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“I Wish I’d Picked More Daisies” or How to Become Friends with Time

I know you’re busy and tired. And maybe even stressed and anxious.You often wonder where the day, week, month, year went… You always get the so called “necessary” things done, take care of everyone else and then, if there is any time or energy left, take care of yourself. I understand perfectly as we’re all in this together – it’s the disease of our modern culture, where balance and enjoyment are almost missing from our vocabulary, while words like stress and busyness are common catch phrases.

The most important resource you will ever have is TIME – it is not renewable and none of us knows exactly how long we have left but we know it’s not indefinite.

Here is a note from 87-year old Nadine Stair from Louisville, whose words of wisdom and insight in her golden years could serve as a reminder and motivation for all of us, no matter how old we are and where we currently stand on the stage of life:

“If I had my life to live over, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax.

I would limber up. I would have been sillier that I have been this trip. I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances. I would take more trips.

I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets… I would eat more ice-cream and less beans.

I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who live prophylactically and sanely and sensibly, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d have more of them. In fact I’d try to have nothing else.

Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day.

I have been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had it to do over again, I would go places and do things and travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start bare-footed earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I wouldn’t make such good grades except by accident. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds.

I’d pick more daisies.”

How does this letter make you feel? Maybe a bit sad but also relieved that if you are willing and determined to make profound changes in your lifestyle, you can. It won’t happen overnight and you should be realistic about that.

But you can start today by making small adjustments in your daily life like:

  • say “No” to a task you don’t really want to do or an invitation you don’t want to accept;
  • if you’re working, take a 30-minute break straight after you come home instead of rushing to do more around the house;
  • don’t stay at your work place after your working hours;
  • don’t overbook your day, week, month so that you don’t have any free space to breathe and be spontaneous;
  • we’re constantly brainwashed that time is money, make sure you spend some time to do things just for fun;
  • put more realistic expectations about what you can do and achieve at this moment, as frustration with not meeting your goals might push you to overburn;
  • don’t wait for the weekend, the holiday or retirement to enjoy yourself, do small things you love every day.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started.

You might find that some people around you react to these small changes negatively, especially if they’re used to you being at their disposal all the time.

This reaction is normal, try not to blame them or get upset with it as ultimately, it is your responsibility to set healthy boundaries and be firm in order to protect your time and energy.

We all know how precious time is and have heard a lot of talking about priorities and living your life to the fullest. But there is a difference between knowing something and implementing and practising it daily.

I challenge you to do one thing you love today, without guilt or looking at the clock, and try to do one nice thing for yourself every day for a week and see how this feels.

I hope you found this article useful and encouraging, and if you’ve got any insights you want to share, please leave a comment.

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