For the past fourteen years, my mother’s had three wishes:

— To die.

— To die peacefully in her own home.

— To not spend the last of her days in a nursing home.

None of her wishes has come true.

The sad thing about this isn’t that my mother is spending her days in nursing care, but that she has basically wasted fourteen years. While she sat around waiting to die, life happened. There was so much she could have embraced – travel, friends, family. She could have filled those fourteen years with so many wonderful memories and experiences.

But she didn’t.

Over the past seven days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about life, and how we choose to live it. The week, which started with Mom breaking a hip and ended with a friend suffering through events I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, got me to thinking about how we fill our time. I spend a lot of my time stressing. Stressing about writing (or not writing), stressing about my career, about cleaning the house, stressing about politics. But how much of my time do I spend enjoying life? When’s the last time I allowed myself the simple pleasure of time without guilt?

I’m not my mother, waiting to die, but am I living life? I mean filling my time with memories and experiences?

Last fall, I started posting about creating a new mental ecosystem. I said I was going to go farrow for a bit, and then grow anew, with a brand new attitude and environment.  This week has reminded me how important that mission is.

So tomorrow morning, I’m going to pour myself a cup of coffee, sit in the silence and give myself the gift of time. It’s time to finish cleaning my mental fields, and start planting that new me.

 

 

  1. Profound and timely thoughts, Barbara. I needed to hear this, and even more, I need to -do- it as well. Sending hugs, and wishing you the time and peace to think, muse, and clear away the murk of day-to-day life.

  2. Sharon, Donna and Louise — I think we all need to slow down. Life is too short. We need to embrace more enjoyment. I plan to do that this weekend with a writer’s retreat. Plenty of words, but also plenty of time for wine and friends.

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