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In Life There Are No “Do-Overs”

Left to right, my sister Becky, my Mom, and me, about 1980

Left to right, my sister Becky, our Mom, and me, about 1980

I posted this photo once on Facebook as a Throwback Thursday photo. In doing so and looking at the faces of the people in it, I realized one thing, in life there are no “do-overs.” What you are living at the moment will never occur again in the exact same way. This story is about living in the moment and making the most of the time we have.

Do It Now While You Can

Do it now. Love your family and let them know it. But don’t just tell them! Words are wonderful and should be said, but give them your time! This is the one thing nobody else can give them, YOU! Spend time together, talk about the things they love. Go places with them, show them pretty and new things you’ve discovered. This moment may be the only chance you have to do it. Just like beautiful flowers, the day comes when you or they are gone. Flowers can be re-planted, regrow and bloom again. Human lives are finite, limited, restricted, confined to an individual’s lifespan. Don’t waste any of it on things that will mean nothing when we’re in our last moments.


Photo Credit

Do You Really Know Your Loved Ones?

The day will come when your loved ones, or you, are not there and it’s no longer possible to ask them anything about their lives. Oh sure, you know that they’re your Mom, Dad, child, or whatever relation they are to you. But do you really know them? You can only do this by spending time together. Don’t waste time; sit with them and ask about their lives. If it’s your parents or grandparents, ask them what were their aspirations in their youth? What were their dreams when they were young? What were the things they wanted out of life? What were their joys and sorrows, their successes and failures? Was there someone who helped them somewhere along the way? If so, were they able to pay it forward by helping another? What did they think about as a kid? What was their school like, or what were their pets? So many questions and so little time. But ask while you can. What enabled them or prevented them from doing what they wanted to do? What was it like to grow up in the time they grew up in? You can’t know how it really was, for instance, in the Great Depression or a war our country fought, but you can get a better picture of those times when you ask those who lived it.Β  What were their sacrifices during that time? What were the things that gave them happiness? If there WAS such a thing as a “do-over” in life, I would ask my mother, father and sister all these things that I can no longer ask. So my advice to you is don’t wait, do it now.

Me and my Mom, Las Vegas, 1975

Me and my Mom, Las Vegas, 1975

What I Want My Children To Know

I want my children to know, while I’m still alive and able to tell them, that I’ve loved them no matter what they’ve done or did not do. I want each of my three daughters and my son to know my love doesn’t depend on their worldly success or failure. Not one of them has to be or do what I think is the right thing to be or do. They are themselves, and that’s good enough for me. They grew from me, but they don’t have to be LIKE me or live up to my expectations for them. Just like a tree of life, our lives have many roots and many new beginnings from each tree. They will not always be what WE expect them to be, or to do what we expect them to do.

Kahlil Gibran said it very well in his book The Prophet:

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

The Prophet (A Borzoi Book)

Love Is Always The Greatest Gift

The greatest gift my children could give me, is to love each other. That’s not always an easy thing for siblings to do. Each child is unlike the other, each has a personal viewpoint that may not agree with the others. I would ask them not to judge their sisters and brother, because that only causes friction between them and solves nothing. I would ask them to try to understand each other and to find common ground and always, always, to be kind and to love each other.

Life Is Too Short

Life is too short to live it selfishly. At the end of your life, will you look back and say “Gee I wish I’d worked more, or partied more, or traveled more, or saw more movies, or had more love affairs, etc?” No probably not! What we’ll have in our mind in our last moments will be how our loved ones will fare without us. If in your heart, you’ve spent time with those you love, you’ll have no regrets, and you’ll be comforted in knowing that they will go on and do well in your absence.

Some things you might like along this line of life, living and dying.

How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller: 20th Anniversary Edition

Living in the Moment: Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Simply BE in the present with mindfulness meditations