“First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire.
And now I am dying…
And suddenly I realize I forgot to live.” ~ Unknown
Yesterday morning I woke up to a lovely, Positively Positive, post:
The author states that every age and stage of life has its blessings and its challenges. No age or stage is “THE perfect one.”
And it’s great to appreciate each stage for what it is.
I frequently say that getting older is a blessing and so is every age, young or old. The longer we live the more chances we have to love and be loved, bless and be blessed, learn, teach, give and receive, meet more wonderful people, animals, have more opportunities to do, see, encounter all kinds of amazing things. Getting older is a gift denied to many. If you’re here, you’re blessed, irrespective of your age or stage of life.
Maybe you’re young and jobless, in college and struggling financially, maybe you’re single or experiencing the stresses of life as a married person, caring for a family, house, working a lot, maybe you’re waiting to retire and be done with your job, waiting for your kids to grow up so you can be done with most of the stress factors of taking care of children….
Maybe you’re single and long to be married or married and are longing for those days you were more carefree. Maybe you have no kids and think you won’t be happy until you have one. Maybe you do have kids and it’s hectic and you’re stressed and pulling out your hair.
Maybe your kids just moved away or you are done work for good and you’re feeling kind of empty.
There are unique gifts that you have when you’re single that you won’t when you’re married or in a committed romantic relationship and the other way around. There are blessings you have being someone without children that you won’t have if you have children but there are blessings you have when you have them that you did not have when you weren’t yet someone with a child.
Whatever stage of life you are currently in, chances are there is something about it you don’t like much and another stage or age is looking really good. But whatever stage that is, it also has challenges as well as gifts.
Wanting to be younger doesn’t make much sense when you think about it because you are so much wiser now, know so much more, have much more experience than back then. And if you wish you could go back but still know and be all that you are now, it’s basically the same thing then but with a different numerical label.
People often want to be younger because of the physical aspects or sexual (and other) appeal of youth but you can be appealing, in any way, at any age. And an appealing personality is better than a bangin’ body anyway. I actually believe that a woman’s beauty often deepens with age, in different ways. And I find this to be true for men too. Anyone can be wise, beautiful, and intelligent at any age, but age definitely brings blessings with each one.
And if you feel currently trapped within your youth, just remember, you won’t always be this way. You will grow, lose people and things, gain other things, meet more people, current moments will turn to memories to be cherished and you will develop more and more memories.
But one thing is very likely, wherever you currently are right now, no matter how stressful or chaotic, there’s something you’re going to miss about this.
I can think of previous stages I once lived, and couldn’t wait for parts of it to end, that I now miss! Even things I once found stressful or boring. Thinking back, reminiscing, I experience a sense of sadness or longing sometimes. Even for things I never thought I could miss. It’s bittersweet.
But this isn’t about being sad or wishing to go back or about regrets. It’s about becoming aware of right now and embracing the present knowing that one day it’s possible that we’ll look back on this and realize how great it really is/was but we never realized.
It’s about taking full advantage of the NOW even if we’re struggling. Then we can look back, miss it, but still know at least we made the most of it while we had the chance.
I write here frequently about how I love country music! Especially when it’s songs about love and ones that are inspirational and uplifting and full of wisdom. I have a long playlist of them. Yesterday I was introduced to one I haven’t heard of before then! Trace Adkins’, “You’re Gonna Miss This.”
In the article above, the author mentions this song!
The dad is singing about how his little girl couldn’t wait to grow up and throughout different stages of her life, all she wanted was the next stage. Her dad tells her to slow down and just cherish now. Now is good.
Even with screaming kids, barking dogs, a small apartment with stuff breaking down. Now is good.
“Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her It’s a nice place
She says It’ll do for now
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says Baby, just slow down
You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’
She keeps apologizin’
He says They don’t bother me.
I’ve got 2 babies of my own.
One’s 36, one’s 23.
Huh, it’s hard to believe, but …”
I love it.
Whether you’re a 20 year old girl and broke as a joke, struggling to find your place in this life or a 40 year old person wishing you were younger and more youthful again, or a 60 year old person waiting to retire to be done work or 80, 100 years or older, cherish right now.
This song reminds me of another song with a similar concept:
“Then they do” – Also sung by Trace Adkins about how parents often can’t wait til their kids grow up, have lives of their own, find true happiness and dreams coming true. Then they do. And then that’s when they start to miss all the days their kids were young and annoying and stressing over trivial things. It teaches us to appreciate what we have now.
So if you catch yourself saying “I can’t wait till….I have more money, it’s Friday, my vacation, I’m a certain age or I wish…I could be younger, more accomplished, more important…
” just remember, you are enough just as you are and one day, you just may find that you miss this.
” No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” ~ Dale E. Turner
“No matter how long you have been traveling down the wrong road it’s never too late to turn around and begin again. ” ~ Unknown