Our Real Work: Jess Ryan, MS

Coaching and consulting. Something's calling. It's your life.

Life’s Short: One Human’s Plea To Do Something…Now


My new neighbor has an affinity for loud, french, accordion music. Mid-morning or as the sun sets, the melodies vibrate from her speakers through closed windows and doors and dance into my house. I could be an asshole about this as technically we’re not in France and I cherish the few moments of quiet that rarely occur in my household. I could complain, tell her to turn it down, or internally stew wishing it was quiet.

But, I kind of like it. I’m transported to Europe, sitting at a cafe, eating pastries, being swooned by a charming strolling minstrel… when in reality I’m surrounded by file folders, to-do lists, leftover, uneaten, toddler breakfast, and a cold cup of coffee I started drinking five hours ago. Don’t be jealous. I know it’s glamorous.

Sometimes we need a reminder and perspective to call us back to the importance of a short, sometimes fragile, always rich, and, often seeming, mundane life.

Last week, I stepped away from technology for approximately 48 hours while visiting a friend in Phoenix, AZ. On the way home I sat in the airport waiting to board my flight, took my phone off airplane mode, and sifted through email, texts, phone messages, Facebook, etc.

In the 48 hours I was AWOL from technology:93245a27823e317c0f061fd0c64fe40d
a friend had her first baby
a family and community lost a father and husband
people celebrated milestone birthdays
parents lost their only child
a friend had an article published
someone got a book deal

In 48 hours, people’s lives changed.
Forever. Forty-eight hours.

Let me sum this up –– 48 hours isn’t a lot of time AND life is short.

Most of us get a good run at it, but what are we actually doing with our lives? Stewing over neighbors and co-workers? Wishing for the perfect mate or better marriages? That the kids would finally grow-up so things can settle down? Hoping someone will find our lives interesting or meaningful?

Here’s the deal, you’re the only one that can do anything about your life.

Listen to your neighbor’s music or don’t, but you have a choice about how you live your life.

A lot can change in 48 hours.

What are you waiting for?

I encourage you to commit to taking one action step in an area you want to change or improve. Proclaim it in the comments below!


  1. yesterday i rolled out my yoga mat for the first time in months. this morning i read the first three pages of my little “beginner songs for ukulele” book, which i acquired a month ago.

  2. Great post Jess! So often we get caught up in what’s right in front of us and we forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Things can change, FAST, so appreciate the little things and always take steps, even small ones, toward what you ultimately want. Love it!! 🙂

    • Brandy, great message! Thanks for taking the time to share. Keep on living this wild thing called life with all you have! xx

  3. Next week I’m going down to Fort Collins to search for apartments and jobs! I’m finally going to move no matter what it takes!

  4. i am being “curious” about my emotions. sitting with them and asking them what they are trying to tell me. also reading A Year to Live thanks to Emily B’s quotes shared in yoga class.

    • Beautiful practice, Susan. Karla McLaren’s books offer great information about the gifts and messages of emotions. Keep it up and keep us posted!

  5. I am starting to live with intention. 1-3 words a day to practice & live intentionally & aware by. Today’s start: Peace & Patience

  6. I went back to school, started orientation, no backing out now.

  7. I made an effort to share my passion with others by teaching acting classes. Even when only one person shows up, I feed my soul when I glimpse moments of discovery on the students’ faces. It’s not monetarily lucrative, but it sure has enriched my life these past couple of weeks.

  8. I’m working on slowing down . I often try to live life at 150 mph. It caught up with me a few years ago and slowing down, listening to my body, and enjoying all of the things we’ve worked for have changed everything. Taking breaks throughout the day to rest, reflect and calm my body are crucial for me and I so often dont do it, but I’m getting better at it :-). This is a great post! Thank you Jess

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