Next Time, Two

If you are still breathing, you have a second chance.

— Oprah Winfrey

One day I will be abel to do this!

After a busy day of tending to tasks, my husband and I took a break for dinner out, which I enhanced with a glass of ruby red cabernet. My day’s responsibilities weren’t behind me yet, and, so, when Nancy, the waitress, asked if I wanted another glass of wine, I reluctantly declined.

After we paid the check, gathered our thoughts and belongings, we prepared to leave. Nancy saw me departing and held up two fingers.

Is she giving me the peace sign? V for victory? I wondered. Oops, she likely read my thoughts when I was mentally cursing her for taking so long with my food. Gotta work on that.

“Next time, two,” she said. Huh? I telepathed back to her. “The next time you come in, have a second glass of wine.”

Oh, that. Yeah, not a bad idea.

The health benefits of red wine notwithstanding, her advice got me thinking about all the times in my life that I don’t stretch out opportunities for pleasure, positivity and relaxation. Always in a hurry, so many tasks with so little time. If that’s not how I’d like to live my life, what am I going to do about it? It’s a me problem, well within my control.

And, so, I pondered the possibilities for where I could make immediate change. After all, action, begets action. I consider myself a woman of action so if not now, when?

Some thoughts for moving forward and making it count:

1. My joints and my attitude would benefit from breast stroking a few extra laps in the pool. My husband would likely agree. Instead of limiting myself to a timeframe for swimming, I will let loose and conjure an ocean with a limitless horizon, stretching from here to heaven, limbs moving rhythmically to the call of the gulls and shimmer of blue skies overhead.

2. I can enhance my 95-year old father’s day by spending extra time on the phone with him. After all, how many minutes do he and have left together? I certainly can spare more moments to listen to the jokes he has likely told me a few times before.

3. Write a few extra pages in my journal, without looking at the clock, to smooth the way to an intentional day. And this is what I’m going for. A day designed and created by me, for me. The clock knows not when I’ve exhausted the possibilities. That’s my job.

4. Instead of thinking of all the clever and caustic words that I can hurl at those who annoy me, perhaps I can spend those moments in my happy places, which is the pool and my journal. Why waste my thoughts on people and situations that don’t go my way, when I can manage them and create the existence I’m seeking? It’s within my power.

5. Stop for a moment to talk to neighbors instead of rushing off to my next Target run, which is never that uplifting anyway. Tasks don’t give me pleasure. Why do I put them before people, especially the people I share a life with in my neighborhood?

Once I started to come up with ideas for slowing down the pace, I began to notice all the ways I am in a race against time, for no real reason. It’s a bad habit, developed over a lifetime. I can take the time to slow it down for the rest of my life, for my best life.

And so, I have choices to make. My second act gives me the chance for a do over, while I sip my second glass of vino.

Take two: next time, two.



Hello, I’m Janet, career coach, writer, workshop leader.

I help women create their best lives through personal writing.