Live Like You Were Dying.

Tim McGraw stated it well;

“I went skydiving, I went Rocky Mountain climbing,”
“I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
“And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
“And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.”
An’ he said: “Some day, I hope you get the chance,
“To live like you were dyin’.”

 Now, this post comes to me on the heels of the tragic deaths of three phenomenal people who died way too young this past year in my life. All young, wonderful people who didn’t expect it.  Bucket lists left behind with nothing crossed off yet.

They were waiting.  Waiting to get things finished, to save more money, to get everyone else in their lives all settled and happy.  The were waiting for a better time, more convenient time to do things the’ve always wanted to do.

How many women are guilty of this?

Okay, I’m pigeonholing here, but I can’t help it.  So many woman work two jobs; a career outside the home, and the twenty-four hour career inside the home.  When women’s lib said “Let women work!” they forgot to hire the substitutes to fill in at home.

How many of us are so busy being mother, wife, daughter, sister, career woman, housekeeper, cook, taxi driver, laundry service, community member, gardener, clerk…that we have no idea who we really are?  Are we being honest with ourselves thinking we have to be everything to everybody?  Is there an honest women out there who is willing to say…STOP!  I need some time for myself, to be ME.  Before I have no time left to get to know ME.

Those dreams that we keep telling ourselves, “Oh when the time comes, I’m going to travel, I’m going to learn to paint, I’m going to audition for a play….”, they are all put on hold for most of us so we can tend to others, be the caretakers society expects us to be.  The multi-taskers we have to be unless we want to risk feeling…lesser.

I have many wonderful memories of my childhood, warm summer evenings playing in the yard until dark.  Planting a garden and raising rabbits with my grandmother, learning to sew with my mother.  I think I knew more about who I was as a kid then I do now.  I spent a lot more quality time with myself then.  The beauty of being a child, I suppose.

But as I get older, I find the memories get shorter.  Time marches on, quickly.

I have to be an adult, I suppose, live up to my responsibilities.  But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we took a little time to be a kid again.  If we could re-create a little of that spontaneity, treat ourselves to just a few personal indulgences?  Spend time getting to know ourselves again. Live a few days as if we had limited time left?

Someday time is going to run out.  When it does, will I have taken the time to accomplish things I, the woman, have wanted to accomplish in the short time I have on this planet.  Not I, the  mother or I, the wife or I, the noble employee.

But me, the woman?  Who am I? And when the hell am I ever gonna find the time to figure that out?

My bucket list is huge…play the guitar, travel to Europe, be in a play, get a book published, sell a painting, be a backup dancer/singer for Lady GaGa  or Madonna. (Okay, I’m stretchin’ that one a bit.)

But how much time do I have left?  What do I have to do to find the time to play the role of ME in this life of mine?  I’m forty eight, healthy as far as I know, but who the hell knows what tomorrow will bring.

Will I get the chance to Live Like I Was Dying?

Is it selfish to want to do things for me?

How could you re-arrange your life to get back in touch with yourself, actually get things checked off that bucket list?

Are you brave enough to say, I love my life, my family, my blessings, but I’d like to give a go at something for myself for once?

Do you really know who you are?

These are all questions I’d love to have you ponder over today.  Inspire yourself to really make the most of the time you have here on earth, not just for those you love, but for yourself.

Love, Josie

Comments

  1. Great post…..with lots to think about…have a good day. <3

  2. Josie Matthews says:

    Thanks Jen, Yes LOTS to think about. Do you think Im going through a mid-life crisis with these maudlin thoughts? I’d much rather buy a corvette or get a belly piercing…Oh, thats right…if I got a navel piercing I’d have to lay on my back for anyone to see it….:)
    Love, Josie

    • I got my belly button pierced and I loved it! Very sexy…but…my husband is very…shall I say…”grabby” and so the piercing is not very conducive to…er, well, you know. :) It got old trying to be careful, and low-rider jeans were my only option if I didn’t want it to get caught. So that sucker’s history. LOL

      • Josie Matthews says:

        My hubby told me years ago (when I was just a few pounds heavier) “Honey, no offense but if you wanted to get a belly-button piercing you’d need to ger a horseshoe if you want anyone to see it!” He paid dearly….MWHAAHAHAHAHAHAH(my sinister laugh)

  3. HA! The picture of Granny with the guys in leather hot pants is hysterical! Yay, Josie, I love this topic because Bucket Lists are one of my favorite things to think about. You’re right, women tend to always think about other people’s needs first. It was actually my DH who helped me see that putting myself last didn’t really make anyone feel better. In other words, when I take care of myself — which means attending to my soul needs — I am better able to care for others. It’s an existential thing. A vibe. A MOJO kind of thing that informs my actions and translates my positive feeling.

