How Will You Spend the Time You Have Left?

My father died when he was 57. My mother wasn’t much older when she was killed.

My nephew was just 35 when he died a couple of weeks ago, but my uncle was 88 when he passed away right after Christmas.

At my current age of 51, that gives me a wide range of odds, especially since I’ve relatives who lived to be over 100.

But with COVID on the rise, I may not make it to tomorrow.

So what do I do with my now?

As news has trickled through friends and family that I’ve actively began to immerse myself into computers again the reactions have been mixed.

“Why are you doing that? I thought you liked your job.”

“You know you’re too old to go back into computers. You’re the wrong gender, besides! All they hire are young guys. You know that!”

“I’m surprised you waited so long. You’ve always had a gift when it comes to computers. Way to go!”

“At least you won’t be binge watching movies any longer. That was so unlike you.”

“It’s good that you’re still learning. Shame that you’re on the verge of retirement, though–you won’t get to use the knowledge at a job.”

“Only you!” (spoken with a good-natured shake of the head)

Lessons Learned

One thing I have learned over the years is to disregard any negativity I receive. In fact, my greatest successes have been when the responses I received were overwhelming negative.

Even so, my critics have a point. I am older. In just ten short years, I’ll be eligible for early retirement. In 13 years, I’ll be eligible for normal retirement.

But if I wait until I’m 70, I’ve got 18 whole years to enjoy myself.

With modern medical science, I believe that it is safe to say that, barring COVID or accidents, I can live until my 80s. That’s almost three decades of life I have left.

So how do I spend that time? Do I spend it living, or do I spend it dying?

We all die

That’s a fact. None of us can escape it, so we need to accept it.

We don’t have to sit around and wait for it, however.

Whatever your age, you don’t have to just give up and wait for death to take you. Whatever your age, it makes no sense to continue living if you’re just waiting to die.

If we’re going to be here anyway, why not have fun while it lasts? After all, none of us really knows what the next adventure will bring.

So look around. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet? Do you want to take a trip, learn something new, change careers, or explore a path you’ve not dared to take?

Why not do it now?

You don’t have to take major steps. If you have always wanted to travel, you can research places and pick one to visit. Save up money, or maybe think of ways to go on your current budget.

If you’re interested in learning something new, you can take a class online. The prices are amazingly reasonable, and you may catch it on sale. I had a look around Udemy this weekend and I was amazed at how far online learning has came. You can take a class for almost anything these days!

I don’t care what society says, and I certainly don’t care about the opinions of those around me, and you shouldn’t either.

You may be old, but you’re not dead yet.

So stop acting like it!

Take the trip. Have the adventure. Join the class.

But don’t stop there. Make sure to tell others that you’re not done living yet. Share stories about your dreams and adventures. You can start by sharing them in the comment section below.

Do the Thing

Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your dreams.

I come from the Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. I’m the daughter of an ex-con and a dancer. My formal education was a joke, yet despite everything I managed to achieve everything I really set my mind to.

  • I opened a computer repair service in my thirties.
  • I pivoted to writing by my forties.
  • I became a stay-at-home single mother by teaching myself how to write online.

And now I’ve given myself permission to dive deep into the world of computers in a way I’ve never given myself permission before.

If I can do all of that with barely a high-school education and all of the odds stacked against me, there is no limit to what you can do with the advantages you have today.

This is your chance. Don’t waste it.

~#~

If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!


I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Life is Short. Wear the Heels

Another friend died today.

I lost count of the dead some time ago; I see no point in keeping track these days. It’s too depressing.

There is a light within the darkness, however. With every single death, I am reminded that I am still living.

I am also reminded that my days are numbered. Tomorrow, ten years from now…at some point in the future my name will be the one in the obituary column.

I could very well die tomorrow. I could catch COVID, get hit by a bus, disappear down a massive pothole–anything is possible these days.

Because of this reality I’ve started to ask myself:

“What would I do today if I knew I would die tomorrow?”

Annienygma

If the answer won’t create negative repercussions in the event I don’t die, I do it.

For instance, I have always adored high heels. I was the little girl who raced around the school playground in stilettos. My parents would shake their heads in bemusement as I would allot a portion of my “back-to-school” allowance for a new pair of the tallest heels I could find.

As I blossomed into womanhood, bemusement turned to scorn. “Good girls don’t wear heels.” “You look like a slut.” “Wear something practical!

I stopped wearing heels.

