Am I too late?

Valerie,  Age, 697

I have read some of the submissions and really like that the two of you want to hear about how we flourish. At least that’s what I heard, or understood. What about if I didn’t flourish. What about the rude awakening that what I thought I was doing was living, not realizing, that I was sliding quickly into 70!

I divorced after 24 years, my 4th marriage! I was raised by a mom who had three children, by three different husbands. I had two sons, with two different husbands. I was not encouraged to go to college, my step dad was unfit, I was banished at 17 and had to find my own place to live.

I was ill a great deal during my life, have had many many surgeries, didn’t ever make a career out of the opportunities that were afforded to me. WISH so much that I had, now. Had no financial training, don’t have retirement locked up. Never knew who I was or what I wanted to do.

Did a lot of not so good things in my mid life. Took care of both my parents before they died. Although they were not married for many years, and I missed that very much.

I would like to know, am I too late, will I make it to a happy place? Why didn’t I become the woman I see you have become? I am grateful but afraid, and hope and pray, although I am not very good at that, either, that I can someday believe that I did my best, with the tools I had and that I tried so very hard.

I have recently met two woman who will turn 70 this summer with me. We are so different and all shocked that we are 70! I am so glad I met them, we will celebrate and flourish as we do.

Take care,
Valerie

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8 Responses to Am I too late?

  1. Dear Valerie,

    No, absolutely it is not too late! Start with your two new friends and find joy with them. Maybe plan a special outing for the three of you in January, which to me is a sad month. Lots of things to do without much funding. Do you have some special places that you can start a tradition of walking together, or, if you live in a cold climate, a coffee shop where you can meet and chat? Does one of them volunteer somewhere that you could be interested in? Sometimes volunteering leads to a job.
    Cooking together, sharing a family favorite.
    Remember that by taking care of your parents you did a wonderful, but extremely difficult thing.
    Do you have a church that you attend or that you are interested in attending? Our church has quite a few group meetings where you can meet others and learn a lot. If you are a Christian, you would learn that Jesus was all about forgiveness and grace. You would hopefully forgive your younger self and move on to counting your blessings. We just had an exercise in Max Lucado’s series on prayer (Before Amen) where he suggested naming our blessings A-Z. A great way to discover how much we have to be thankful for.
    Check back and let us know how you’re doing.
    Laurie

  2. Diana says:

    Valerie, surely none of us reach 70 without having regrets.

    I try to let mine go. Focusing on past mistakes is downright depressing. Forgive yourself and others and try to let the past go. Focus on Now.

    Seventy can be a new beginning. Give yourself the gift of freedom from harsh judgment and regret.

    Now sit down and figure out how to make the best out of the time that’s left.

  3. Pat Damron says:

    Valerie – Do all that you can to find more people to whom you can relate. Wishing and praying are a waste of time. You might have a harder time finding the right people if you live in a small town (pop. less than 20 thousand people). I am 72 and speaking from experience. Read, take classes, get some exercise every day if you can. Take an interest in politics, the environment, socializing with GOOD people (don’t settle for just anybody to have somebody in your life). You can have a fulfilling life if you know who you are and treat yourself well. Good luck.

  4. I think you have a rich and varied life. I think you lived your life the best way you knew how and made a difference in other peoples lives. It is NEVER too late. I will be 71 this February although 70 sounds better, not so close to 80. And if my husband heals I know that we will be starting to look at life differently (very). No it is not too late, I read the ladies letters on this blog and think Wow they are so intelligent. Well here goes, happy and content and satisfied is so much better. Acceptance is another biggie. Try and think with self compassion and go out and enjoy, little things, big things.
    Have a great Holiday.
    Patricia

  5. Noel White says:

    You are an excellent writer.
    Have you noticed the pond down the road from your house? It’s quite yucky — filled with one cell creatures, paramecium. and other things that are alive but still destined to live in those murky waters. Somehow, someway, YOU were born. Isn’t that a marvelous thing, your precious birth. You have a purpose and it is never too late.
    Noel

  6. Pat Kasprzak says:

    Valerie,

    It is never too late! We all make our share of mistakes, and some of them are high stakes consequences; however, over time, it seems that things even out.

    My first thought as I read your post, was that you need to forgive yourself. We are only humans and we do the best we can at the time, with the information we have knowledge of, to make decisions. The past is the past. It does not have to dictate your future. Your future from this day forward is what you choose to make it. State your goals, one at a time, and tackle your life revisions. Not everything can be solved over night, nor can it be accomplished over night. One step and one belief in your self …..day at a time.

    I would offer a couple of resources for you. One is a book:
    “Note to Self” : A Seven Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Dr. Laurie Buchanan. It has many good suggestions and things to help yourself drop garbage and move forward.
    She also writes a blog: TuesdayswithLaurie. It is a good write.

    Secondly, I have been writing a blog for about a year on a weekly basis dealing with various topics and insights, with thoughtful quotes and inspirations: http://www.purposejoyandpositives.com. You may find some good thoughts there as well.

    Finally, I start my day, even if I am not in the best of places, telling the Lord a couple of things I am grateful for this day. My day then begins with prayer….sometimes formal and sometimes reading some prayer, and sometimes just talking. It never fails to put me in the right frame of mind for the rest of my day.

    Blessings…….It is never too late!
    Pat

  7. Fran says:

    Valerie, I heartily agree with what everyone else has posted. But one more thing: get some professional help. I don’t know where you live, but you must have some medical insurance (Medicare, Medicare Advantage if you live in The US). A good counselor will help you a lot. It will help you deal with the regrets and put your life in perspective. No one’s life is EVER wasted. You had quite a life. I bet you are a wonderful person — as evidenced by your post. I wish you the very best.

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