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Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

Life is too short. Period. And the wisdom you needed when you were twenty doesn’t come until you’re 60. I’ve got a lot of wisdom now, and it’s come from making mistakes, living with my choices, and coming to terms with my inner self. That last one is the hardest part. By the time you’re my age, it’s hard to escape who and what you are — you’ve had a lifetime of experience to show your true colors, what you’re good at, what you still need to improve, and where you allegiances lie.

Life is too short to look back. You can’t change anything in the past, but you can use the knowledge to make better decisions in the present. Living each day at a time as God gives it to me is my mantra. Staying in the present is not easy, and despite my efforts to stay in the moment, I find myself saying, “What if…” or “if I’d only…” or “I wish I’d…” What difference does it make except to better inform the choices I make today?

I’m a different grandmother than I was a mother. I’m a different wife than I was twenty or forty years ago. I don’t have the delusions of grandeur I had when I was 21. I have more patience than I did when I had more time ahead of me. And conversely I have more time to spend on the little things that make a difference even though my time on the clock is ticking.

Life is to be lived, and with the wisdom of age, I find it best lived with the ones I like or love nearby, but keeping my distance — being there with empathy or advice, bandages or a hug, consolation or congratulations.

I love John Mayer’s song “Can’t Stop This Train“, and this verse especially speaks to me:

So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find away to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 68, you’ll renegotiate
Don’t stop this train
Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
Don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
I tried my hand, John
honestly we’ll never stop this train.

Unfortunately, the closer the train gets to the station, the faster it seems to go! I hope to enjoy the journey until I arrive.