Buy a red convertible now, if you want one

It’s been a long time since I first read about her–12 years to be exact. And I can’t help wondering where she is by now.
Her age would be 89 now. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s still zipping down the highway in her red convertible!
“She’s cruisin’ at 77–years that is” was the headline that caught my eye in the April 12, 1987 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. Above the headline was a six-by-eight-inch photo of 77-year-old Alice Yarish, sitting erect and proud behind the wheel of her brand new red convertible.
According to journalist Carol Pogash, the red convertible wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment idea for Yarish. In fact, someone asked Yarish when she’d decided to buy the sporty car and she answered without a second thought, “When I was in high school.”
But that was a long time ago and Alice Yarish had done a lot of living since then. A husband, four children, law school, and 30 years of journalism always took precedence over her high-school dream.
Then one day in 1987, she was driving down the highway in “a little old lady from Pasadena car” when she saw the wonderful bright red convertible waiting for her in a dealer’s parking lot.
Alice screeched to a stop, hauled out her funeral money, and bought the car. After all, said Alice, “You can’t ride around on a tombstone!” And when it came to choosing between a tombstone and a red convertible, it wasn’t difficult for her to priorize.
You have to admire a woman like that. For three reasons:
1. Alice Yarish knew exactly what she wanted.
2. By age 77, Alice knew that no one would fulfill her dream for her.
3. She took the action that would transform her lifetime dream into reality.
All of us, regardless of our ages, have some of Alice Yarish in us. When we’re young, we wish on a star and imagine that our wish will one day come true–as if by magic. A rich uncle will give us a red convertible, or we’ll win it in a cereal box contest.
As we grow older, reality sets in. By now, it’s clear that the only way to fulfill our dream is to work hard. And then harder. If we live responsibly, never do anything silly, put money in the bank, and invest in the stock market, then one day, we just may be rich enough to do the one thing that really matters.
But life moves on. It’s time to send the children to college. The stock market fluctuates. We need a new car or a bigger house. The bank accounts shrink instead of grow. And like Alice Yarish, we find ourselves blandly dawdling down the road in an old-fashioned brown car we’ve always hated.
Wow, is that any way to live life? Of course not!
So think about it. What was your high-school dream? Your college dream? Your retirement dream? And more important, what is your dream today? Exactly what would it take to make you energetically happy right now?
Take plenty of time and answer that question thoughtfully because the first step to fulfilling a dream is having one.
Then remind yourself that no one will do it for you. Acting on your dream is entirely your responsibility. So why not get moving today.
Just imagine the fun you could be having in life!

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