A Maybe Life . . .

The drug ads that flood our media world drive me crazy. They start out with symptoms (that could make you say, “yeah I feel like that sometimes”), then talk about their miracle cure (that you should beg your doctor for), followed by a very fast talking announcer (spewing all the bad side-effects). Since I think the ads are stupid and I actually hate some of them, I usually tune them out. However, the other day one of them caught me with the line … “Are you living a maybe life?”

"Should I stay or should I go?"

A “maybe life”? Hmm, I could not tell you what drug they were selling because I did not hear any other part of that commercial. Those two words “maybe life” stopped me and sent my mind into deep, contemplative thought. During the past few weeks, I have been trying to get my thoughts around how my life feels different then it did before my bad surgeries this Fall. Not how I feel physically, I am 100% better in that respect then I have been in at least 3-4 years .. it is a lot more than that. I was living differently while I was sick and a “maybe life” is a great description about how my life was.

Everything I did or did not do was based on how I physically felt. I stopped committing to activities and invitations and said “maybe” because I had no idea if I was going to physically be able to leave my house. “Maybe” had become my only response to invitations. No one could truly count on me for anything and I started feeling really bad about having friends and family hang on my non-committal “maybe” and then letting them down at the last-minute because I did not feel well. To be honest, sometimes I even used the “maybe if I feel well enough” excuse for things I did not really want to do even if I was feeling well. I had been living a “maybe life”.

Living a “maybe life” is different then procrastination. It has more to do with indecision, excuses, and maybe even a juggling, multi-tasking life style where the thing that screams the loudest gets our attention. This is about not being able to live your life and do what you truly want to do because of a “maybe” in your life that holds you back. Mine was my health and I bet bad health accounts for the majority of the “maybe lives” being lived. I now have much more sympathy for people who suffer with that “maybe”. One of my friend’s “maybe” is her husband … “maybe if my husband is in a good mood”. Other “maybes” could be work, fears, concern over missing out on something better that might come along, worries, or needing approval from someone else. We all have “maybes” in our life and they are not really a problem until those “maybes” stop us from living altogether and mine was doing that to me.

"Maybe the grass is better over there?"

Some “maybes” like “maybe if I can find a babysitter”, “maybe if I don’t have to work”, “maybe if the weather is good”, etc … are perfectly understandable and logical especially if they are not used all the time. Those types of “maybes” are a natural part of a busy and very full life. The problem with “Maybes” is when they become a crutch or an excuse for not living. When they are our standard response to invitations or even to our own desired outings or goals. “Maybes” can become our “easy out” for everything. They can prevent us from making decisions and changes in our life. They make us seem very “wishy-washy” and unreliable. When the “maybe” is holding us back from life and/or when our “maybe” starts hurting those around us it is time to deal with the “maybe”.

Our “maybe’s” can become a very bad habit and a poor excuse for not participating in life. I have found myself a few times lately automatically saying “maybe” out of habit (especially when I am tired or not thrilled about doing whatever it is), but I don’t have the bad health excuse any more. Part of my new problem is that saying “no” is hard for me. Especially if it is a friend that is asking. However, I now realize that a polite “no” and asking for a rain check for another time/activity is more friendly than a non-committal “maybe” that leaves everyone hanging.

Further Discussion:
I am still processing my thoughts about all this … what are your thoughts?
What are the “maybes” in your life that hold you back sometimes?
Is it rude to reply to an invite with a “maybe”?
Has our modern societal changes made “maybe” the new standard?
Does anyone you know live a non-committal, “maybe life” that you view as healthy?

Here is another bloggers insight into a “maybe life”.

FYI: I have posted new pictures on my 2012 Weekly Photo Challenges page … “Launch” and “peaceful” this week I am working on the new one “Simple” … This is a Word Press challenge that I enjoy very much.

~ by bearyweather on January 22, 2012.

19 Responses to “A Maybe Life . . .”

  1. I don’t like living a “maybe life” either…seems when there are health difficulties we have no choice until those are taken care of. I’ve had those times with my own health and now with that of my husbands. He is scheduled for surgery in a month. I’m hoping he can turn his life back around as you have since your surgery. We like to get out and do things and have been stalled recently. Even though we’ve enjoyed our time home together.

    • Suzi, I am sorry to hear your husband’s health is not good. I hope his surgery is not too serious and that he is back to good health soon. Major health issues do take many of our choices away from us. I have a great respect for people who continue to do the things they want to do even when health issues or pain make it extremely difficult. They are inspirational and I hope the next time I am ill, I can be as strong as they are.
      It is not so much what you are doing or where you are, Time together is what counts …

  2. I think we all get into that mode at times and for various reasons. Hard to break out of it.

    • “Maybes” are normal for all of us and can be very powerful habit .. Close friends that encourage us (kick us in the butt if necessary) when we get stuck in a “Maybe Life” are priceless.

  3. I was living a “maybe life” for a few years and have recently determined that I cannot live like that any longer. While it allowed me to do whatever I wanted, it didn’t allow me to really live my life.

