Have You Made Plans for the Rest of Your Life?

It starts today, you know. The rest of your life, that is. It’s all ahead of you.

It’s not just a line from a popular country song. So….have you made your plans?

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. That saying was heard all the time many years ago. And it’s still true. We just don’t seem to think about it much any more. Until someone reminds us.

Maya Angelou sums it up perfectly. “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” How very true. And what a great way to think about each new day we’re blessed with.

Every morning you wake up is the beginning of the rest of your life. A new day. A beautiful day. A wonderful day. A blank canvas to paint the rest of your life on.

What are you going to do with it? What’s it going to look like?

When we’re young, in our 20’s and even early 30’s, thinking about the rest of our life doesn’t even register. We’re invincible. Forever young. Why in the world do we need to make plans for the rest of our life? What’s important is right now. The rest of our life can wait.

And it might. Or it might not.

Many of us plan our careers, go to school to learn our chosen profession. We graduate, and some of us are lucky enough to find that perfect job, the one we’ve worked for, studied for. And we plan the rest of our lives accordingly.

Some of us have no idea of what we want to do. Sometimes we stumble into a job and discover a career we never expected. And plan our lives accordingly. We make plans for our life, at least for the next ten or fifteen years.

Others take a different route; marriage and staying at home to raise children, making that our chosen career, and being really good at it.

But what happens when those plans change, many times through no fault of our own?

Circumstances can change overnight. Businesses close. Jobs are lost. Careers are ended or forced to evolve into something new. Illnesses strike. Marriages dissolve. Spouses pass away unexpectedly.

Suddenly the plans we had for the rest of our life are gone. Unable to work for us anymore.

And suddenly we’re forced to once again make plans for the rest of our life, only now it’s not quite as easy, because we’re not in our 20’s or 30’s any more. We’re at an age where change is far from welcome.

We start thinking that we’re too old to make plans that we can actually carry out. We think no one will want us because we’re not young any more.

That’s just not true. Why can only the young make plans for the rest of their life? After all, the rest of your life can go on for a really long time. And you have to do something with it; use the years of experience you have in a new way.

Many people go back to school when they’re older, either to finish degrees they’d started years ago, or to learn a new career. Many go to a trade school to learn a skill they’ve always wanted to try.

And they use their new knowledge to begin a new career, many times combining skills they’ve learned over the years to put together a whole new package. A whole new rest of their life.

Yes, it can be scary. But it can also be exciting! You say the world left you behind and you have no hope for a future? Well, when you wake up tomorrow morning there’s a whole world out there waking up as well, and there’s a whole new future awaiting you. One that only you can make happen.

You just have to realize that. Accept it as a fact. And start making plans for the rest of your life.

You’re only limited by the limitations you put on yourself.

And you can’t let discouragement keep you from fulfilling those plans. Great futures are only great because someone kept on trying, even when they failed time after time. Because that last time they tried, they succeeded.

Every day I wake up to is a start to the rest of my life. And I’ve still not begun to do all the things I want to do.

Yes, I’m older, in my later sixties. And that didn’t stop me from finding a new job a few years ago that I totally enjoy. I’m certainly not ready to retire. I have too much I want to accomplish.

I’ve written one book, and plan to write another. I’ve always wanted to draw, and while I’m not very good at it, at least right now, one of these days I’m going to take lessons so I can not only write, but also illustrate children’s books for our grandchildren.

I’d like to re-open my Etsy shop and begin selling my diaper and bridal shower “cakes” again.

I’d like to sit down, dust off my music, and start playing my piano again, and re-learn the skills that I’m sure are only resting, and not lost.

Maybe I’ll even take the property management and leasing skills I’ve learned over my years in real estate and try to teach a class or two at the local community college.

And eventually my husband and I can sell our current house, and buy a little beach house that we’ll decorate with beach stuff and flamingos, and spend our remaining years enjoying the salt air and the sound of waves breaking onto the sand, playing with our dogs and our grandchildren.

Every day we should be making plans for the rest of our life, no matter how long or how short we think it may be.

I don’t want to waste a minute of the time I have…the rest of my life. Yes I’ve made plans, and plans can and do change, but without them, without something to look forward to, how do we get through each of our days?

Have you made plans for the rest of your life? What are they? I’ve told you mine, now what are yours?

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