BUT IF SHE DIED, WOULD YOU GO TO HER FUNERAL?
I was tired. So tired.
Being on your feet all day does that.
I worked 40 hours and was only on day three of my work week. As I finished, I sat down at the bar to have a beer. Sitting next to me was Audrey, one of my favorite regular guests.
I turned to her and mentioned that one of my best friends had been working countless hours in her dream position. She was renovating, building, creating, and developing talent, all in an effort to restore a once-iconic bowling alley just a few miles away.
That night was the grand re-opening. My friend was about to celebrate one of the biggest wins of her career.
I told Audrey, “I’m tired. I just don’t know if I can muster the energy to go to my friend’s opening.”
Audrey looked at me and said with no hesitation, “Would you go to her funeral?”
I spit my beer out.
“What?” I asked.
She repeated herself, “If your friend died today, would you go to her funeral?”
Confused, I said, “Of course!”
She looked at me, then at her drink. She took a sip, then gently put the glass back down on the bar.
“Why is that we will move Heaven and Earth to go to someone’s funeral, but we can’t find the energy to celebrate our friends' wins while they’re living?”she asked without looking up.
I stopped. Her words stung. The truth bomb was overwhelming.
But she wasn't finished.
"People will cancel life’s plans, rearrange a hectic schedule, and continue to regret everything they missed out in life when someone dies," she continued, still looking down. "But when they’re winning, we find excuses.
"We're 'tired,'" she said as she looked me square in the eyes.
It was amazing how exhaustion suddenly turned into a burst of energy. To put it bluntly, Audrey lit a fire under my ass. It was time to move.
I put on some lipstick, stopped at the corner store to get deodorant, conveniently found a wrinkled up bright blue blazer in the back seat of my car, and sped to my friend’s opening.
When I Walked In
I found my friend and never hugged her harder.
She saw me and immediately the biggest smile came across her face. She glowed. She was living her best life, proudly basking in the glory of her hard work.
She looked at me later that night and said, “We never miss the major moments in life, do we? Thank god.”
I looked back and said, “We never do.”
And to think, I almost did.
The Next Time You're Thinking of Calling Off
Self-help experts preach about taking care of YOURSELF.
They'll say you shouldn't apologize for not showing up - people will understand. They’re right, people will understand.
But will you remember how tired you were when the people you love most aren't here to celebrate anymore?
I'm glad Audrey set me straight that night. I needed it. I went to an event honoring a dear friend, and I'll never forget it.
Thank you Audrey for committing a most-welcome arson.