Don’t Wait Till It Is Too Late To Realize Your Dreams For Midlife

Midlife can be such an awesome time of life. Your children have grown up and left the coop, the rat race doesn’t seem quite as important any more and you begin to blissfully envision what the coming years will be like without the shackles of responsibilities to others. The possibilities are endless. You can do what you want, when you want and most importantly, where you want. You are free!

But it is really hard when you have spent a majority of your life taking care of others to shed your title as mother, daughter and wife. It is your instinct to nurture and take care of others and always put everyone’s needs in front of your own. How do you all of a sudden, put yourself first? I admit it has been so long since I have done that, that I am not even sure what it is I do want this time of my life to look like.

When things were really crazy in my life with schedules and everyone wanting a piece of me, I would dream about getting in my car and driving far away. Wouldn’t it be great to pull a “Thelma and Louise” and leave everything behind? I would post a note to the fridge that said, “I’m on strike, fend for yourselves.” Of course I never did it. But it was fun to think about it, even if for a split second.

So here I am at a time when I could do it but I don’t. Why not? What is stopping me?

For me, firstly, I think it comes down to believing that everyone can’t survive without me. Not to sound narcissistic but if I go away, who will look after my oldest son who has type 1 diabetes, my husband who has bipolar (and can’t retire for another 5 years), not to mention, my 86-year-old mother who needs constant care? And then I think, have I set it up this way? Have I made it so that they are all still reliant on me or is it in my head? Maybe a little of both.

And secondly, it’s the money. Always about the money. Can I afford to just take off? I am reminded of those couples that hold off having children till they are financially ready. While I do believe that you should be prepared to a certain extent, you never can be fully prepared for the financial drain children come with (I say that most lovingly) and if you wait till then, you may never have them. If I continue to wait until I have everything budgeted out, will it be too late?

Midlife is the time for you to start enjoying all of the things that you put off.Your dreams CAN turn into regrets of old age. Don't wait till it is too late.

And by too late, I mean, yes, whether I like to believe it or not, death is always a possibility. How many times have you heard that so and so retired and then passed away? Many times, they worked long past the time they could have left their job but continued on, padding their nest egg. And for what? Now they are gone and like they say, “You can’t take it with you.”

Too late can also mean that the opportunity to go and enjoy the things you want while you are still healthy to do so. One of the regrets my mother has is not enjoying the times when she was relatively healthy. Her health problems have existed for over 30 years but there was a time she could have traveled to her condo in Florida but rarely did because there was always next year. Now it is definitely, too late.

And so, I have my first trip in 2 years planned it April. It is a short one to Las Vegas but a test run none the less to see how we all fair. Hopefully after that a girl’s week away to Cape Cod in June and fingers crossed, I am planning a month-long visit to my sister in England in September. I love to travel and have squashed the urge long enough. It is time.

Don’t let the dreams of midlife turn into the regrets of too late in old age. Do it now.

What holds you back from doing the things you want to do?

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13 thoughts on “Don’t Wait Till It Is Too Late To Realize Your Dreams For Midlife

  1. My two youngest daughters 18 and 20 just moved out a few months ago, I have to admit it has been a hard adjustment (my oldest is 30 ) to having no kids at home, ( although I do daycare so I do have little ones during the day.) I am trying to focus more and me and my Husband and on some of the things that I want to do.

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  2. Excellent, encouraging read, Elena Peters! I am soon to be 60 this year, and have resolved to live the coming sexagenarian years as you so ably verbalized we should! It’s kind of like a “warrior cry” for coming of age! Lol

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  3. Having moved well past middle age, I remain curious about whatever will be. I’m not sure that anxiety about missing things is all that useful, yet there remains much I hope to do. Of course, we do not have control, we have only our best and most caring efforts.

    Thank you for stopping by and following my blog!

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    1. Hey Michael! It sounds like you have a super attitude towards ageing, besides, what is the alternative? lol Thank you very much for hopping on over to my blog too.

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  4. My parents had many plans to travel & see things when they retired … then 3 years before retirement age, at 62, my dad was diagnosed with early onset dementia. For a few years they did manage the odd holiday abroad but dad has suffered for 12 years now & has forgotten how to walk, talk, read … my mum has learnt to be independent and last year she flew on her own to Las Vegas from the UK to meet up with my sister & her husband who had travelled there earlier, to witness them renewing their wedding vows. Although my husband & I still have two young boys at home (9 & 11) we have started to plan more adventurous holidays & days out, whilst we can. Live your life to the full whilst you can.

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    1. I’m so sorry to hear that about your dad. I’m glad your mother is getting out there. I know it’s scary alone. You just never know what the future holds so you have to grab on to the brass ring when you can.

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  5. This is such a great post. It is so true that so many people in midlife put off their own happiness. They think that they’re stuck in their routine and that it is too late to change their life, when really the best part of their life is yet to come! I work for a company called The Back Forty and our tagline is “You have yet to do what you came here to do” because, like you said, life isn’t over when you get to midlife – it’s just beginning!

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  6. My husband and I are at that point now. Our oldest is 28yo and has 2 daughters. The middle child is 21 and youngest child is 19 and they’re both off in college. We have planned our first week long vacation by ourselves and it’s coming up in 2 weeks. We often speak of selling our house and moving on to something smaller. My husband is also moving forward with make his “side” job installing custom tile as his full-time job. He’s been wanting to go into business for himself for years but was worried about the unstable income. But now that it’s just us we figure why not. If we have to eat cup o’ noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a while, well at least it’s just us. We love the fact that this our time and we can finally do what we want.

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    1. How exciting! I’m so glad you are taking this step and realizing your dreams. And you know what? I eat cup of noodles and peanut butter sandwiches anyway so why not? Lol I wish you both the best of luck and much success.

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