Select Page

If Not Now, Then When?

If Not Now, Then When?

I had a work meeting downtown this morning and then I met my wife to run an errand. We were done by 11 AM and we were both hungry. I looked at my watch. Not really to tell the time, it didn’t matter what time it actually was, it was time to go to work. No matter what the watch said, it was time to go to work. Had fun, did the work meeting, did the errand, then to work. I ran through the discussion in my head. I didn’t bother running it by my wife as she’s heard it all before.

  • I work for myself.
  • I have work to do.
  • I was up at 4 AM the other day doing client work, doesn’t it equal out at some point?
  • If we go to lunch, I won’t get to the office until maybe 1:00.
  • I have loads of client work to do.
  • I always have loads of client work to do.
  • Tomorrow I’ll have loads of client work to do.

We’ve talked in the past about how, since we both work for our own companies, we should have the freedom to go for a lunch on a weekday. We should do it in place of going out on a weekend night … or in addition.

  • We don’t have to pay for a babysitter (and drive her home).
  • We’re both awake during the day. 🙂 OK, I’m awake.
  • It’s like a secret day, a special day out on the town.
  • We can run errands or go shopping.
  • Lunches are cheaper than dinners.
  • I actually prefer going out to lunch (don’t like feeling full at night).

When does that special day come?

I could think of a bunch of reasons why we shouldn’t go to lunch. In fact, I just did and even wrote them out above. But how long have we been talking about sneaking away for lunch during the day? Maybe even, hold on, go crazy, go to a movie too?  It’s been years. Sure, maybe we run an errand together, but it’s usually, “I’m too busy. I have too much work. I have a client meeting.”

That special day arrives when you say it arrives.

We were in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe staying at a guest lodge (“lodge” is a big word … ). A non-local woman was working behind the bar and we got to talking with her. We both were so impressed that she was there, working behind the bar (and reception during the day), in a remote mountain village in Zimbabwe. Just being in Zimbabwe was already exotic enough. We were fresh travelers and were happy to be surviving, much less thriving in such a glamorous position. We chatted and asked her all kinds of questions. The very next day the owner asked my wife if she wanted to work at the lodge in return for room and board as one of their staff was leaving. “Just for a few weeks.”

If it’s now or never, now is the safer bet.
That night, in bed, we talked it through and through, but I couldn’t get it out of my head that you just don’t do those things. That’s just not who I am. I’m not that adventurous. I maybe wish I were or dream that I might be someday, but I’m not. But when is the day that your dream self becomes your true self? Those are other people, right? You read about them or hear about it or maybe meet someone who does it, but we can’t do that. We have to be somewhere. But where? We don’t have time. Right? We were traveling. We had no commitments, no agenda, no schedule, no nothing. So if not now, then when? If I’m not that person, but I’d like to become that person who makes those choices, then when do I start? It’s not going to come to you on a platter from the heavens, it’s going to come from within.

She was hired on the next day and a few days later there was another opening and I was brought on as well. It was late November and after several days, they asked if we could stay through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. This decision took less time than the first one: be happy to. That’s just the kind of people we are, we make those decisions. We ended up working behind a bar and reception in a lodge in a small mountain village deep in forests of Zimbabwe for about 6 weeks.

Today was almost as exotic. We not only went to lunch, we went to the movies, too.


  1. John Muldoon

    Love this post, Bradley! A great reminder.

  2. Kristen

    Bradley! SO happy your story ended the way I was hoping it would. I am in that place with my professional life – if not now, when? I am jumping in with both feet! Hopefully I will still have time for lunch. Thought provoking. Thank you.

    • Bradley

      I think the power comes when you “make the time for lunch” and then you “have the time.” Where you’ll be with your business, I think there will be plenty of opportunities for lunch (!). Can’t wait to see how it unfolds.



  1. 100 Posts in 100 Days - [...] I fell in love with writing (again). Since we had kids (9 years ago) writing has taken a back…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scribe Count

The Every Single Day Summit

Boost Your Brand with a Book

The Repossible Podcast

The Repossible Podcast Bradley Charbonneau on Apple Podcasts   Bradley Charbonneau on Stitcher  Bradley Charbonneau on Google Play

Five Reasons Why You Should Write Every Day

The Silent Treatment: Every Single Day

The Silent Treatment: Every Single Day