Posts Tagged With: regrets

I Would Have

I’m using the Sandwich theory today. When you have to tell someone bad news slip it in between two good things. Not that the middle thing is bad news. Really it’s just something we hear in various forms but we don’t really listen.

Or is that we listen to but don’t really hear?

Whatever. Pay attention to the middle today, okay?

This sandwich is kind of like a good and healthy middle filling that we should choose to eat, enclosed by homemade bread.

Here’s one slice of bread:

20131013-171146.jpg

I didn’t promise the bread would be delicious, did I? Oh well, it’s a classic anyway.

Here’s the flavor packed protein filled goodness of today’s sandwich:

Erma Bombeck wrote this back in 1979 at the same age I am now, and many, many years before she passed away..

“Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”

Here’s the other slice of bread:

20131013-171451.jpg

Insert your own rimshot at this point.

Hey, you can’t always take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Just three little somethings to let your brain chew on for a while.

Happy Sunday!

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Categories: Humor, People, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

“It Takes a Life to Learn How to Live”

Right off the bat let me give credit for my title today to  Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. There’s some profound wisdom in that book. Those nine words alone speak volumes of truth.

My friend Kathy asked me a question a couple of months ago that stopped me cold. I couldn’t come up with a good response. A quick answer wasn’t going to do it this time. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

And then today on a prompt from WordPress Daily Post the same basic question in a slightly different form, raised its head and accessed that box I’d stuffed into a distant corner of my head. Here’s the question:

“What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?”

Here’s my answer:

I regret wasting so much time thinking I wasn’t good enough. 

The kid in the far reaches of the playground, hovering alone, her back turned to all the fun?  Me. I figured I wasn’t good enough to have friends. I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t included. I became afraid, picked on, ridiculed and invisible.

Detour ahead?Invisible feels worse than picked on. Invisible hurts in a hundred different long-lasting ways.

There were other invisible and picked on and outcast kids. I figured that out in my teen years and that was who I gravitated toward. Sometimes that was a good thing, especially when those kids were the nerds, the smart ones, the bookish know-it-alls. I mirrored the behaviors of the kids I hung out with and those had a  profound influence for good.

Sometimes the invisibles were the parking lot crowd, the skip-class-to-do-anything-else group. But at least I was good enough for them. They accepted me in their own angry, we don’t care about you way. I didn’t like myself even more when I spent time with them, but it was better than being alone, usually.

By time I reached college I had a pseudo-self esteem based mostly on my book smarts. But then I found out everyone else was as smart or smarter than I was and I was an invisible, not good enough person again. Just an ant in a crowded hive of excelling ants.

I wasted tons of years thinking I wasn’t a good enough student, girl, wife, mother, housekeeper, employee, friend, daughter, sister, woman, volunteer or person.

What this wasted thinking did was waste a huge portion of my life. I felt sorry for myself instead of looking outside of myself. I caved inward and saw only what I didn’t have instead of all the phenomenal blessings I did have.

I tucked inside myself like a pair of socks rolled up tight sitting in the back corner of a dark drawer. I didn’t give, I didn’t get. I just existed. What a waste.

Skip a decade or so and leave out the sordid details. Finally, somehow, somewhere what I had, who I was began to morph into an okayness. More than that, I began feel worthwhile. I began to feel like I was enough. Me, where I was and what I was doing was good, worthwhile, worthy, wonderful, and of value.

The Lonely Road

(Photo credit: Storm Crypt)

What a long, uphill road I trudged to get there.

I turn around and look back at the path I took to get to today and part of me wants to crumble in to a heap on the ground and weep. I want to cry for the wasted time, the wasted opportunities, the wasted impact I could have had. I want to feel sorry for myself again. But I won’t.

Nope.

That’s an even bigger waste of time. I’m who I am because of the path I’ve taken to get here, which is good enough for me. That’s all that really matters anyway. What do I think? What others think of me isn’t as important as what I think of me.

My conclusion?

I AM good enough.

No regrets.

Not anymore.

Categories: People, Relationships, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

If Only

I often say

”if only”

and

“I wish”

Although

I lack

Regret

For the

What was

because

the “if only”

would make me

what I’m not

and the

“Oh well”

that I am

I like.

    -Kami Tilby
Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mason Jars Filled with Do Overs

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ’til eternity passes away just to spend them with you.”

– Jim Croce

MSH thinks going back in time and reliving his life sounds wonderful.  Many people I’ve asked agree with him. Give them a second chance at life, they’d take it!

Me? No, thank you! End of discussion. No way.

Well, one way, maybe.  If I could remember everything from my first time through, then sure, I’d be willing to face my childhood, puberty, early marriage, and every other stage of my life with confidence.  But without my memories, my hard-earned learning curve intact, there’s no way I’d have a do over.

Too many regrets, that’s why.

A Kerr mason jar

A Kerr mason jar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance. Instead of letting my eighteen month old son cry himself to sleep laying next to his bedroom door, I’d let him fall asleep snuggled in my arms on the couch every single night until he decided he preferred his bed.  Call me foolish.  I don’t care. I can still see his little tear streaked sleeping face peeking out under the gap between the floor and the door.

I’d have bought those Wizard of Oz sparkly red shoes for my youngest. I wouldn’t have put off getting that sailor dress my daughter wanted. I would have asked more questions, assumed less, pried more, talked directly, been less afraid.

Instead of anxiously awaiting the day my kids would start school I’d clean the house less and play with them more.

My own teenage years were a horror story of stupid decisions, bad behavior, rebellion and embarrassment.  I’d just completely remake myself.  I’d be friendly and outgoing instead of trembling and introverted.  I’d care less about what everyone else thought about me and wonder more about how they felt and how I could help. I’d complain less to my mom and help out more.  No, really, I would.  I’d soak in every moment of being young and healthy and energetic.  I’d run with more abandon, sing louder, laugh longer, smile more often, tell jokes, be nicer to my sisters and tell my brothers that I thought they were cool.

If I could have time in a bottle…pretty much everything that happened from day one until now would be different.  I’d be different.  In fact, I wouldn’t even be me anymore, would I?

That’s a scary thought. A hopeful thought. A weird thought.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Or I’d change everything.

After harvest - jars of glass filled with honey

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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