    Ok, I’m done now. Great post, pardner! Love yas! :)

  4. Jo-Ann Carson says:

    Thought provoking post…and so true. What burns me is that I tell myself to live in the moment (as if the Grim Reaper is knocking at my door) but I forget. I slide into old patterns, and my life ebbs away. So your post is a good reminder.
    Cheers

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Hi Jo-Ann,

      I think we are all so guilty of this, responsibility gets in the way and along with all the responsibility women these days have comes the fatigue that follows. That’s why I wanted to write this post. To remind all my sisters out there to celebrate yourselves…revel in the wonder that you are and get to know yourself! Have fun and live life to the fullest. The best gift we can give those we love is the gift of independence and self-sufficiency. We don’t need to do everything for everyone. I tell my sons all the time, I’m not here to be your friend or your maid, Im here to teach you to be independent and the best husbands you can be!
      Jo-Ann, what is something you’d like to do? A bucket list item? I’d love to know!
      Love, Josie

      • Jo-Ann Carson says:

        Hi Josie
        Your boys are lucky to have you for a Mom.
        Bucket List? I have faced death’s door (via cancer) and what I learned is that for me my relationships come first, no matter what, first. Nothing in the end matters more than love. I make sure that I spend quality time with the people in my life who matter and that I tell them often. I know it may sound sappy, but that’s the way it is.
        Next to that…doing what I want to do…writing.

        • Josie Matthews says:

          Jo-Ann, That’s such a beautiful sentiment. People are what make the world around us a better place. Being someone who has battled cancer and must have these thoughts so very close to your mind, I can only say thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I do wonder if I were to get news that my time left may be limited, what my thoughts and feelings would be. Most likely much like yours, making amends, reaching out, loving. You go right on being sappy and writing! Those are the things that fullfill you and make you the wondeful person you are…If we ever meet up at a conference maybe you could help me with one thing on my Bucket List? KARAOKE!!!!!
          We’d have so much fun!
          Love, Josie

  5. marsharwest says:

    No, Josie, none of us knows how long we have, but let me assure you having more than a few more years on you, as women we get to keep on re-inventing ourselves. We do in fact have certain roles to play. For the most part, roles we’ve chosen. That’s not always the case if our parent is ill and the siblings are being jerks, leaving you with the biggest share of the load. I’m an only child so didn’t have that exact experienice, but I do think that’s the hardest time of our lives. We’re maybe still looking after kids (And just because they’ve reached high school, doesn’t mean our job is done by any means.). We’re trying to be a wife, juggle a job, and look after the parents. Here’s the deal. We think the time will never come when our kids can get to the bathroom without assistance, wash their own hair, and all the mariad of other tasks they have to learn to do, but they do reach those miilestones. In restrospect, that time is small and gone quickly. Only when we’re in the midst of the chaos does it seem never ending. Josie, it does end. Our time does come. Some women keep their sanity and manage to do the things special to them all along. Some of us can’t juggle all of it at one time. We choose to be the administrator for a time and then later to be the creative one. In the midst of it all take care of yourself, or you can’t take care of the others.
    P.S. Thanks for sharing the words to the song. I’ve never gotten the “tw point seven seconds…” line. :)

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Marsha,
      I never knew the two point seven seconds line either! I thought he was talking about cutting his beard into a Fu Man Chu!
      You’re words are so inspiring. My kids are finally reaching independence and my in-laws have recently reached the point of much care. My father-in-law actually passed a few months ago after months of trips to Westchester Medical Center fighting cancer that was diagnosed only in April. I miss him so. His sudden departure has inspired this post. My poor mother in law has alzheimers and needs constant care now. My parents are dealing nobley with their age related health issues but I want to spend as much time with them as possible.
      Hence, time is limited for us all. Spend it wisely, and like you said, dont forget to take care of yourself!
      Woderful words Marsha! Thanks
      Love, Josie.

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