I still loved them. Even as I pared down my possessions to the bare minimum over this past decade, I held on (and continued to collect) my favorite footwear.

I would don my beauties at night when the kid was asleep. I would wear them to clean my house or just to kick back and admire them.

I felt so beautiful with heels on my feet, even if I no longer dared to wear them in public.

But I might die tomorrow.

Do I really want to die with a collection of unworn shoes?

No.

What does it matter if the world disapproves in an age where Life is uncertain?

I have now began to wear my heels. I have began to toss the “practical” footwear I detest. While I’ve kept a couple of pairs out of necessity (steel toed boots for work), bit by bit I’m eliminating the shoes I wore due to propriety.

We could die tomorrow.

Let’s enjoy today.

Wear the heels. Use the dishes. Bring out the fancy towels! Enjoy that expensive outfit you stuffed in your closet for an “important” occasion.

Do you really want to die without using the things you want to use or wearing the clothes you want to wear? Do you want to die without having done the things you’d love to do but don’t?

What are you saving it for? Your funeral?

What do you have that you love but never use? Please share your stories in the comments below.

~#~

If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!


I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

What Would You Do Today if You Were Scheduled To Die Tomorrow?

“Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.”

Carnegie, Dale. (1948). How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said this: “I can’t wait to achieve….”

We all do this. We spend our present moments focused upon our future in one way or another. We can’t wait to grow up. We can’t wait for the weekend. We count the years until we can take a vacation or retire.

My parents died at 57 and 61, respectively. While I am not a statistician, this made me realize that my personal time on this planet is limited. I may not live long enough to achieve financial freedom again. I may not live until tomorrow even; I could be hit by a truck as I walk to work for all I know.

Many people realize that, like me, they may never achieve their goals. They decide to enjoy life as it comes since nothing is guaranteed aside from our now.

While I may not live to see tomorrow’s sunrise, I live in hope of experiencing many more. While I may not live to achieve financial freedom I choose to live my life as if I will by planning my life and finances accordingly.

Yet I’ve realized that over the past two years I’ve spent the majority of my time working towards that uncertain future. Instead of savoring the life I have today I have kept myself focused upon the steps I want to take to achieve my overall goals. Instead of today, I’ve consistently focused upon my tomorrow, be it my next day off, my next investment, or the next stage of college.

I’ve taken some time off to consider what I really want in my life, focusing on the areas that don’t require money. I asked myself: if I were scheduled to die tomorrow, how would I want to spend my today?

The answer was surprising in its simplicity. If I were to die tomorrow, I would want to spend my today resting, reading, and writing one last blog post to pass on anything I believed might help you as you continue your journey.

I wouldn’t stress over pinching pennies. I wouldn’t constantly search for my next investment. I wouldn’t send every last dime I’d managed to save to my brokerage account. While I wouldn’t spend myself broke, I would allow myself to buy some new music, download an ebook that caught my interest (as opposed to waiting for a physical copy to arrive after I died), then I would stretch out, take a long relaxing breath of thankfulness, and quietly savor my last day on earth as I listened to the new music playing in the background.

That is something I can do right here and now in my current life. All I have to do is shift my focus. I can achieve the life I desire to an immense degree without having to wait and hope for a future that I may not live to see.

This is why I started taking time off each week to relax. This is why I began to eliminate drama from my life.

And this is why I encourage you to do the same.

Goals are a wonderful thing. They keep us alive and moving forward but it’s neither healthy nor productive to sacrifice every moment of your now striving for a future you may not live to attain or complaining that it hasn’t arrived yet.

Today I want you to take a few moments to step back from your entire life. Ask yourself how you would want to spend today if you were scheduled to die tomorrow. Focus upon the things that don’t require money.

Would you want to spend your last day enjoying your family? If so, make arrangements to simplify your schedule so that you can start doing that now.

Would you prefer to spend your last day free of drama? Then begin cutting the major sources of drama from your life.

Would you like to be free of the endless chores that come with caring for a home? While you may not be able to eliminate them entirely, you can begin to pare down your possessions and streamline your routine to eliminate much of the overhead.

Would you like to take one final trip before you leave this life? Start making plans and saving up so that you can take that trip in the foreseeable future.

You can still work towards the future, but you don’t have to sacrifice the entirety of your now to achieve it. I have discovered that, by simply shifting your priorities a bit, that you can live the life you desire to a significant degree immediately.

