Not a Moment to Waste

It’s Thursday, so I’m Crafting my Life! I invite you to join in the fun. If you would like to share a story from your own journey, please drop me a line. If you’d like to find out more about my online class on living with intention and my upcoming e-book, visit craftingmylife.com.

As I get older, I feel the relentless march of time more keenly. With each passing year, it becomes more and more clear to me that there are certain things in this life that I just won’t do – or just can’t do. Any shot I had of competing in the Olympics is long gone. Ditto my chances of becoming an astronaut. They’re sending fewer and fewer people into space these days, the likelihood they’d pluck a mom in her mid-30s from suburban Canada for a comeback tour on the shuttle is pretty low. My choices are narrowing as I get older.

I tell my children that they can do anything, and be anything. At three and six years old, this is still (mostly) true for them. I want to tell them something more, too, but I know they wouldn’t understand. They’re simply too young. I want to say, “That thing that you want? Go after it. That thing that you don’t enjoy? Don’t do it. Life is too short to spend a single moment walking down the wrong path.”

Many of us spend a good portion of our lives doing things that we don’t enjoy. These are the things that don’t work for us, but we think others expect us to do. They’re the things that we thought we wanted, but when we tried them we discovered maybe we really didn’t. They’re the obligations that sap our energy and take up all our time but don’t really enhance our lives. All of us have them, if we stop to think hard enough. And yet we keep doing them, because we feel as if we should, or we don’t want to be quitters, or we worry that if we don’t, no one will. And maybe some or all of these things are true.

As I get older, I’m coming to understand that I only have so much time to play with, here. I simply don’t have the luxury of wasting the time I do have doing things that detract from my life. I don’t want to spend another moment walking down the wrong path out of a misguided sense of obligation. It’s time to seize that thing I want and do it … and then discard it if I discover it’s not right for me, and move on to the next thing. This is how I will live with purpose and intention, and create a life that works for me.

It may be true that there are certain things I’m never going to pull off in this life. But there are just as many things that I still can pull off, if I put my mind to it. If I’m going to make those things happen, I’m going to need to focus my energies. I’m going to need to learn to accept help more, and say no more when something doesn’t work for me. I’m going to need to practice sovereignty and I’m going to need to pause and reflect and ask myself how things are for me.

There’s simply not a moment to waste doing anything else.

How do you decide when something isn’t enhancing your life? How do you create boundaries around that, and give yourself permission to let things go? And when did you realize you were likely never going to become a Rockette, after all? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. I struggle with this all the time. I KNOW that I have been trying to experience several lifetimes, in this one that I have. I am always trying something new or dreaming about living in a new locale. Having kids has forced me to choose more carefully. My FREE time is much more limited these days. I have become better at sorting and focusing on things that are more valuable to me at a deep level, rather than just sounding good on the surface. That said I still struggle to say “NO” to people and things that are not valuable to me, and leave me with less time. I was just thinking last night that I want my life to be simpler, which is easier said than done. I have made several big decisions lately toward this end. I have been trying to treat some of my dilemmas about what to do, like math problems. I have been making more choices that add up lately… most of those choices feel really good too.

  2. This post really struck a chord with me. I recently woke up to the realization that I do not have enough fun – useless, mindless, giggly fun! I have always been a very practical person and everything in my life has to have a purpose. This belief has made become pretty serious and I don’t laugh enough. I talked to my kids after a particularly serious day I had and asked them to help me learn to have fun. They laughed at me (or maybe with me?) and said we’re going to play soccer in the mud, get dirty making mud pies, and do stuff like that. This terrifies me a bit and also excites me because I never allowed myself to do such things. As an adult, especially, shouldn’t I have it all figured out and be serious – I mean… mud??? Shouldn’t I act grown up since I help women overcome their own fears and feelings of unworthiness? It amazes me that I spent most of my 33 years focusing on the practical and on doing useful things, and I feel like I’m missing out on some really important parts of life. So as much as doing things is important and wasting time for wasting time’s sake freaks me out. I think fun is one of those things that must be included in every single day.

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