10 Things Midlife Women Need To Make Time For Everyday

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.

 

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49 thoughts on “10 Things Midlife Women Need To Make Time For Everyday

  1. Yes, I’ve said that phrase myself. It does go by in a flash, I recall my grandmother at 80 telling me that, now that I’m 50 I finally understand what she meant. Thank you for this powerful reminder that we need to slow down and embrace what we do have right now.

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  2. Hi Elena, I read your post today while in the midst of having a little pity party…no good reason…just am. Thanks for your post. It is great reminder of what matters. I especially like your reference to simple things in life that matter to do everyday. You are a wise lady!
    Sandra

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    1. Thank you so much Sandra. Everyone deserves a pity party, once in awhile. Just don’t make it last and make some changes to make it a positive experience.

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  3. Hi Elena, this is such great post … I lost my Mom almost 4 years ago. I was her caregiver and in the cancer treatment center with her for 3 months before she passed. Her and I had a conversation about the things she wished she had done and told me to never stop living life to it fullest … to make my dreams happen. I’m sorry you lost your Mom I know how hard it can be.

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    1. I am sorry to hear about your Mom too. It can be difficult and you can honour her by following her advice. I know that would have made her happy. Thank you so much for reading.

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  4. You are so right. Life is short. It’s almost been a year since my 53 year-old brother passed away from a massive heart attack. It totally puts life in perspective. Since his death, I’ve taken life a little more seriously and I make a point of hugging my family every time I see them. Sometimes I wonder if it’s better just to be taken then spending your last few days in a hospital. Regardless, everyone needs to enjoy each day because we never know when it will be our last. Stopping buy from #BlogShareLearn.

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    1. Spending your last few days in hospital is awful and that is why we must take advantage of good health when we still have the chance. Thank you so much for participating.

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  5. Having now entered my 50s, I’ve become aware of how quickly time is passing by. My mum told me that she made a conscious decision to accept invitations that passed her way & to go with the flow. I realise what she really meant now & I’ve also become a lot more spontaneous.

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    1. I have to make a conscious effort to be spontaneous but it is always worth it in the end. I am so happy that you are using your mom’s wisdom to create the life you want.

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  6. So sorry for your loss, Elena. I’m glad you see the brevity of life as an opportunity to really live within the time we have. Thanks for your inspiration.

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  7. i don’t think I qualify as middle-aged (I’m only almost-36), but I definitely need to make time for these things in my life right now. It’s so hard/busy/chaotic having a job, being an attentive mom and wife, and still finding time for “me.”

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  8. Dealing with my father’s cancer this year has made me value my time on earth even more. You are right, we can’t all fly off to Paris, but we can make the most of the time and place and people we have in our lives.

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  9. Thank you Elena, and you’re so right. We need to change our lives before it’s too late. I also had a wake-up call with breast cancer, but as I look back there are so many things I could have / should have done which I haven’t, and now it’s too late. Instead of concentrating on the things I can’t do, it’s NOW time to do the things I can!

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  10. I’m slowly trying to get things checked off my wanna do list, but you’re right just doing the simple and attainable ones are just as important. Thanks for the reminders.

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  11. Hi Elena,

    I had my wake up call 12.5 years ago when I found out I had breast cancer. Six weeks after I turned 40, I came face to face with my mortality. I promised to life my life on my terms for the next 45 to 50 years. And I have. I learned to let go of the things that don’t matter and embrace the things and people who do. My life is all the richer and more vibrant for it.

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  12. I turn forty around Christmas time and I go between bring totally cool with it and having panic attacks about being old. Both my grandmothers have lived to their 90s. Does this mean I get to feel this way for another 50 something years? I hope not! Your list definitely gave me a few ideas about how to take it all in. Thanks!

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    1. Breathe Patty, breathe. It is just a number. But you can certainly put things in motion so that when 50 comes around, you will feel great about the last decade and look forward to the gifts that still lie ahead.

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    1. My friend who read my post ask me yesterday if I did all those things every day. I sheepishly had to admit that I need to practice what I preach more often. A lot of my posts are really just reminders to me. lol

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  13. I think hitting my 50s has really woken me up to the fact that life is short and just sucking it up and soldiering on is not the answer. Be bold and brave, make a few changes, smile and appreciate what you have – live every moment and stop wishing time away. Great post Elena x

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    1. Absolutely! Especially stop wishing time away. I know a lot who are close to retirement and are wishing the next few years away. You never know what could happen.

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  14. You are so right. I, for one, can’t leave my job right now to pursue my passion. But I can baby steps towards it. I can’t up and move south yet, but I can start living the lifestyle changes that I hope to make with that move. I remember when my father retired, my parents planned a lot of travel. They took one month long trip around the country and then a year later, my father ended up in a wheelchair. From that moment on, their trips were restricted to New England—-they never stopped going places, even if it was the same place. But they missed out on other trips they’d been thinking of for years.

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    1. I hear from people all the time who get down because they can’t create the fantasy life they see on fb. I wanted to show that you can change your life for the better without doing something big and drastic.

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