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  • Deep down, I knew I was working my life away; I just didn't want to admit it.

    From early in the morning, until late at night, I worked.
    I'd bring work home and fall asleep amidst the paperwork.
    I gave up weekends, vacations, lunches and breaks,
    but there was work to be done and I had to do my best. Always.
    If there was no one else to do a job, I pulled in the slack.

    After nearly a decade of this, burnout wasn't a possibility, it was the norm.
    I was exhausted, and yet I refused to let anything slow me down.
    It was a non-profit and I cared. Too much.

    My Mother tried to tell me, but I wouldn't listen.
    My husband tried to tell me, but I had excuses.
    My friends (what few I had left) tried to tell me, but I was sure I knew best.

    I was returning from a meeting one day and decided to pick up some Chinese takeout on the run.
    I pulled my car over near a bluff overlooking the beach and began to hurriedly gobble my food so I could get back to the office.

    That's when I read my fortune.
    Only this cookie held more cookie logic than a revelation of cosmic destiny.
    Or so I thought at the time.

    "Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it."

    "Yeah, right, blah, blah, blah. I have so many piles of work on my desk right now, Gandhi would grit his teeth and push through overtime."
    (I was under a lot of stress at the time and when a person is stressed, the eyes, ears, and mind tend to close much quicker than the mouth.)

    Nonetheless, I didn't throw it away.
    Despite my cranky mood, I reached up and tucked it up into the bottom left-hand corner of my rearview mirror.

    Eight years later, it's still there.

    "Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it."

    Each day I drove to work, I'd look in my mirror and those words were there.
    Before long, they became my silent mantra.

    "Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it."

    Within a year, I left my job then took some time off for myself.
    Within two, we sold our house, moved to the country and rediscovered a great deal of joy in our lives.

    "Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it."

    I know what you're thinking.
    Can a fortune cookie really change your life?

    My answer to that question is simple.
    If your mind and heart are open,
    absolutely anything can change your life.

    "Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it."
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