Updated: Sep 5, 2019
How one night can change everything...
Something was clearly wrong
One night, last September, my heart woke me up. I was confused. What had just happened?
Again, like a big hollow drum, just once, my heart made a hard thump my chest. It felt scary and sounded even scarier. Something was clearly wrong.
Waking up paralyzed
“Fifteen seconds felt like fifteen minutes as I laid there, quiet, still.”
As I reached for my phone to see what time it was, I realized my hands, like my entire body, was paralyzed. Now I was really concerned. I suspected I had a serious problem with my blood circulation and I knew I would need an ambulance immediately but I couldn’t move my body. I tried to ask for help from my son who was sleeping in the same room. I couldn’t speak. My lips just wouldn't work. I had no connection to my mouth.
I started to get panicked. I knew I was in a great danger and there was nothing I could do. Thinking of everything I would do if I just would be allowed to live.
The bucket list is pretty simple at the end
Suddenly, it occurred to me that there was something familiar in the situation. I realized I was having a sleep paralysis that I remembered once having as a child. My mind was awake but confused, and my body was sleeping. I forced myself to wake up like you sometimes do when you have a terrible nightmare.
I opened my lips. I had a voice. My hands were working again. I reached for my phone. It was 3am.
I opened the notes app and wrote down all those things that during those fifteen long seconds I had decided to do more of, if I would be given another chance to live.
The life as I had known it, had ended
I closed the notes and decided to call in sick the first thing in the morning and go to see a doctor. I suspected that the time had come to face the lurking burn-out that I had tried to avoid to acknowledge.
However, when my alarm went off a couple of hours later, I felt just fine. I was actually happy that it had been nothing more than a nightmare since I had so much to do at work that I simply couldn’t be absent from the office. I had my shower and I had my breakfast and I went to work.
But as the week went by and I became more and more exhausted, I kept on coming back to that night and to that list. Re-reading it. Although there was nothing wrong in my health after all, that night had scared me awake and had got me thinking, and thinking hard.
Re-reading that list, I realized there was an important message hidden in that list. The message of my true purpose.
The bucket list become my life
“It was, in fact, my heart that woke me up that night. It woke me up to live my true life.”
Now, a year later, I look at the list and realize that I have turned everything upside-down. By having had the courage to make some very difficult decision, I have turned the list into my day job. Into my life. And I feel more fulfilled and happy than I have ever felt in my life before.
Oh, and the list I wrote that night. It is still in my phone. This is what I decided that night to do:
Take care of my health
Spend more time with my loved-ones
Finnish writing my book
Become a certified life coach
Practice and teach yoga
Play ukulele and paint
It was, in fact, my heart that woke me up that night. It woke me up to live my true life. The life as I had known it, had ended.