A Life Without Somedays: Erin Doland Interview

When I started putting together this interview series, it never occurred to me that someone could have lived their life without any somedays, but then I met Erin Doland of Unclutterer.com. It’s no wonder she’s editor-in-chief at the supremely popular blog – she’s a go-go-get-it-done type and definitely one of the bloggers I most admire in my RSS feed reader.

Who: Erin Doland of Unclutterer.com

I have a genetic disorder that isn’t typically kind to its victims. When I was diagnosed at a very early age with Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica, very little was known about the disorder. Doctors told my parents that I was one of 12 in the world (now we know the number to be more than 2,500), and that I shouldn’t expect to have a normal life.

It was explained to my parents that many children with EB die before puberty, and another large percentage get a form of incurable skin cancer and die in their 20s (in addition to all of the nasty implications of the disorder itself). I’m very lucky to have escaped both of these horrible possibilities, but, for my entire life, I’ve had this information hanging over me. My early teen years were especially awful. I would wake up every morning and think, “today could be the day.”

My parents have explained to me that they had two options with my upbringing: 1. Completely shelter me and try to keep me out of harm’s way (the “bubble” approach), or 2. Let me pack as much living into each moment of my life (Carpe Vitam, translated to mean Seize Life). They chose the second option, much to the chagrin of many of my parents’ friends and family. They taught me to take chances and not give up when people told me I couldn’t do something and to live as fully as possible.

The truth of the matter is that “today could be the day” for anyone, irrespective of a disorder or illness. This fact is a little easier to dismiss, however, when someone isn’t saying it to you on a regular basis. It’s morbid, but maybe it’s worth thinking about once in a while. Waiting for your ship to come in or falling prey to the “someday syndrome” isn’t how anyone should live his or her life.

I have very few regrets in my life, and I owe a great deal of that to my parents’ insistence that I Seize Life. I have always taken chances, been a bit brazen, and risked a little to gain a lot. Anyone can live this way, and the benefits are truly spectacular.

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12 thoughts on “A Life Without Somedays: Erin Doland Interview

  1. Brett Legree says:

    Wow, if this isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what it is.

    And the second or third one today for me. My wife and I talked on the way in to work about an article we both read on the weekend, about a young woman who passed away last year as a result of having CF. And I have a cousin with CF.

    Each day could be her last day on earth. And each day could be my last day on earth too.

    Erin, thank you for sharing your story.

    -Brett

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..eyes.

  2. […] Read the whole thing. Tags: erin doland, Productivity, unclutterer […]

  3. Cath Lawson says:

    OMG Alex – great interview. I know we could all be gone in a flash, but as Erin says, it’s different when you’re being constantly reminded of that. At least she’s used that knowledge in a positive way.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Inspiring And Interesting Happenings

  4. Glee Girl says:

    Inspring stuff. I’m not sure I would cope in such a positive way living in the constant shadow of my own mortality. Of course, we all could go tomorrow – but for most of us it’s easy to take for granted that you will get your regulation 3 score and 10.

    I don’t take it for granted as much as I used to after the sudden deaths of two young people in my family in the past year, but rather than spurring me to suck the marrow out of life, I sometimes find myself worrying about things, particularly fixating on every little ache and pain, and catastrophising them.

    Note to self: stop worrying and start sucking the the marrow more….

  5. Alex Fayle says:

    @Everyone
    It’s amazing what we take for granted isn’t it? Of course comparing our lives to the lives of others is always dangerous, but we can be inspire to live more fully (or in my case worry less about “fairness”) when we do hear about what others accomplish.

  6. Erin, not only do you have a rare disorder but you said something that rarely gets said: “I have very few regrets”

    Your statement that you “risked a little to gain a lot” is evidence of how precious you really are.

    Truly spectacular indeed!

  7. chris says:

    Ms. Doland’s story is remarkable. Even more remarkable are her parents decisions to have Ms. Doland’s live life to the fullest.

  8. Glen Allsopp says:

    wow, amazing story. It must take great strength of character to get through life like that.

    Thanks for sharing, and good on you for getting through life your own way Erin!

    Glen Allsopp’s last blog post..Create Your Own Reality in 6 Steps

  9. Heart warming….. reading it made me realize how we take things for granted in life.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The truth of the matter is that “today could be the day” for anyone, irrespective of a disorder or illness. This fact is a little easier to dismiss, however, when someone isn’t saying it to you on a regular basis.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    VERY VERY true.

    Shamelle -TheEnhanceLife’s last blog post..Sleep Deprived ? 7 Ways To Revive Your Tired Body And Stay Energized After A Sleep Deprived Night

  10. Alex Fayle says:

    @Geralin
    Welcome to the blog! That line is something special, isn’t it? Not many people live without regrets.

    @chris
    Yes, her parents are something special aren’t they? I think a lot of parents would try to shelter their child and overprotect her instead of letting her enjoy her life.

    @Glenn
    Erin’s story is very inspiring and a great reminder to all of us to just get on with living.

    @Shamelle
    I love how different people are pulling out different phrases from the interview and achieving a different lesson for themselves. Great line you quoted.

  11. Karen Putz says:

    I’m reading this shortly after having received the news about a woman I know who passed away yesterday. She literally drank herself to death. Just 36 years old with three children.

    Carpe Vitam–yes!

    Karen Putz’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday–Beautiful Columbine

  12. […] Here’s a great interview with Unclutterer‘s Erin Doland that I recently re-read: “I have very few regrets in my life, and I owe a great deal of that to my parents’ insistence that I Seize Life. I have always taken chances, been a bit brazen, and risked a little to gain a lot. Anyone can live this way, and the benefits are truly spectacular.” […]

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