September 27, 2023

How Many Summers Do You Have Left?

by Lisa Zuba in Uncategorized0 Comments

Do These 3 Things and Live the Life You Want

It’s kind of creepy, right? Thinking about how many summers you have left to live.

The answer for all of us is: We don’t know.

But here’s what I do know: We don’t have infinite time.

The idea about looking at midlife in terms of summers left comes from a conversation about grief, loss, and moving forward between Maria Shriver and Lynda Carter (formerly known as Wonder Woman).

Their conversation got me wondering. How many summers do I have left? If I’m really lucky and remain relatively healthy, maybe I have 30 or 35.

It’s easy to let time drift by. How often have you said, “Time goes by too fast?”

It’s like you turn 40; before you know it, you’re 50, and then suddenly, you’re 60 years old!

What the hell happened? Time kept ticking on.

Quit putting things off

I remember my mother telling me matter-of-factly she wanted to live until she was 86. She said,

That’s a good age to go, and hopefully, before dementia comes to visit me.

She was comfortable talking about death and dying. She made it through her 84th year — and fortunately, without dementia.

If you’re in your 50s, 60s, or older, it’s wise to think about how much time or how many summers you might have left.

Diana Meresc


It keeps you from wasting the time you have left.

Is it a cliché or a reality?

Make the most of every day.

Francisco Iglesias

Tomorrow is not promised.

Francisco Iglesias

Yes, these are cliches, but by the time you reach midlife, you realize these sayings are more about truth than simple hackneyed phrases.

Francisco Iglesias

Reach out to a friend

Have you thought about a friend you haven’t seen in years? Someone you really care about, but you drifted apart — not for any negative reason, you just drifted.

It happened to me recently. I don’t know what sparked my interest, but I thought about my old friend Colleen with whom I was close friends in my 20s and 30s in Washington, DC. We met in karate class. In fact, once, we competed in a big karate tournament — the only one we’d ever do in our lives. We stopped at the green belt level when the fighting got a bit too real.

Colleen and I moved around — she to Germany and me to Texas. We visited each other a few times. It was the pre-Facebook days. We lost touch.

One of the wonderful things about Colleen was her generosity of spirit. She brought me into her circle of friends, several of whom I remain very close with today.

Diana Meresc

Thirty years later, I wanted to talk to her. Find out how she was doing. Was she enjoying life? Still a journalist? I searched online and found an article about her in the Denver Post. It was written seven years ago. The article described a beloved Denver Post journalist who was killed by a man driving a car as she walked across a street.

I was too late. Colleen had no more summers left.

Of course, I wish I had not waited so long to contact her. In fact, it haunted me for days. Still does.

It was just another one of those important things we all put off — looking up an old friend, spending more time with an aging parent, telling someone you love them, even something as mundane as cleaning out the garage.

Three things to do now to make your summers matter

If you’ve hit midlife or beyond, your next (and last) 10, 20, or 30 summers can be some of the best. But you must do these three things so that time doesn’t slip away and you regret all you’ve left undone.

  1. Make your Summertime List — identify what it is you want. You can’t get what you want until you first figure out what that is. Are you a people pleaser? That’s a surefire way not to get what you want. List the ten things you want to do in the next two years. Writing your Summertime List keeps you from letting the important things disappear with time. They don’t have to be big things — it could be something as simple and easy as calling a friend you haven’t seen in years.
  2. Once you make your Summertime List, prioritize it. Take into account time and costs. For example, if you’ve always wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, you might not do it for two years because you must train and save money for it, even though it may be your top priority.
  3. Make an action plan. Do that for each thing you want to do, and put it on your calendar. You must plan your training time for hiking a big mountain or running your first marathon. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to read more or even write a book. Figure out the time you need to put into it, calendarize it, and then take action.

You won’t get what you want — unless you identify it, make a plan, and take action.

I started my Summertime List after nearly losing my life due to a surgeon’s accidental and unknowing slip of his scalpel into my esophagus.

Richa Singh

Since then, I’ve backpacked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim and wrote a book, among other things.

Of course, when I began keeping a list, I didn’t have a name for it. Only when I heard the Lynda Carter interview, I began calling it the Summertime List.

I recommend creating a new Summertime List and action plan every two years.

Richa Singh

Live the cliché!

Now that you’ve got your plan and are taking action, you have effectively ensured that your next two or even thirty summers are more certain to be filled with joy. Keep updating the Summertime List too.

Instead of letting the years go by and saying, “Gosh, I can’t believe how fast time goes by,” you’ll make the most of your moments!

And if you’ve thought about contacting a friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time, I implore you to call them up. Now. Don’t keep putting it off like I did.

Start your Summertime List today, and let me know how it goes for you.


Lisa Zuba

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