It’s Never Too Late…

About a year and a half ago, somewhere between spring and summer, I met a friend at Notting Hill Gate and we went to Portobello Road. We visited the famous market, had a leisurely lunch in Charlie’s cafe, and indulged our shared interests in books, travel, and baking by perusing the shelves of Books for Cooks and The Travel Bookshop (which has sadly now closed).

It was in this bookshop that I picked up a book that has been a real inspiration. I find that travel bookshops in themselves inspire me, as they get my mind wandering and dreaming about new adventures and new destinations. But this particular book is not actually about travelling (unless, perhaps, you are talking about the journey of life…)

This book is called It’s Never Too Late… 174 simple acts to change your life by Patrick Lindsay.

The book’s appearance, as shown by the picture of the cover above, is clean-cut, modest and understated. Inside there are no lengthy paragraphs or large blocks of writing. Each page contains a small poem about an act that could change your life for the better, and a famous quotation at the bottom of the page.

“Simple acts”, it claims. It is definitely simple, and, to me, beautiful in its simplicity. However, it is not to be underestimated. This has got to be one of my favourite books on the shelf. I love just picking it up, feeling the textured paper of the cover beneath my fingertips, flicking through the pages and enjoying whichever poems I come across at that moment.

I’m going to share five of the poems with you. I’m calling them poems although I’m not sure what they technically are. My reasoning is that they are arranged in verses and are written so beautifully, carefully and powerfully, that they seem like poetry to me.

It’s never too late…

to take a trip

Change the scenery of your life.
You don’t have to travel far.
It’s an adventure.
A chance to refresh. To learn. To compare.
To meet new people.
To make new friends.
To view things anew.
To grow.

“Travel broadens the mind.” Proverb


It’s never too late…

to take a stand

Sometimes we need to draw the line
because we know it’s right
and for our own self respect.
Your heart will tell you when the time is right.
When it does, listen.
Then fight hard.
You will respect yourself.
So will others.

“Justice is truth in action.” Benjamin Disraeli


It’s never too late…

to clean out a cupboard

It can be a wonderful adventure.
A great empowerment.
A journey into the past.
A chance to jettison baggage.
An opportunity to make new plans.
A fresh start.

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” L. P Hartley

It’s never too late… to clean out a cupboard (Photo credit: LizMarie_AK)


It’s never too late…

to change your mind

Take a view.
Make a point.
Make a decision.
But always keep your mind open.
Stay flexible.
Consider the possibility that you’re wrong.
That there’s a better way.

“Like all weak men he laid exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind.” W. Somerset Maugham


It’s never too late…

to love life

Consider the alternative.
Have the time of your life.
It’s up to you.
You can live flat out.
Or you can slowly rust.
Be the best you can.

“Life is short and time is swift.” Proverb

Sun Pillar
It’s never too late… to love life (Photo credit: tomhe)

It was really difficult to choose which five poems I wanted to share, as they are all wonderfully short but sweet, with a powerful and potentially life changing message. So many times when people get stuck in a rut, they feel that drastic action is needed for their lives to improve. Perhaps they feel that they should leave their job, or go travelling round the world. Although I’m not suggesting these things aren’t helpful or rewarding in the right situation, they may be completely unnecessary, and these drastic changes might not help you to find what you are really looking for.

Kite landboarding
It’s never too late… to fly a kite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the biggest benefits can come from the smallest of changes. Saying sorry, forgiving someone, reconnecting with an old friend, smiling, learning to paint, flying a kite, laughing at yourself, praising someone, being fair, being silent, allowing yourself to fail, changing your routine — all of these things are featured in this book, and any one of these things could help you to breath fresh air into your life, if you feel that you are in need of change.

If you have enjoyed reading the poems, and like the sound of this book, you might like to know that there are also two others by the same author, which take the same simple format. These are Now is the Time and Be Happy.

For some reason, I feel comforted by It’s Never Too Late…, and feel at peace when I read the small poems. I hope you enjoyed the ones I shared, and thank you for reading.




7 thoughts on “It’s Never Too Late…

  1. Oh no they’ve closed :(! What a shame… great post Jo, I will have to try to remember these life lessons. That was really great day we spent together – look forward to seeing you again sometime! xx


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