Confessions of a Late Bloomer

A early start on her midlife crisis and a magazine quiz prompted her to consider what's left to do in her life.

by susan frei • Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock

But the point, the article says, is that this exercise forces you to focus on what you are not doing that you would like to be doing. And if you aren't, then you're not living up to your fullest potential by ignoring these desires.

I get it now. Yet it occurs to me that all these desires are totally selfish. Is this what living up to our fullest potential amounts to? Perhaps I've used bad examples and surely learning to play the piano isn't a bad thing, but if in living up to my fullest potential means that I stop caring about others and concentrate only on what I want than it seems to me that I am a better person for NOT living up to my fullest potential. I may never write that novel or learn to play the piano if I am too busy collecting canned goods for the world hunger drive. But which would I rather be remembered for? Where would my time best be spent in helping to contribute to the world in which I am also a part of?

I am classified as being in the "me" generation. My time on earth is short, and it is up to me, as it is for everyone else to decide on how we want to live that life. The 40-hour work week is 60 hours, and the money earned doesn't get us that far. We are a busy generation with careers and bills to pay and finding time to draw happy faces on our children's sandwiches. But we have not learned to appreciate what we do have and to be satisfied with ourselves as WE ARE TODAY without worrying what we could have been.

In not appreciating our own lives, we can become blind to the needs of others, some who have even less than we do. We may not learn Latin, or see the Eiffel Tower, but we can be content with what we've done,. In striving to reach our fullest potential we, at the very least, become self-absorbed we turn our backs on others or at the worst trample on people who get in our way. We forget that we are all here together and that other people can be our greatest joy and comfort. In realizing this, I have reached my fullest potential. And I never learned to play the piano.

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