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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Regrets

I am now sixty years of age and fast on the downhill slide to sixty-one.  Looking back on my life I have regrets.  I have regrets for things I have done and for things I did not have the courage to do.  Some things I regret are known to others and some are things I'll take with me to my grave untold.  I think anyone beyond their teen years who is honest would admit to having regrets.  And, the older we become the more regrets we have since we will have many more opportunities to make mistakes.

I have an old friend who is my age and tells me she has no regrets because she will not "allow" herself to have them.  I'm to polite to say "bullshit" but I do think it.  She is big time into books filled with psycho-babble and selecting how she feels rather than just facing herself in the mirror and giving herself an honest assessment of her actions or lack thereof.

I am not going to list my regrets here for the entire world to see as that is not the purpose of this article.  I am merely admitting I have them and they are for many things I have done and many things I did not do.  Not all of them are G-rated.  Not even PG or M.

I read two quotes by someone whom I don't recall the name but who had a great impact on me after the colossal eff-up that was my childhood.  Both of these are paraphrased but I think I can capture the gist of the meaning.  The first one is, "When you are old have all your regrets for things you have done and not for the things you did  not have the courage to do."   The second was, "The most futile regrets are those of temptations resisted."   I think I have done a pretty fair job on both of those AFTER a certain period of my life.

I do think the regrets I have are heavily biased toward things I have done with things I did not do  relegated to my earlier years with a couple of notable exceptions.  And, as far as temptations go, I do  not think I really ever turned my back on one.  Of course, some of those, lead to later regrets.

I can clearly recall thinking (when I was younger and the time was well off in an unreal future) , "When I am old and unable to do anything I want to look back on my life and regret only things I have done and not things I never had the courage to do."  Perhaps I took that to an extreme from time to time but...

I suppose, were I to have any one thing to pass on to my children, their children and those on down the line long after I am gone and forgotten is, "Go For IT!!!"   You can settle for other people's opinions, other people's standards, other people's limitations and goals.  Or, you can take a look in the mirror and see just who you ARE and see just what you WANT and what you NEED and go for it.  Never let someone ELSE live your life for you.  Never let someone ELSE place limitations on your dreams and your goals.  You may do it wrong but, at least, you will have done it chasing your own dreams and not those of someone else.  No matter who they may be and no matter how much you might respect or even love them.  It is YOUR life.  Live it.

There are just too many negative and self-righteous people in this world who are all too willing to tell you where you are wrong, where you should limit yourself, what you CAN'T do.  Eff them.  (Figuratively, of course, since most of them are so hideous you wonder how they have children.) and go for your OWN goals.  Strive for your OWN happiness.  When you try and fail it is not the end of the world.  When you fail to try it can be.  Take my word for it.