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Regrets. I’ve Had (more than) a Few.

” ‘If only’ must be the two saddest words in the world.” Mercedes Lockey

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When I hear people say ‘I have no regrets’, my first thought is “I’ll have what they’re having”. Living a life that gathers no regrets is something we all want, but as years, events, experiences pile up, it’s harder to to come by — at least with a straight face. The truth is, we each have our own vision of how we wanted our lives to be and how they actually unfolded. As years add up, so do regrets. Whether they are productive or unhealthy often is not the point. Yet, they still have a way of elbowing into your consciousness, invited or not. They become like an accusatory Jack-in the Box, gleefully popping up with a laundry list of things you did or didn’t do and once it starts, it’s hard to shut up.

One of the biggest regrets of life, I think is a sense of having gone on the trip, but missed the adventure. Gary Haugen

The complicated, worrisome year we’ve all lived through is cause enough for mental review. More than ever, we realized just how precious life is — and how short. The obvious fragility of life was a newsreel re-run over and over through months of a pandemic. I suspect many of us, seeing very real mortality all around us, were treated to inadvertent flashbacks of our lives, enabling regrets to saddle up for rando visits. I’m that kid who, instead of pressing ESC, say ‘hold my beer’ (as if I actually drank), and settle in for masochistic doomscrolling of all my failures.

Recently, I was treated to an insomniac night of life review on an endless loop. I saw a 19 year old girl supporting a husband through college instead of fighting for art school, obviously not the smartest decision I ever made on many levels. As years spin by, I saw relationships I should have run from with my hair on fire, or left long before their expiration date. I’m a slow learner. I was starkly reminded of how parents’ threats of distancing and disapproval shaped my life as well as any confidence or idea of myself long into adulthood. I saw all the chances I didn’t take, in living color. All the places I never saw, risks I never took and the chicken-little fear that controlled it all.

Living in regret will become your biggest regret.  Bill Johnson

Continue reading “Regrets. I’ve Had (more than) a Few.”
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Blah. Blah. Blah….Birthday. Whatever.

Photo collage by Small Talk Communications

“Our true person is outside of time and space. I’m every age I’ve ever been and so are you.” Anne Lamott

If age is just a number, we should be able to pick one we like — and stick with it. I mean, in the techno age, why not a birthday lottery? Choose a scratch off number under 50 and hold on to it. Unfortunately, nothing is that easy. Eventually, though, your birthday barcode comes up on that big jumbo-tron called life, and bingo – the gig is up.

It’s then we enter that magic garden where we see the sagging jawline, thinning hairline, beginning of a wrinkle under one eye and your boobs are certainly not getting any perkier.  We worry about stuff we never did or maybe never will. We have more time to think, which, depending on the day, can be a good or bad thing. When another birthday is about to be ticked off the calendar, there’s no telling where your mind can go. Here’s where mine rolls today, just thinking that:

  • Despite the many late life Pollyanna slogans about getting older, my best dreams and aspirations are behind me (face palm) except of course, for my posterior, which now gets a lot fewer rave reviews.
  • It’s now a whole lot harder to remember what I ate last night — as well as simple words that seem always stuck on the tip of my tongue.
  • I once thought my elders’ morbid musings about how many more months and years were behind than ahead were a yawn, until today, when it’s all too obvious now how damn fast days go by.
  • No matter how many mistakes I or my children made, they will always be the best things I’ve ever done and who I love most in this world. That is, except maybe for their own kidlets, who I’d slay every dragon for, even knowing I’ll only see their future from my rear view mirror.
  • “Regrets, I’ve had (more than) a few” sang Frank Sinatra but pity parties and rant breakdowns can lead to the best breakthroughs. Actually, they are the true blessings of living in a grateful present.
  • Life isn’t fair and no one promised it would be. Pain, uncertainty, grief — all part of the package. But, if you’re blessed with tribes of people who love you, you hit the life lottery.
  • Sometimes the universe answers what your soul needs, though it’s not always a fun ride. But hard times can open our eyes, and expand our hearts allowing a comfort zone rebuild to help us find true north — inside ourselves.
  • The only person I can change – is myself. Period. Like that old saw about leading a horse to water, we can’t change anyone’s beliefs, behavior or thoughts but, if we cherish the currency of the relationship, it’s a win-win for all.
  • It’s okay to voice your values even if you surprise yourself. In these crazy, critical and game-changing times, standing up and speaking out for your beliefs isn’t just okay — it’s necessary. Go for it.
Continue reading “Blah. Blah. Blah….Birthday. Whatever.”