There’s no time like the present

Last week, I turned 46 years old and my kids offered up a delicious home-cooked dinner, followed by a sweet dose of unexpected reality.

Last week, I turned 46 years old and my kids offered up a delicious home-cooked dinner, followed by a sweet dose of unexpected reality.

“I wish I was you,” my nine-year-old daughter said as we enjoyed our decadent dessert. “But I’m kind of glad that I’m not.”

“Why are you glad that you’re not?” I asked.

“Because your life is half over,” my 12-year-old son chimed in from across the table.

“It kind of is, Mom,” Daisy agreed, nodding sympathetically. “No offence.”

Sure. None taken.

Eager to know more about her first statement, I asked Daisy why she wished she were me.

“Because you have an amazing life!” she replied.

“And you look less old than you actually are,” Sam added, smiling.

I was glad they thought I looked young for 46, but the fact remained that they thought I was old. Duh. Of course they did. I remember being my daughter’s age and thinking my mom was ancient too. She was 27 at the time.

I explained to my children that I planned on living to be at least 100 and that I hadn’t reached the halfway mark quite yet.

“But you’re close,” Sam teased. “So, no wasting time, Mom.”

And there it was, just the advice I needed to hear that day: no wasting time.

Since the age of 17, I’ve spent many of my birthdays seriously reflecting on what I had yet to accomplish, rather than simply enjoying them as a wonderful celebration of life. In that moment, I realized that I had been doing it again to some extent, and it was completely unnecessary. Serious reflection could wait.

I didn’t think my children had any idea what was going on in the deep recesses of my brain, but I guess they’re more perceptive than I realize.

What they might see in me could be similar to what I saw in my parents when I was young, and that is a person who works too hard for the future and doesn’t play enough in the present.

Like most everyone I know, my life is full, my days are busy and my schedule is packed. I have ambitions and dreams that I’m working on constantly, but am I relishing the entire process or am I waiting to cross some magical finish line first?

At times, I feel like I’m loving every minute of it. There are times, though, that I become lost in the chaos and life feels like one big chore rather than the magnificent gift that it is.

I believe in dreaming big and going after my goals with fearless optimism. I also believe it’s important to remember to live every day to the fullest, because, as we all know, there are no guarantees that our life will be long.

Even though my plan is to live another 54 years or more, there’s a possibility I might not. So, if I die tomorrow, I hope to have enjoyed today — and the only person than can make that hope a reality is me.

Back when I was a brooding teenager my dad, the eternal optimist, taught me that happiness is a mindset.

“You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be miserable,” he said when I was in one of my darker moods. “Life will keep chugging along, however you decide to feel.”

I can’t say his words completely sunk in at the time, but as the years have passed, I’ve tried to live by that motto more and more. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be able to recognize that my daughter was right: I do have an amazing life.

I’m grateful that I have some incredible people in my world who remind me of that every day.

Even on my birthday.

Just Posted

Easter visit!

Easter Bunny makes a visit to Points West Living

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

Scenes from the Stettler & District Music Festival

Don’t forget to check out the Grand Concert on April 28th

Happy Easter everyone!

Youngsters are excited for the holiday

UCP candidate Nate Horner triumphs in Drumheller-Stettler riding

Horner looking forward to moving ahead with UCP policies in the coming months

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Motorcyclist seriously injured after hit on one-way road in Nisku

Leduc RCMP respond to vehicle versus motorcycle with serious injuries

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Person airlifted to hospital after avalanche in Yoho National Park has died

The man was among a party of three involved in an avalanche Saturday afternoon

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Most Read