, minutes I could have shared with loved ones or days I should have spent smiling instead of stressing.

I may have gained more from giving my speech at O-M than the people who came to listen. I am still learning a lot about myself and where I want to be, but I can’t spend my days waiting for someday to happen.

There is a barrenness to a busy life. Filling up every minute of the day with tasks that do not hold any meaning are just as wasteful as the minutes spent procrastinating instead of being proactive.

If you do not know where or how to start living for today, the virtues of the honor society — scholarship, leadership, service and character — are a good benchmark.

This week’s motivation: The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead. - Marjorie Pay Hinckley

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