I am grateful for . . .
Posted on 2014-08-22
Posted on 2014-08-22
Live each day as if you were to die next sunrise. Then face each sunrise as a fresh creation and live for it joyously. And never think about the past. No regrets, ever.
--Lazurus Long, Time Enough For Love, pg 25
A long, long time ago I read something from Lazarus Long in one of the Heinlein novels. It was about living a life without regrets.
“When the ship lifts, all bills are paid. No regrets.” - Lazarus Long, Time Enough for Love.
At the time I was young (pre-teen iirc) and I took this to mean that I needed to consider decisions carefully so that I would grow older having no regrets.
Many, many, many years later I understand it differently.
See, we're all human, and our decisions are frequently a yes in one direction and a no in another. We can't predict the future and sometimes our decisions don't pan out how we expected.
I used to spend a lot of time regretting. "Why didn't I do that thing then?!" or "Why did I say that just now?!" or "If only...."
This morning in the car I had a realization and that is thus:
It's not that we can't or won't make mistakes. And we may at times regret our choices and actions. The concept, though, is to not be mired in those. To learn from them, to be grateful for those opportunities and moments even if they were hard, and to move on and grow as a human being.
It's a hard concept and I doubt that anyone could have explained it to me in any way that I would have integrated. I mean, of course I regret saying that thing, it led into a day of fighting! Or of course I regret not socializing Odin more, it meant he had a lifetime being fearful of other dogs, etc etc etc.
Or I can choose differently. I can choose "Saying that didn't meet my needs; that's ok and now on to the next thing." and I was able to say, "Ok, I made this mistake with my first dog, I will socialize all future dogs." etc.
Growing, learning, being open to new experiences....
All of those past decisions - whether they worked out or not - have led me here, to this place. I chose not to have some experiences as a teenager that I'm having now in my late thirties. I used to regret not choosing those experiences believing I'd never have another opportunity or that I had missed out on something important. What mumbo jumbo that was and entirely self-defeating.
We have the ability to create our own opportunities. And for as long as we are alive, capable, and have the will to do so - we can make more choices and choose different paths. Sometimes those may turn out wonderfully and sometimes they may turn into learning opportunities.
But regrets? F that.
And because this meme was well timed I'll include it here. I may not always enjoy growing older, but I find it far more palatable than the other options. After all, it's only through age that I've had the opportunity to grow. I don't regret that at all.
-Lisa, 2014-08-22, Comment
Posted on 2014-08-21