Isn’t there a soap opera called One Life to Live, or something similar? Yes? Well, this blog post isn’t about that. At least (having never watched that soapie) I don’t think it is.
Twenty days ago I started this 30 days of self-love blogging challenge. I’ve enjoyed it though found it difficult at the same time. I’m surprised at how confronting some of the topics have been and they often haven’t been the ones I thought would be. Today’s theme scares me a little because I suspect it might be a bit depressing. Or confronting. Or both. It is: One life to live.
Please don’t take what I’m about to say in a depressing manner. We only have one shot at life. One. Then we die and can no longer be a part of this world.
That is the cold, hard truth. We like to pretend we can avoid it or that second chances abound. When it boils down to it, though, they don’t. Second chances don’t truly exist because we can never go back to reclaim any lost time or change the past. We can only strive to make the best decisions from this moment forward.
How exactly does this fit in with self love? Well, if we want to live the most fulfilling and satisfied lives as possible we need to love ourselves. We can waste our lives away with worry, regret, doubt, and negativity. We can spend too much time concerned with trivial matters of what size pants we wear or what other people think of our hopes and dreams. Instead of taking the reins and making life the best possible, we float along lost and broken.
Each day we choose what to focus our energy on – relationships that mean the most to us, how we look in the mirror, working hard at a personal goal, the fight we had with a friend, and on and on. We decide whether to end our days feeling like we experienced life or like it slipped by. I always try to keep the perspective that at the end of my life I won’t care about how flat my stomach was or awards I received. I will care if I lived with joy and surrounded myself with love.
Fortunately, I don’t know when the end of my life will come. And that means I have to start making my life something I’m happy with right now. Why waste a single moment? We need to keep what truly provides a fulfilling life in perspective. Live that way today.
What can you focus on today so you end your day knowing you cultivated your best life? What should you ignore that tries to rob you of joy?
So, this IS depressing for me and not just because the thought of dying (when there is so much I haven’t done) is depressing. It is confronting because I constantly put my life on hold. I’m waiting…. Waiting to be the person I should be or want to be and it’s like, until then I can’t let myself ‘live’ life.
There have been a couple of times in my life when I’ve seriously thought the end might have been nigh. In retrospect it never was (and yes, I’m a drama queen!), but events caused me to be suddenly confronted with that ‘What if?’ scenario that scared the shit out of me. Like Tina said above, at those times I wasn’t thinking about how I wished I was thinner or could dress differently. I was thinking about the things I hadn’t done or hadn’t experienced. The things I’d put on hold or put off.
Earlier this year I wrote a post, Waiting in the wings, because that’s what I felt like I’d been doing. I’ve complained (endlessly) here (and elsewhere) about being single and the fact that I’ve always been single. I blame my weight. But I haven’t ALWAYS been overweight. And even when I wasn’t I didn’t feel worthy, or I was scared. Or something. And… even though I am overweight (note I’m adhering to my commitment yesterday and said that nicely not using the F word, or the U word) it shouldn’t NECESSARILY mean no one would be attracted to me. There are heaps of bigger women who have partners.
And yet… here I am. I can’t solely blame my body and the way I look. The rest of me must be to ‘blame’ in some way as well. I struggled with the ‘loved by others’ and ‘loving others’ post topics during this challenge. Perhaps some of my issues just relate to my feelings of unworthiness. Perhaps my weight issues are a symptom of that. It doesn’t really matter: what came first – chicken or egg. Here I am, overweight (but doing something about it) and still waiting…. for something. Do I really think all will be well when I get to my goal weight? And what about those other things? Submitting my writing to someone; or trying new things?
I have some lovely wall hangings which I bought when I lived in Africa. I’d hung a couple of the smaller ones years ago but I’d left my much larger one. It wasn’t until I moved into my current place (that I’m about to leave) that I pulled it out. But even then, I was reticent to put it up. I was saving it…. For when I was ‘grown up’ properly; or living in my real house rather than just playing house and biding time. I still have these feelings. I’m still shocked when others of a similar age (early – mid 40s) act as if they are on the downhill stretch. Shit! Until recently I was still hoping to have a child. I would have just been starting my life. It can’t be over yet!
I still recall announcing to some friends – about 7 years ago (when I was 36 years of age) that I was finally ready to start dating; so I thought. My colleagues doubled over in fits of laughter. No, it was true I told them, I finally felt ‘ready’. I used to wonder if the years of grappling with anorexia somehow deferred my maturing in the way most young women do. It was as if my life was put on hold for a period of time. I was starting so many things later than others. Being ready to start dating in my mid 30s was just one of those things.
Having said that, I know many people who still feel like they are ‘playing’ house even after they’ve started a family. I suspect we never feel quite ready for what is to come.
But, my challenge is to get in there. Not just the relationship or dating stuff (which I may well be ready to try again soon when I’ve dropped some more weight), but everything. All of those things I put off until… I seriously regret a huge number of things in my life – things I could or should have done but didn’t. I don’t want to keep living with regret and feeling as if I’ve wasted years upon years of my life.
I don’t quite have the answers yet, but now that the issue has resurfaced for me, I will try to challenge myself more and not hold back in fear of failure or rejection. I will think SERIOUSLY about those things I enjoy and do them (just not binge eating in front of the television, which provides me with instant gratification, but long-term regret). I will just fucking do it. JFDI.
July 16, 2011
You write: “I don’t quite have the answers yet,”
I don’t know that you ever will. I know I don’t. And if I think I find any then circumstances change and so too do the answers.
I think part of the fun in life is the search. That and to enjoy the moment becasue tomorrow it may not be here any longer. Don’t postpone living becasue THE PERFECT time never arrives.
Great post with lots of great insights. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very helpful.
July 16, 2011
Thanks Roberta. I’m sure you are right…. that I (we) will never have all of the answers and that it is the journey or search that is the most enjoyable. I am going to try to watch my thinking more closely and the moment I start second-guessing myself I will try to stop it and TRY more things, and not be afraid.