Life is short and there will never be enough time to do the things you want to.

Have you heard that before? Yes, I bet you have. You have probably even said it a few times too. Usually when people say it though, they actually mean it as an excuse for why they are too busy, why they can’t slow down and why they can never find enough hours in a day.

It has been 45 days since my mom passed away. I remember on one occasion when my sister and I were sitting bedside in the hospital talking. I was frustrated about having to constantly calm my mom down. She never wanted to be alone. She was so fearful of death and she didn’t want to go.

“She’s 86”, I said, “She’s had a full life!”

I didn’t understand why she was so scared and after having spent a good part of the last two years being really sick and in hospital, why she wasn’t more prepared and accepting of the inevitable.

My sister then recanted a story about when she had been looking after her mother-in-law when she was really sick and in hospital. Days before she passed away, when she knew the end was near, she told my sister with such pain and sorrow in her voice, “It goes by in a flash.”  She was 95.

After my sister told me that, I started to think about all the things that my mom waited too late to do and never got the chance before her life became consumed with doctor’s appointments, tests and hospital stays. I started to think about all the plans I had heard her contemplate in the years before she became really ill. I started to think that one day, that could be me too if I didn’t heed the words…

Life is short and there will never be enough time to do the things you want to.

That phrase isn’t supposed to make you just stop and think for a moment, wallow in the responsibilities that keep you busy, then carry on in the same way, day after day, hoping that maybe tomorrow, next week or maybe next year, you will be able to fit some things in that you want to do for yourself. It is supposed to instil in you the urgency to not let time pass you by being busy doing nothing that brings you joy, nothing that, even for one moment, slows down the hands of time and let’s you enjoy life.

Now I could have made this post about finding your true passion, planning a vacation, moving to a new country, finding a new career or starting a new hobby, etc., but I know that for many midlife women, either because of financial restraints, family obligations or even physical limitations, it is impossible to do any of those grand gestures that are supposed to make your life complete. I see it on Facebook everyday. Memes and posts about grabbing life by the balls and changing your life completely.

Hey, I don’t knock it. If you can do any of those things, good for you. But what about those that can’t? I don’t want you to get depressed because you can’t fly off to Paris or quit your job and write a novel. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an ordinary life and embrace it every day. And it certainly does not mean that your life is any less or that you should feel incomplete.

Life is short and there will never be enough time to do the things you want to.

Probably no matter what you do or how much you accomplish in this lifetime, inevitably, you will be at death’s door, wishing you had more time. Even if you were able to tick quite a few things off your bucket list, there will always be more things left undone.

But what you can do, is slow down. Appreciate that things that are around you, have gratitude in your heart. and embrace the life you have today, not tomorrow. It may never come.

10 Things Midlife Women Need To Make Time For Everyday

  1. Stretching and breathing with an empty mind, focusing only on your body and your spirit. (2 minutes)
  2. Looking in the mirror and saying “I like you.” with conviction. (2 seconds)
  3. Walking in the fresh air, connecting with nature. (10 minutes)
  4. Writing in a paper diary. (5 minutes)
  5. Listening to the cues of your body. Eating when you are hungry, sleeping when you are tired, walking away, even if temporary, from situations that cause you stress.
  6. Having device free time.
  7. Giving and receiving an embrace from someone you love. Not a hug. A full on, body contact, I’m not ever letting you go, embrace. (10 seconds)
  8. Laughing wholeheartedly. (10 seconds)
  9. Giving a compliment and making someone’s day. (10 seconds)
  10. Finding gratitude in everyday, no matter how small.

Will any of these actions give you more time? No.

But what they will do is have you focus on today and embrace the life you do have. Even if the only blessing you have today is that you are still breathing, you need to cling to the joy that you had one more day. Because believe me, when the end does come, you will wish you had one more breath to take.