Take a moment to comment upon how you would want to spend your last day of life below. Share the steps you intend to take now to make that happen. Then share this post with the one friend is sacrificing their now to worry about an uncertain future.

Thank you.

I plan to discuss the specific ways I’ve began to streamline my life in order to spend more time doing the things I enjoy without sacrificing my goals for the future. If there is a particular subject you would like for me to address, leave a comment below.

When Life Takes A Left Turn

My life has taken a really strange turn since Thanksgiving. Not only has my ex-husband passed away but certain aspects of my personal life that concern the situation have also gotten very, very strange.

The worst part of the whole situation is that I can’t share what’s going on yet. Things are still in motion; I might jeopardize the outcome if I say too much online. I’m writing it all down in my journal because I want to share the story with you when all of this is over. Truth is much stranger than fiction in this situation.

Even with the chaos, I’ve got to regain my focus. I have something I want to achieve and I’m not going to do that if I allow my mind to keep thinking about a situation that is mostly out of my control.

With that in mind I’ve made myself start reading again. I’m not reading much, but every little bit of knowledge I glean will take me a step closer. I just need to focus on what I can do right now, with what I have, and let the rest fall into place as it can.

I initiated a transfer from my savings account today, emptying it for the next round of investments. That account only collects a portion of my royalties but it’s enough at current stock prices to increase my holdings a tad. That will allow me to make some more progress while I get through the holidays. Once those are over I’ll analyze my finances and invest a bit more.

I’ve also discussed having a will drawn up by a local attorney. I have a price now; I’ll work that money into my budget next year. I want to make sure that anything I leave behind goes where I want it to go, especially in light of what I’m witnessing since my ex-husband has passed. I may not have much right now but I’m no longer in the mood to take any chances.

Since 2018 is now waning I’m in the process of making a list of things I want to accomplish next year. The end of this year may be traumatic but it will pass. I see no point in allowing my current situation to derail me. I’ve waited far too long, had far too many false starts on a goal I’ve had in my head since I was a child to allow anything to stop me now that the fog is slowly lifting from my path.

I have a sneaking sensation that 2019 will be even more eventful than this year has been. I’ve grown so much this past year; I’ve experimented, made adjustments, and learned more about myself than I ever have in times past. I intend to continue that progress.

I will write more as time allows.

 

End of an Era

My ex-husband died tonight. I was in bed when his brother showed up, banging on the door.

“Get dressed!” he ordered.

Katie was running through the house, frantic, so there was nowhere to change. I had the man turn his back so I could throw on some pants. I finally realized that the bathroom was empty so I darted inside to toss on a bra and a sweatshirt before we ran out the door and raced to Middle Daughter’s side.

When I got to the hospital it was to see my middle daughter holding his hand as she cried.

I knew this was coming. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. Even so, when he’d rallied all summer, blossoming in the care of Middle Daughter it seemed like he would outlive me.

There was so much blood. He’d aspirated and had been rushed to the Emergency Room. Middle Daughter hadn’t wanted the nurses to clean him up. She wanted to stay with him so she’d told them she wanted to do it.

I couldn’t leave him like that. Couldn’t let the kids see him that way so I grabbed a towel from a stack the nurses had set aside, lathered it up, and started scrubbing.

I couldn’t get it all off. I tried, I really did. It was the last thing I could do, you know? I had his brother’s wife take the kids out of the room so his brother could lift him and we could remove the bloody shirt, and I scrubbed and scrubbed. I scrubbed as hard as I dared because, illogical as it was, I didn’t want to hurt him.

Once the kids left the room the nurse came in and removed the thing in his mouth they’d used to try to revive him. I think it was a thing that helps them put tubes down their throat or something. I thanked her and washed his face again the best that I could but he had a beard so it was really hard.

And now I can’t go to sleep because every time I close my eyes I see him laying there, his hands growing cold as I try to get them clean.

We had our issues but I’d set them aside the best that I could for the sake of everyone concerned.

And now he’s gone.

At some point tomorrow (today, since it’s after four in the morning now) I may have to go help my kids make the arrangements. After that, I have no idea what will happen. I’ve got to be strong for my kids because I know what it’s like to lose your parents when you’re young, so I need to get a grip on my personal emotions before dawn arrives.

Please say a prayer for my daughters and my ex-husband’s family. This is going to be hard on them.

As for me…I’ve got a few posts already scheduled, so you will have that to enjoy while I recover. If there is a pause once they run out, I hope you will understand.