If Not Now, Then When?


Tick, tock, tick, tock. That’s the sound of time passing by. Precious seconds in your lifetime. Are you filling them with the positive choices you’ve made for your life; choices to grow stronger in mind, body and spirit? I sure hope so. Even if you haven’t made those choices, that is a choice – a choice for the worse. If you just let life “happen” to you, chances are higher that you will not lead a life. You will lead an existence.

I have known people who have the “Glory Days Syndrome” – in other words, people who live their lives precariously based on their past. They often say, “I used to… ,” or, “I remember when I… .” They simply have nothing noteworthy to share about their lives in the present tense. Theirs is most likely a life filled with television, sleeping and the occasional family gathering on holidays. There are no more goals, no more accomplishments, no more personal growth. They become like a tree in winter.

Then there are people who suffer from the “You Are My Sunshine Syndrome.” These people live their lives through other people. Other people are truly the sunshine that makes their otherwise gloomy lives bearable. They get immersed in other people’s lives, especially family, and live precariously through them.  They usually spend their time on the telephone talking about other people. Boundaries disappear, and they no longer respect another’s privacy.

There can be many reasons that cause people’s lives to come to a standstill. Some are physical illness, others are mental, while some can be spiritual. Whatever the reason might be, don’t ever give up on your life, your legacy. You might be alive for another 10, 20 or 30-some years, but you aren’t living, my friend. You are existing. Existing – just like that plant over in the corner.

Regardless of the reason, Father Time marches on. He waits for no one. Is your past enough for you to feel fulfilled today? Is someone else’s life enough to keep you occupied and busy? Is that your choice for your life? If not, and I can’t imagine why anyone would say, “yes,” here’s what you have to do:

1)  Take stock of your abilities, talents, and interests. Make it a point to choose at least one thing that you will take action on; whether that be writing a poem, painting a picture, reading a book. Start small with one thing. Success breeds success and soon you’ll be growing in your own sunshine.

2) Determine what shape your body is in and what you can do to improve it. It doesn’t matter if you are limited in what you can do. Develop an exercise routine that makes you stronger. Eat healthier for overall wellness and weight management. The changes you see and feel are your accomplishments to enjoy in the present. They are you “right here and now.” Celebrate small improvements in healthy ways.

3) Meditate or pray. None of us can make it through this journey of life on our own. It is in times of meditation or prayer that we are open to the still, small voice that has great big things to impart. Be still and listen. Give thanks and be grateful. Spend this time thinking positively. Consciously turn away bad thoughts.

These are three choices that can help you start to get your life back if you’ve been derailed. Your life wasn’t given to you to be lived on the sidelines, through others, or in past tense. It was given to you to be present in the game; you, yourself; right now and every moment to come. Choose to truly live your life now, for it is short.


  1. Wish your commenary were avialable in more redable hote background – some much depends on age and how you are aging which surely varies but age does take a toll and the older the greter the tolld genearlly speaking, Right? One also needs suport and that often lessensas tiem goes by jjust when you need it the post. And soicrty is just not there for you and very few now protest the ageism and athe age aparttheid stystsms which undergird or and exacerbate these problems. No man or woman is an island but one is more and more on anice floe in old age – through no falut of one’s own.

    Ihpe you will search Bette Dewing for my column which recently lost its logo and photo courtesy of New Owners of the weekly papers. I don’t write about ageism and age apatheid as much as I’d like – too much oppostiion to that – but am still avoice for elders – and speaking some inconvenient truths – without much help.

    Do i use my tie wisely – no- and have so much to get in order…abd get dusiycraged tii eaukty oerhaps but systems are breaking down…I
    I find very few aging field proessesinals who know the eperience of the old ol and also remember there once was a real anti-ageism movement. It’s mor what governemnt andsociety agencies can do for the elder not their famlies or friensd when they exist or neighbors or faith and civic etc. groups.

    I do appreciate your efforts however very much.
    most sincerely
    Bette Dewing


    • Bette, You are a great example of aging well. Thank you very much for reading my blog and commenting regarding your thoughts and experiences. I wish there was a real anti-ageism movement still going because we need it now more than ever. All my best. – Kathy


  2. Good stuff once again. Perhaps our greatest crisis now is how many of us are neglecting to ‘nurture one’s spirit’ and ‘fully LIVE’. My ‘Sound Life Spirit Key Steps’ address this. Thanks again for your supporting words and encouraging example as well -*-


    • Jay, Thanks for stopping by the blog, and your supportive comments. I checked out your web site and it looks very inspirational as well. Let’s keep the positive, helpful vibes flowing. People need that today more than ever. Best, Kathy


  3. I manage a home health care business and see so many unhappy families and people. Thank you very much for your blog. I will continue to work to see how many people I can help. Thank you.


    • We need to encourage one another to keep moving forward. Keep up the good work in service to others. Bless you. Kathy


  4. Kathy, I enjoyed reading your post and endorse your advice. Personally I have been helped by confronting negative thoughts that perpetuated stagnation and failure. The courage to first imagine a more rewarding, successful and happier life for myself and those around me has helped me achieve it.


    • Dr. Marcus, I so agree. Positive thoughts draw positive people and events into your life and help change you for the better. Negative thoughts seem to be like the part of a magnet that pushes these things away. Best regards, Kathy


  5. Thanks for the comments above. My most recent blog article builds on this theme as ‘WELL’: http://bit.ly/1WELL


  6. I was drawn to the article by the title. In case your and/or your readers don’t know, this is part of an expression from Jewish sacred writings. The whole proverb is, “If I am not for myself,then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now,when?
    Chaplain Karen, of http://offbeatcompassion.wordpress.com/


    • Karen, It’s interesting to know the history of the terminology we so often quote (even without realizing it, in this case). Thank you for sharing that. Best regards, Kathy


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