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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I should have done more of...


All of a sudden, you are old. Oh, you saw it coming, but you thought you could beat it by sheer will, or luck.  You saw the years and decades accumulate and you kept hoping your luck would change soon.

Yes, you kept hoping the kids would graduate, get a job, settle down.
You kept hoping your figure would get back to the before stage.
You kept hoping your money, or whatever money you could put aside, kept growing and growing.

You turned the page one day and events got away from you. 

The last time I visited this couple, my little brother Luigi and his lovely wife, was ten years ago. He's now as old as I was then. My children are ten years older; my grandchild is a teen now, as tall as I am.

I miss him. I miss my other brother and his wife and children. I miss everyone I left behind. I should have kept in touch with all of them.
 I should have.

I always wanted to become skilled in music,  write a novel. I put off taking classes, joining groups. It took time I didn't have, energy I couldn't spare.  It took a level of passion I could only spend on my work.

Now  that my work is done, and my children are all grown and settled, the things I wanted to learn are not easy to learn at this stage.
The family I left behind is not easily reunited at this stage.
 I have the time, but do not have energy.
I cannot stir up the passion it takes to finish any task well.

All I can do is share this with you. There may not be any more energy or resources available to you in the future. Your health, your finances, your circumstances may not be there for you. 

Live as well as you can, right now. Live fully and have no regrets.

55 comments:

Brian Miller said...

thanks for the gentle reminder to live life now...

erin said...

i shall wear invisible shoes and leave footprints all over the word regret.

xo
erin

Suz said...

yes, I know this pain
let's lift a glass of wine
(that is if it doesn't interfere with our meds!)
let us celebrate
that we have survived
with dreams and longings still
beating,pulsings..just below the surface

Terra said...

I appreciate your advice here, and hope you will have the energy to do some little things to reconnect; write a card or make a phone call or ? Thanks for this reminder to all of us.

Ann Best said...

A lovely nostalgia post, Rosaria. Yes, getting "old" is what happens to all of us if we live long enough! But I've done a lot--played piano and violin, wrote stories and poems, and a book. Life didn't go the way I thought it would (as in my disabled daughter). But then, I don't remember what it was that I thought life would be! So now, I'm doing better at living one day at a time, and enjoying the journey: enjoying my children and grandchildren, and meeting wonderful people like you through blogging!!

Diana said...

wondering if it was what I said, that sparked this...

I'm not sure how to add in more to my life right now...the things I'm putting off are those I can't easily do with a little ones...but we do have our adventures. Work has never been a passion for me, maybe that's a blessing and a curse both....

I think I waste more time and energy with worry than actual activities, something I'm actively trying to remedy...the reminder is a good one, so thank you.

Helen said...

Oh, I've experienced these emotions many times ... one of the reasons I love the interaction I have with bloggers just like you! As usual you stike a chord in the hearts of many ...

It's never too late to reconnect. I have found one of my cousins - the child of an aunt I didn't know I had until recently. We are beginning to email each other. It is quite exciting. He is 79 years old now, in good health .. caring for his wife who has Alzheimer's.

The Broad said...

I can so relate to what you write about not being able to see your family and how easy it is to lose touch when you have gone to another country and are separated by an ocean and in your case a continent as well. Personally, I am now happy to be in touch with many that I lost contact with through Facebook.

An English Shepherd said...

So true...

Nancy said...

I am going to take this to heart. Thank you so much for passing on the things you have learned. Unfortunately, I see myself following those same patterns.

Grandmother said...

I just picked one thing- wanting to be more in touch with my nieces- and acted on that. We meet now once yearly. Please, Goddess, that's enough. It fills my heart.

Amanda said...

brian said it very well - i too appreciate this reminder to live life in the now.

thanks for this, rosaria. you always say things with such a profound clarity - not an easy thing to do.

xx

Eva Gallant said...

A good reminder! We're not getting any younger and time is not getting any longer!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Thanks so much for the lovely and painful post. We tend to defer so much to the future, always assuming we will have the energy or the opportunity later. You helped me make a decision today to go to L.A. next month to help one of my dearest friends celebrate her birthday. If not this year, when? Thanks again, Rosaria!

ellen abbott said...

always good advice.

Arkansas Patti said...

I can remember when I was 60 and just wishing away those two years remaining so I could finally retire. Those were two perfectly good years I frittered away.
We do need to concentrate on the "now".
Thanks for the reminder not to waste any more time.

Kim said...

There is so much wisdom in your words. Thank you for sharing them with us. I can remember my grandfather lamenting about how much more romance he could have shared with my grandmother had he only chosen to look at things differently...It as important for us to listen to these wise words as it is for you to say them.

What About the Girl? said...

I too have a list of "should haves"...

Donna said...

I agree, it seems like my life is on fast forward. There are things I wish I had done too. Regrets do no good except to learn from and decide to stop and smell the roses NOW!!

Rob-bear said...

A challenging and thoughtful post, Rosaria. A story told so well, perhaps too well.

But, as for you observation, "All of a sudden, you are old," a thought. Some of us skip old, and head right to venerable. ;)

Dawn said...

What a wonderful and dear post. Thank you. My heart is almost aching as I read this- thinking of regrets I already own. Thank you for your lovely words and reminder.

Marguerite said...

