The Time to Live is Now | The BridgeMaker

The Time to Live is Now

By on Nov 06, 2011

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. – Maria Robinson

I learned about the power of living Now while I sat day at my daughter’s bedside listening to the beeps, bleeps and other scary sounds emanating from the numerous machines she was hooked up to in an attempt to keep her alive.

I witnessed life’s fragility from the most horrific and terrifying perspective – that of a mother possibly losing her child. I watched and listened to her life hang by a thread as she was in an induced and paralyzed coma for three months.

Miraculously, Nava survived, and miraculously again made a complete recovery.

This death prospect is a part of life. But until it comes knocking on our door, we’re here to live. And since the When part of death is an obvious unknown, it’s up to us to live in the Now.

The temptation to say, “When…”

We’re all guilty of saying, When ….. I’ll do that When…:

  • I lose weight
  • I have more time
  • I have more money
  • I get married
  • I have kids
  • My kids grow up
  • My house is paid off
  • I retire
  • I move
  • When [fill in the blank]

No excuses

We need not wait for that perfect time. It may never come. And we cannot excuse ourselves with the old, ‘Life got in the way’ mentality.

We must work with and around what we have. It’s not about getting it all, it’s about going after and incorporating bits and pieces into our lives.


If I can’t be an artist because I need a steady income now, I can take a class or pursue it as a hobby.

If I can’t give up an hour a day to walk/exercise, I can get up 15 minutes earlier and walk those few minutes.

We must build in the time for what matters to us.

Time runs away, with or without us. We may as well fill it with more of us. Excuses are the easiest thing to come by, but it doesn’t make for a purposeful and well lived life.

After Nava’s year-long hospitalization (three months in ICU; nine months in rehab), I started living life with a sense of urgency. Since I felt like I had been given a second lease on life, I actually found myself in angst over thoughts like, “am I doing enough with my life; am I doing meaningful things; am I making a difference.”

And at the risk of sounding like a teenager with an identity crisis, I started questioning, what this life is all about, our role in it and all the typical ‘philosophying’ questions, which I love by the way.

I couldn’t get my hands on enough meaningful and bucket-list things to do:

  • Wanted to do that Patch Adams clowning trip – did it.
  • Take ballroom dancing classes and go out practicing – doing it.
  • Wanted to do hiking trips in Switzerland and Italy – did it.
  • Incorporate daily meditation – doing it.
  • Raised a service puppy – did it.
  • Keep a gratitude journal – doing it.
  • Take writing class – did it.
  • Started my website/blog, before I retired – did it and doing it.

Now truth be told, I was a ‘doer’ before my daughter’s medical crisis. It’s part of who I am; and I also had been through much of ‘this work’ when I first found out about Nava’s disabilities 28 years ago.

This near fatal catastrophe heightened and further defined my awareness of the importance of intense, fun and active living, and it brought to the forefront the importance of Now, with no excuses.

Light your candle through the darkness. The road will be a (wee) bit easier, and maybe even more fun.

Harriet Cabelly is a social worker and life coach emphasizing living life to its fullest and creating a good life out of (or despite) adversity. She is passionate about helping people create meaning and joy in their lives, and making a difference. Read more about her at Rebuild Your Life Coach and read the latest from her blog.

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  • Hi to the person with no name from Nov. 10th – Your conept of ‘wherever your feet are, that’s where you are’ reminds of the concept and book by Jon Kabat-Zinn – “wherever you go there you are”.
    Thanks for your comment.

    Hi Galen – I love the saying. I never heard it before. It’s all about taking advantage of the Now, of the moment, for noone knows what tomorrow will bring. Thank you.

    Hi Dia, – Thanks for commenting. Being mindful is so important to living in the moment – giving it our full attention, as you say.