Life is short . . .

May 12, 2022

I am definitely embracing the above lately. I turn 42 in a mere 8 days, and if this is my version of a midlife crisis, then I feel very lucky.

I don’t really mean that I am throwing caution to the wind + cashing in all of our savings to buy a Maclaren (actually that sounds incredibly unappealing, I’d probably dent it in the first week and I’m sure 3 kids wouldn’t fit in the back). Although we did just book a Disney cruise for 2023 which is almost as expensive (not really, but $$$. Hopefully will be worth it!).

I just mean I am more and more seeing the point of eliminating things that are draining, and making thoughtful intentional choices to actively seek more of what brings me joy and satisfaction. I am doing more help-seeking than I ever have in the past. I am optimizing routines and thinking through what is really important. I am seeing more and more that every commitment is a tradeoff in terms of time + energy.

I am feeling more aware of how limited our time on earth is, and also our time as parents with kids at home.

Things that have helped with this:

1- Eliminating social media from my life. This was a very good choice for me. It has given me the time + clarity to think about what I really want and act on it rather than spending time spinning my wheels and comparing myself to others.

2- Actively taking time to reflect, with family (Josh) and with professionals.

3- Writing down what stresses me out and what I really want. Plus continuing to record gratitude + daily happenings in my 5 year journal. This does help me see how quickly time passes and things change, and serves to help me realize what the important moments of my day truly are.

On that note, I am going to embrace the next moment by going running. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to see a “6” at the beginning of these morning temps!!


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 12, 2022 at 9:22 am

    I have thought about this more lately, too, as a colleague who is a bit younger than me – in his mid- to late-30s I believe – was just diagnosed with cancer. He has a 1yo and is expecting another child this fall. Hearing this news knocked me off my feet because he is young and so so healthy. It was a reminder to never take anything for granted – we never know what lies ahead. I also read 4000 Weeks in the last month or so which was another reminder of our mortality. I have pretty good genes in germs of longevity as my grandma turns 99 next week and my 2 grandfathers lived into their 80s. But you just never know what lies ahead so it’s best to embrace the here and now and to make the most of our time. But a person can’t overly focus on that because we can’t exactly maximize every moment – there are clothes to be washed, dishes to be done, most of us need to work. But I did use this experience to remind my husband to get going on getting a life insurance policy!

    Hopefully it helps to have some fun trips to look forward to!

  • Reply omdg May 12, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Amen to enjoying the journey. I do think medical training sucks us into this deferred happiness behavior pattern. It doesn’t help that many of us are compulsive overachievers who need to win at everything, and often feel the need to try to climb the promotion ladder and be the best at everything, even though those things may not be making us happy. I’m trying to focus more on the value of the projects I’m working on, and the day-to-day satisfaction that comes from taking good care of patients, and forging positive relationships with my work colleagues, and less on my tenure clock, getting promoted, and other things of that nature.

    Anyway, it’s hard. Some days I feel like I am failing at all of it, and wonder what I am even doing wasting my life at this nonsense. Other days are better, and I am able to look over my accomplishments and see that I am actually making progress on multiple fronts.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 12, 2022 at 11:42 am

      yes, yes, and yes. Down with achievement for achievement’s sake. I am definitely there. Trying to really just do things I WANT to do.

  • Reply Elizabeth May 12, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    I recently turned 40 and it felt like a natural time to really take stock of where I am in life and what changes I may want to make. Happily in the big picture it’s a no. I love being a stay at home mom. I love where my family lives. I love my husband and children. I love our church and the kids’ school. I do feel the pull to start some projects I’ve long classified as “someday, when I have time,” so am going to start on those this fall once both kids are in school full time.

    I do think it’s a great idea to try to focus on what to want to do or want to have done with your life and see where your current life matches up with that and where it falls short. The hours we spend are spent and we can’t get them back, but going forward we can make more conscious choices of how to spend them. It’s almost like meta planning 🙂

    Last thought: I am, like you, a highly motivated achievement oriented type A Upholder. I know the strong pull of gunning for more accomplishments. I went to an Ivy League school for undergrad and then a top 10 business school for my MBA. I had a corporate career and wanted promotions, etc. I did go back to work after my oldest was born but pretty quickly discovered it wasn’t what I wanted. (Please note, I am so aware and grateful that my family even had the opportunity for me to stay home while my husband became a sole provider and that I know this is a very rare and lucky experience to have. I may yet go back to work one day.) My point is: it wasn’t until I stopped fighting for achievement in the workforce and quit that I realized that I really didn’t care. I’d been gunning but not really for myself. Just because I always wanted to succeed and that seemed next. I’m so much happier now, even when days are tough.

    This isn’t a comment to say that quitting work is the answer. It’s to say that focusing on what you want out of life and working to make your time largely consist of that is probably worth it.

    Good luck, Sarah. You’ll get to where you want to be. The struggle is hard but you’ll emerge in a better place! Hugs.

    • Reply Kamala May 13, 2022 at 1:34 am

      I totally understand this, best wishes to you too Elizabeth

  • Reply coco May 12, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    recently I’m contemplating the idea of seeking efficiency/productivity is overrated. eliminating non priority task/people/thinking is even more important. I fully agree to drop everything non-essential to keep space for what brings us joy and memory. I’m trying to implement it at work and at home. Time spent with child is never wasted even if it’s not “productive”.

  • Reply Jessica May 13, 2022 at 9:58 am

    I highly recommend this audio series, it really helps explain and give meaning to the mid life depression/slump that we all have to face. Everyone I’ve recommended it to has really been wowed by it. This too shall pass

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