Great advice for anyone of any age, about living fully in "the now". As for energy, just look at my dance videos and you will see that a lot of the people dancing are older than you! Age doesn't necessarily determine energy, my almost 90 year old father has more energy than me. An active lifestyle is the key.

dianefaith said...

Your post strikes a chord and reminded me of May Sarton's words in one of her journals, RECOVERING. Sarton was just verging on 67 years old when she wrote: "A trajectory, the sense I had of myself and my own powers, has been broken."

Lynilu said...

I try to live every minute. Even doing that, I find there are things that I say "I wish" about, quite often. However, I love the many experiences, I treasure the people I encounter, and I really have few regrets about my current life. I'm very happy I can say that. :)

The Red Angel said...

Wow, I literally got kind of glassy and teary-eyed right now. You couldn't be more right about this... when we're really young we feel like we have all the time in the world, until life zooms on by and we look back and reflect.

I am still very young and haven't even reached my 20s yet, but as I think back to my childhood I can definitely relate to how you feel.

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Ocean Girl said...

Thank you for the reminder Rosaria. I am not even sure if I am young, or old. My mother in law was 72 when I met her, and she died at 92. I remember how young she was when I first met her.

#1Nana said...

You are proof that wisdom does come with age.

Anonymous said...

Or they may be there for you in spades!

C'mon Rosaria. No looking back, only forward.
Trish
www.synchrosecrets.com/synchrosecrets

quilterliz said...

G'day Rosaria. I have a cushion that my daughter gave me with the words "Live well. Love much. Laugh often. That's what I try to do every day, but, by gosh is scary how quickly time passes, in the blink of an eye another week has flown by.Take care...

RNSANE said...

Oh, Rosaria, have you been reading my mind. I think we suffer from the same disease. It must be part of the aging process! Even my daily resolutions seem to fall by the wayside!

Cloudia said...

follow your own wise advice, for you are in the youth of older age and will look back on these days as halcyon!




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Shadow said...

we all need a reminder such as this every now and again. no time like the present...

potsoc said...

Carpe diem, Rosaria. And never forget that "keeping in touch" is two way street.

Lyn said...

Rosaria,
What a thought provoking, poignant post. I can see the things you would have done differently over the years, however I have a feeling you have also done much that you never expected. You were courageous enough to sell it all and move to the ocean ... and you continue to give back to your community. I will heed your words though ..

jenny said...

Thanks!

jenny said...

Thanks!

jenny said...

Thanks!

the walking man said...

There is no time but now...past is gone...future is not yet. Your entire life is now, live it as well as you are able.

becky said...

thanks for sharing so openly...for people like me, they are difficult things to admit...you do the job for me so well!

Joani said...

WOW. You do hit some chords. Thanks for the gentle reminder. I try to enjoy everyday, smile and have fun everyday. Have a super great day.

Rekhaa Prahalad said...

with heavy heart i thank you, you have put words to my thoughts. wish to make maximum use of the 'TIME' left for me.

Hilary said...

I think we always follow these patterns in one way or another and need reminders such as this.. thank you. I hope you find peace and can realize some of your hopes.. particularly those which involve family.

rosaria said...

Thanks for the visit,everyone. Your words of recognition are appreciated.

Sightings said...

Well put. I esp. like Grandmother's advice -- pick one thing. It's never too late to pick one thing you want to do, focus on it, develop it, then reap the rewards and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.

Sarah Allen said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate the reminder and your honesty.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing)

Peggy said...

Thanks for your post. I can so relate to what you said. Oh, for the energy to go along with the wisdom of old age.

Z said...

Sometimes my sister makes me impatient, but I have stopped and thought what it would be like to lose her. I can't bear the thought, she's my only blookd family I haven't given birth to, and it helps me to cherish her and not mind her foibles. As far as your brothers are concerned, you're their big sister who gets things done. Really, think how you'd rush to their funeral, or they to yours. Please contact Luigi and your other brother, because there is still time, but one day there won't be.

I know just what you mean. I'm younger than you are, but not that much. I can't do everything I would like to and I regret what I've let slip and feel I should have done. But you write this blog and that's pretty damn good. Thank you, Rosaria xx

Eleonora said...

Erin is such a poet... she is amazing.
No regrets Rosaria. Save a little energy every day, and invest it in pursuing your passions, like music. It doesn't take that much effort to learn something so beautiful and rewarding. Plus if you study piano, most of the work's done seated!

Tanti baci
E xx

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Rosaria, I could have written much the same. I do attempt those things now that I wanted to do then, some more successfully than others. It keeps me on the move. And where does the time go! I find myself without the family links too, there were not many and we have a severe estrangement...thanks for the reminder to live the moments. It'
s the one chance we get!

nutschell said...

thanks for reminding me to --carpe diem--seize day!
nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Granny Annie said...

I really wouldn't know that I was growing older if it weren't for the people around me and for mirrors.

Maggie May said...

Living for now is good, on the whole.
However it is also good to be nostalgic and remember the past as long as its not excessive.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

NormalToEatPB said...

Makes me think of what I need otf do :)

Anonymous said...

just read this today from a close friend on facebook:

I just finished my “bucket list”. I’m calling it my Ought-To-Biography

fiftyodd said...

Oh, you are so right. I seem to identify with every word, particularly about not having the energy necessary to do things, although I think that is related somewhat to a dose of depression. I simply can't believe I am getting older and having to leave so many things behind. I shall not lose touch with people though. I don't want to be an island in my old age.