Sunday, January 8, 2012

When Is It Too Late?

When is it too late? I've been thinking about this a lot lately for a couple of reasons:
  • The push for resolving to do things differently at the change of the year can also promote thoughts of, "It's too late for me to change that."
  • The recent death or illness of several people close to me or close to those I love makes me want to be sure I have said and done what's important before it's too late.
It's certainly NOT too late to do more situps, to drink fewer glasses of wine, to write more letters, to worry less. Will these things happen? Maybe, maybe not, but I know it will never be too late to try as long as I walk this green earth.

It IS too late to tell my father, my cousin Mike, my favorite aunt Jo, or Bette and Roy Lockhart one more time that I love them. I feel confident that they knew of my love before they "went on ahead," as Bette used to to say, though, and I make sure my elderly mother and my sons knows it every time I talk with them.

It IS too late for a friend who had a difficult relationship with his mother to clear the air with her, since he didn't do it before she died.

It's NOT too late to learn a new language, to visit new countries, to begin a meditation practice, to take up the cello again. I'm pretty sure, with my joints, it IS too late for me to climb Mt. Washington or take up cardio-kickboxing.

But you know what? That's okay with me. I already ran the Boston
Marathon, got my black belt in karate, and did my share of hiking. As long as I can still walk a hilly mile and dance for a couple of hours at a stretch, I'm happy.

I wondered for almost two decades if it was too late to finish that mystery novel set on an organic farm that I wrote much of seventeen years ago. I'm so pleased that it isn't too late to at least bring the farmer and her world back to life in A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, even if I discard most of the original writing.

Seize the day - carpe diem - is an excellent rule of life, along with Live your life so you have no regrets.

What in your life do you feel it's too late for, and what are you glad it's not too late for?


  1. Getting my hair back. But then again, I don't really want to!

  2. Sounds like it's working out for the best, Nocompromises.

  3. I lost my mother in law unexpectedly last January and her untimely death taught me to not wait to say what's in your heart.

  4. Edith - That's a really interesting question! There's not a lot that I think it's too late to do, actually. There are a few people I would have liked to say more to before they passed on. But other than that, I try not to get overly mired in the "it's too late for that" syndrome, although I do fall prey to it sometimes. Otherwise I feel too old.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Rachael and Margot.

  6. You have a black belt in karate? Wow! Other than thinking it's too late to wear certain articles of clothing I wore as a teenager, I'm still working on doing everything I'd like to do, such as novels and travels -- and including remembering to tell my loved ones how much I love them.

  7. Gigi, well said. (I forgot about all those earlier slimmer clothes...) I know you particularly have an awareness of not letting important things slide. Thanks for coming by.

  8. Too late to spend more time with, and do more for, my mom and my mum-in-law, which I very much regert.

    Not too late for that dream of seeing a book with my name on it in my local bookstore. Long shot, maybe, but not too late.

  9. In my life, writing is the only thing that it's not too late for. That, and yes, the cello with which I started my 2nd 10 years this month.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Max. I wish I were doing cello, too!