Monday, 21 November 2016

Midlife Monday ~ Have All Your Wishes Come True?

What are you doing to make your unfulfilled wishes come to fruition?

OPPORTUNITIES LOST AND FOUND

There are so many opportunities that come our way throughout our lives - some we grasp and head into the future with, and others slip through our fingers and become missed moments for growth. I can't begin to count how many times I've missed out on something because I was too scared to take a risk, or because someone didn't give me the benefit of the doubt and tell me to take a chance.

It's been an intrinsic part of my personality to play safe and avoid anything that looks remotely scary. I look back on my childhood and my teens and there were so many things I could have wished for, but never took the time and effort to fight for. So many opportunities that weren't offered, but if I'd been a more confident youngster, I might have sought them out and who knows what they might have led to?

I GUESS I'LL NEVER BE OLIVIA

I never learned to play a musical instrument - my parents probably couldn't afford tuition and it never crossed their minds to offer it to me anyway. I'd love to know how to read music and how to play the piano or the guitar. But you know what? There's nothing stopping me from learning now if it is still important to me. I could sign up for guitar lessons tomorrow and be playing Banks of the Ohio before I know it. Why Banks of the Ohio? Beats me but I always hear it in my head when I think about playing the guitar! Maybe it's the Aussie Olivia Newton John thing, but I know my husband finds it rather discomforting when he hears me singing about killing my love - for some strange reason.


HIGHER EDUCATION

Then there was my education, or lack thereof - another area my parents weren't keen on spending money on. Apparently tertiary education wasn't worth investing in for their daughter "because girls just get married and have babies and it's wasted" What?! So I ended up studying something that paid a small stipend while you did your degree and guaranteed a job at the end. It didn't matter that it wasn't really what I wanted to do - it was a job and that should be enough.

Fast forward to now and I could probably go to university and study anything that takes my fancy, but the impetus just isn't there - I wish I'd had the chance when I was younger, and I certainly made sure both our children followed their dreams, but I really can't complain when I'm not prepared to put in the hard yards now. There would have been a lot more incentive with forty years of employment ahead rather than the ten years I have left now - although that doesn't stop some 80 or 90 year olds who have a dream they really wanted to fulfill before they die.

What are you doing to make your unfulfilled wishes come to fruition?

TREE PLANTING

I think what it ultimately boils down to is the question "are you content?" If you're not, there's no point blaming the thwarted wishes of youth, or the lack of opportunities way back then. If there is something pulling at your heart strings, or if your mind feels like it's not expanding at the rate you'd like it to, then it's never too late to start.

There is a saying that I love that says "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now." It is a real kick in the pants and a reminder that it's never too late to plant that tree - it might not ever reach the heights that 20 years extra growth would have given it, but it's going to be a lot taller and a lot more meaningful than never having been planted at all.

FULFILLING MY WISH

So, what's your wish? and what are you doing to fulfill it? One of the biggest ones I've been working on is learning who I am in my own right, what I like for its own sake, what's important to me, what I value, what I want to invest in, who I love and how I'd like to be loved in return. These aren't necessarily tangible things with measurable outcomes, but they're important to me and I've never given myself the time to discover them until I reached midlife. I might award myself a Certificate of Achievement in Self Worth when I finally reach a point where I'm at peace with it all - and that beats a uni degree any day. I also may still learn to play Banks of the Ohio before I die!

What are you doing to make your unfulfilled wishes come to fruition?

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14 comments:

  1. I so empathise with this post. For me the breakthrough was when I realised I was now a 'grown up' with reasonable assets and really could do or have most things I wanted - if I wanted them enough. As a child I always wanted my own pony and I felt the lack of that all my life. Then we bought two acres and I could finally (in my 50s) have a pony if I wanted. At that point I realised I didn't actually want a pony any more and it was time to stop feeling sorry for my inner child and feeling that my parents had let me down.

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    1. I love that! To know you can do something but realizing it's not as important as your inner child thought it was is such a revelation. I think I may have a few of those to cross off my list too - not a pony, but maybe the uni degree I really don't want or need :)

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  2. Again another post Leanne where you and I are exactly the same. I wanted to be a teacher but my parents thought the same way as you. However, you are right - there is nothing stopping us now from doing anything that we really want to. I also agree with Jan that now I can cross a few things that perhaps were once important but don't seem that important any more.

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    1. I wanted to be a teacher too Sue - maybe my parents' lack of vision saved all those small children from having me whipping them into shape??? My kids would probably think so!

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  3. I will never forget being in a workshop and hearing the average age of a best selling author was 55. I had always wanted to write a book so at 52 I did and at 55 I had a best-seller. Another thing I never forgot was, "Never stop learning because if you do there is no reason to go on." I took that a step further and started teaching at 56.

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    1. Doreen you are a goddess of fulfilling your own wishes - I love that you have accomplished so much at midlife and you definitely inspire me.

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  4. I never learned to play an instrument or finished college. I could do both now but other interests have come along and honestly I am doing just fine. Thanks for linking up with Blogging Grandmothers.

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    1. I'm a bit the same Candace - but I think it's good to know that choose not to do those things, rather than seeing them as unfulfilled wishes. Maybe that's what midlife insight does for us?

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  5. I have to say, thank the Lord, yes, most of my wishes have come true. I feel blessed. Thank you for partying with us at #BloggingGrandmothers #LinkParty #4. We've shared your post on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing my post - and I love joining with the #BloggingGrandmothers - they're a great group!

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  6. I had the same thing with education because at the time I went to college there wasn't a huge push for girls to go. They wanted to be housewives and mothers. I studied theater in a community college and then took acting classes in town. I didn't have a desire to be a teacher. Looking back, it may have been a smarter move, but it is what it is. We can be anything we want to whenever we want to no matter what our age if we are determined enough.

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    1. I completely agree Rebecca - it's just a matter of figuring out what is important to us and going after that - rather than wasting our time on old dreams that aren't relevant anymore. :)

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  7. Not only have all my wishes come true, wishes I didn't even know i had came true. Even though I have to admit to being crabbier these days.

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    1. I think I "suffer fools" less as well Carol - and I'm also coming to terms with which wishes are actually important and worth fulfilling and which one I can leave behind without a backward glance.

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