My Dad often tells me, “The older you get, the faster life seems to pass you by.”
Now just past my mid-40’s, I am beginning to understand what he means.
At an age when some people are empty-nesting it, having lived for their families for the last couple decades, I am beginning to hear my contemporaries share (some with authentic twinges of regret): “I wish I had done (insert name of goal, hope or dream)”.
There’s nothing wrong with putting family first. It’s just that I see too many people (and couples) who’ve put aside ALL of their own stuff for others, not realizing that even taking the time for small tastes of their desires sets a good examples for others.
So what are the regrets I hear often?
Not taking a dream vacation, not spending enough time with family or friends, not writing a book, not singing, dancing or laughing more often, not starting their own little business, not driving a certain car, not saying “I love you” enough.
It could be…anything.
From the minute we’re born, that clock is ticking.
Some have said “He who dies with the most toys, wins.”
I’d like to make a slight adjustment: “He who dies with the least regrets, wins.”
Yeah, I will like that better when I am sitting on my front porch.
I think regret sucks.
For better or for worse, I have tried many different things in my life.
They were not all the most responsible things to do with my time, money or my body…but I don’t regret them. That’s not to say I didn’t spend years punishing myself for some of the ‘less researched’ ones, though. I’ve got the scars from some of them to remind me to be smarter next time!
Quitting my radio career at age 35 (without another job), going through a divorce and being $65,000 in debt (all within a year or so)…not my most intelligent decisions.
But, without all those actions I would not be enjoying the life I have now: 2 successful businesses, several books published, great relationships with my family and friends, and my sweet beautiful Tina (with whom I just celebrated 7 years, head over heels in love).
Do I still have a lot to learn?
Yes I do.
I have plenty more room for new scars, and I probably won’t mind earning them.
How about YOU?
What story do YOUR scars tell?
If you don’t have any, it could be for one of several reasons:
you are happy with your life and have no regrets
you’ve been too timid to take action, although there are things you wish to have done
you played it smart and thought out everything before acting, being more safe than I have chosen to be
If you DO have some scars, do they make you smile now for having tried something…even if it didn’t work out the way you’d hoped?
I’ve got busted veins on the side of my leg, a few dents in my skull, a cracked vertebra and a chuck of cartilage poking out between a couple ribs.
Even now, 20+ years removed from doing all that damage, I don’t regret the experiences.
Please remember, if you’re still breathing, then you have an opportunity to at least enjoy a ‘taste’ of things you regret.
Can’t take that dream vacation? Go on-line and find video or photographs…soak it in.
Can’t afford that dream muscle car? Visit a hot rod night or car show. Be ‘near’ it!
Wish you’d reached out to someone who is now gone? Don’t let it happen again. reach out today to let someone know how much they mean to you.
When I am on my front porch someday, my goal is to have zero regrets.
I wish you the same, and hope to see you on YOUR porch, smiling away, every time our paths cross.