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Thread: "So much wasted time."

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    "So much wasted time."

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/...ime/893367001/

    Those were David Cassidy's last words. What a tragedy.

    Reminds me of my MIL, who told me just weeks before she died that she felt she had a "wasted life." I think she meant that she didn't take the opportunity to push for a real career. She worked for decades in Macy's as a sales clerk--a young widow raising two young boys, but later she became active in the Retail Worker Department Store Union, and she was perfectly suited for that job. She became a Vice President for the Union when she was 70. She loved that job, but it was short-lived. I think that she felt duped in believing that she had to be a "good mother" by putting her career on the back burner.

    I'm not saying that all mothers should have a career--but I feel my MIL would have really made a difference if she achieved her full potential in her work life, and I think she would have loved it.

    As for David Cassidy, those words are so poignant, because we all know his missteps in terms of substance abuse. Substance abuse can steal so much from the user's life.

    I am not sure what will keep me from uttering those words on my deathbed. Of course I already feel I've wasted a lot of time. But that's expected. As long as my life is in the black in terms of what I've hoped to have done, versus what's in the negative column, I'll be happy.

    What about you? What will give you assurance you've spent a life well-lived?

    I think about my favorite Shakespeare play, Richard II, a king who just basically frittered away his kingdom, and in a fabulous soliloquy as he sits as a prisoner in Pomfret Castle thinking over his life, he says "I wasted time and now doth time waste me." Such a haunting thought.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am in depp nostalgia land now, revisiting youthful places. We took a driving vacation to Las Cruces, NM where my first professional job was 37 years ago. I left a much beloved man to move out of Las Crucesfor better career opportunities.
    And boy oh boy, was that the right decision. This place is just not for me. The west—not for me. I have been here exactly 3 hours and am ready to go back home.

    This fits with this thread because it was a major decision point decades ago to decide to trade career for “lurv.” If I had stayed forever in this place, I would have felt that a waste.I remember the moment I made the decision to leave. I have had two instances of clarity in my life about careers, and this was one if them.

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    The last words I ever heard from my mother were " what was it all for?" before she lapsed into unconsciousness after a stroke. She lived for two more years in a vegetative state, feeding tubes and all. She had a hard emotional life but sometimes I think she made it worse than it needed to be. She had a professional career in a time when most women did not but it meant little to her in the end for all the lack elsewhere. I try to think of that often when I question the value of a life. I worked all my life but did not have a professional career. But I consider it a good life - I found a loving life long mate, raised a kind and intelligent human and continue to be bowled over by the mystery of being alive. A professional career would have been primarily an ego thing, something to list in my obituary and not of much importance in the grand scheme of things. Going forward, my "purpose" is to promote beauty - whether by being kind or planting a flower garden for all to see.

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    I hope I don't say that, but who knows!

    It is interesting to hear this perspective because I am the one that argues that statement 'no one wished for more time at work when they were on their deathbed'. I argue that because there are many people who wanted to do something with their career or follow a passion and were not able to. There can be many reasons but I think it is more likely for women and people in minorities during certain eras to have been forbidden to do things that they wanted. I wonder about that a lot,

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Sad to hear that anyone feels this way. My life was a roller coaster in many ways but none of it felt like a waste of time. Maybe the roller coaster was the reason.
    y
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    I am in a good place. But as I honestly think many do, look back and say Wasted Time on so many levels. At least we are waking up today each of us and have today in front of us to change so tomorrow we don't say that about today.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I have some life regrets, but wasted time is not anywhere near the top of the list.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I'm still obsessing over these last words. And interestingly, my BIL and I had a morning coffee conversation about their move to live next door in 2007. As I had suspected even back to right before they moved, my BIL tells me that neither he, nor his mother, really wanted to move from their home in New York. Apparently my MIL was afraid for BIL because she was on in years and she thought that at least when she was gone he'd be right next to us (presumably, so we could carry on with her enabling).

    He also said that his gut was fighting the move all the way but his mother was the "voice" for the two of them, so what she said went, even though he was 48 years old at the time.

    So. Her overbearing fear that her adult son would not be able to fend for himself, coupled with his inability to stand up for himself led to both of them doing something that they did not want to do. And my willingness to take on a huge responsibility for them in terms of holding a jumbo mortgage, which I THOUGHT was going to be for only 4-5 months and which turned out to be 5 years, cost DH and I probably a half a million dollars.

    LESSON: Live for yourself. I remember being in a writing class, and I still remember a story that one of my classmates had written about taking her son to the movie Bambi, and when it came to the forest fire scene, the little 3 year old boy started yelling, "Run, Bambi! Don't look for your mother!!!"

    And I also think of Mary Oliver's famous poem The Journey.

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice --
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.
    "Mend my life!"
    each voice cried.
    But you didn't stop.
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones.
    But little by little,
    as you left their voice behind,
    the stars began to burn
    through the sheets of clouds,
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your own,
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the world,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do --
    determined to save
    the only life that you could save.

    LESSON: In order to not waste your life you have to live your own life.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    My grandfather died in his mid-fifties. He was a successful business man and a community leader. I sort of doubt that he wasted time as such, but I've only known him through family stories and what has been written about him in old newspaper articles. Among his last words from an old newspaper article, he said something like, I regret not helping my fellow humans more. Sometimes it's not how much time was wasted, but how we've made decisions with the time we have.

  10. #10
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Thinking about this topic as I walked my dog, I realized that as long as I have loved and cherished with care and tenderness, my life cannot be a waste. My life is a gift to be shared thoughtfully. That I have done as best I can.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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