    The past couple of months and this new year have begun a lifetime of committed change, instigated by me only because I know that I no longer want to be ther person tha tI used to be. I don’t know eactly what I want to become, I just know that there is very little room for “maybe” with me now.

    It can make things a little harder (e.g. accepting an invitation to an event that is a little further away than what I used to hold was acceptable) but in our lives we never know when our number is up. I want to fill the moments I have left with as much interaction, friendship and experience as I can.

    I’m very glad that you’re feeling physically better and I am really loving your photos!

    • I meant to add – personally, I think it’s ok to answer “maybe” to an invite. I’ve never considered it rude at all. As a person who sometimes jsut doesn’t feel like going somewhere or doing something, I can definitely understand why someone would say maybe and I wouldn’t ever think it was rude of them to respond that way.

      • I completely understand your “maybe” philosophy. I still say “maybe” sometimes and understand when someone gives me a “maybe” response … I think that is fine, too.
        For me it is only a problem when the maybe’s are really no’s and stop you from living. My “maybes” were all turning into “no’s” and I was letting everyone down including the people closest to me (I was letting myself down, too) … eventually people stop inviting you because you have shown them that they can not depend on you.

    • Wow, Christian, sounds like you have had a major wake up call of some kind recently … I am curious, are you going to blog about the moment of your awakening to the need for change? Was it something you saw in someone else’s life? Or, in the reflection of yourself?

      Change can be very hard. However, if you are doing it for yourself because you really want the change, you are going to be successful. My friend kept telling me that even though each step I took was difficult that in time when I looked back the mountain I was climbing would only look like a small hill. The farther I get away from my latest mountain, the more I realize she was right.

      I wish you strength as you face your committed change and live your bucket list … because, you are so right … none of us knows how much time we have to complete ourselves … make our lives meaningful.

  4. Hi Bearyweather, Yes, the maybe’s are rampent. My late mother used to say “Maybe so” whenever she wanted to be non-committal about an issue and not with regards to accepting an invitation to attend an event or go someplace with another. Same difference. Have a great day tomorrow and no “Maybe’s” about that!

    • Maybe’s are very “wishy-washy” .. I did not include it in my post, but you are right about how maybe’s can even prevent you from having a meaningful conversation with someone, too. Talking to someone who has absolutely no opinions about anything or refuses to express any feelings is extremely difficult … all you get is a meaningless fog of words … caused by apathy? shyness? fear? a lack of passion?
      (I can’t imagine not having an opinion and/or not expressing it, especially if asked to ;-))

      I will definitely have a great day tomorrow .. hope you do , too.

  5. The maybe’s in my life right now are from a very long recovery from health issues. I take it a day at a time and my closest friends and family understand that I cannot predict how I will be doing or feeling beyond today.
    Your photos here are great!

  6. Interesting topic. I know I’ve had times in my life where I’ve lived a “maybe life,” usually due to health. Lately I’ve noticed how non-committal I’ve become in my writing, using words like seems, appears, and yes, maybe (or it’s fraternal twin, perhaps). The maybes are everywhere.

    Lots to ponder here. I am glad to hear you’re 100% health-wise. πŸ™‚

    • Health seems to be the most common maybe (I am about 90% ;-_)). And, I agree, the maybes are swallowing up our world and they come in many different forms. I love this comic video on our lack of declarative sentences by Taylor Mali .. it is a different kind of “maybe” … the unsure or I don’t know maybe

  7. I didn’t have the term to label it with….so thank you for that. But lately, I feel I’ve been living a “maybe life” and I’m trying to shake myself out of it. My “maybes” are typically a silent “no” or ambivalence. A “no” is OK in my book, as long as I don’t overuse it. It’s the ambivalence that’s killing me.

    • You are welcome for the label … I could not name it either until that darn drug commercial. I think your word is great, ambivalence is what bothers me the most, too. That lack of passion one way or the other for so many things. Maybe we are just worn out?
      Sometimes life sneaks up on you and kicks you pretty hard and important decisions need to be made. Life kicked me today … hope I have what is necessary to make some good solid life choices for my future.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Yes, indeed, the “Maybe” life. I don’t like when I am in that mode…this is a good reminder to be aware of when it surfaces, and to turn gently back into the present sacred moment. Thanks, bearyweather!

    • … “turn gently back into the present sacred moment” … you said that so well … it sounds like it should be an easy thing to do … because it is really the important thing to do. However, sometimes it is very, very hard to find the passion to blow past that “maybe” and the ambivalence that Jane talked about in her comment.
      Sometimes I am just too tired to decide and too worn out to care either way.
      I think I need a warm getaway adventure like you just had to push some of those maybes away. πŸ˜‰

      • You’re right, bearyweather, sometimes it’s not an easy thing to do. Sometimes it seems impossible… I wish you could have a warm adventure. heck, I wish I could have another one. Turning gently back into the present sacred moment has been challenging after this trip.

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