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Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category

Benefits of Boredom

I have been working my way through Glennon Doyle’s book, Untamed. It is a great read. Sometimes I find her to be a sage, other times she annoys me, but she is always thought-provoking. In my mind, that’s an all around win.

The book has an interesting format. It is part memoir but the bulk of it is a series of short essays on life. I just finished a couple. I find this book to be like a rich meal. Just little bites and then digest. Repeat. Today I read several and am now ruminating on them. In one she writes about the Hebrew word, selah. Glennon writes,

Selah is the holy silence when the recipient of transformational words, music …. pauses long enough to be changed forever.

Glennon Doyle, Untamed.

Perhaps, for me, the pandemic aloneness (not isolation or loneliness) is my selah. A pause. A moment to reflect and even be bored so I can spark my own creativity and pursue some endeavors that may have otherwise been ignored or undiscovered.

My selah is not going to necessarily be holy or spiritual in nature. Who knows, maybe it will. But I am being given a pause and space to reflect, organize my life both physically and financially and now pursue small projects that could bring joy, meaning and/or closure in my life.

I have to remember how incredibly fortunate I am to be in this place. A small, tucked-away place where I am safe, housed, employed, financially secure and content while the crazy storm of politics and pandemic rage around me. I need to double down on my gratitude and use it to create beauty for me and others.

I have found myself kicking up my retail therapy of late. That needs to stop. I replaced some clothes and shoes and had an Ikea moment. I have enough abundance. Shopping does not fill any emptiness I might be feeling. I just purged my apartment and got rid of more stuff than I imagined possible (box of books, bags of clothes and more). I need to turn off the TV or at least ration the amount I watch. Get it down to an hour during the weekdays and maybe a little more over the weekend.

Most of all I need to continue to look inside myself and enjoy the company of me, myself and I. I have plenty of work to do around my apartment. Projects that will bring beauty and closure into my life along with joy for others. How lucky am I to have the space for these things? Let me embrace this time and find ways to fill it with meaningful activities. For now, excuse me. My laundry is calling… LOL.

Don’t Let Your Guard Down

It is so easy to let your pandemic guard down these days. We are all sick of it. Masks, no gatherings, hand sanitizer, WFH for many, remote learning for many. It is simply exhausting. In Florida, the esteemed governor has opened the state wide open. Let the raging chickens fly. Restaurants and bars can be at full capacity, bring the kids back to school — damn this disease, let’s go for herd immunity.

I joined in for a weekend. I went to a great farmer’s market and a Meetup dinner with 10 women. The Meetup event gave me significant pause. Nobody wore a mask. We were outside for the most part, but I felt it was wrong deep in my bones. The farmer’s market was doable. Masks, outdoors, good arrangement of booths. But that dinner, although lovely with some really nice ladies. That dinner was not OK. I didn’t know these women and was trusting strangers with my health.

I had a brunch and a Happy Hour scheduled through Meetup. I have cancelled. I will do one that I already paid for, but it is limited to only 6 people. Yes, I want a social life. Yes, I want to meet people, but I have to be reasonable.

My next door neighbor has Covid. Poor kid. He moved down here from the Northeast, newly graduated with an advanced degree. Within 2 months, he got it. I only know because he accidentally got a package that was intended for me. We talked at a distance with masks on. I first asked him how he was feeling and got his cell number. I told him to call or text me if he needed anything. I followed up the next day when I headed over to Target to see if he needed anything. My package is now sitting in a paper bag for a 2-week quarantine. Fortunately it’s my contact lens supply and I don’t need them immediately.

A bunch of raging chickens at work decided to have an after work Happy Hour this week. More than 25 people were invited and 10+ were gathered at the office’s outdoor patio. Yes, the organizer actually held it at work. What an idiot. When the senior VP showed up to break it up (because he had already gone home and had to come back), they greeted him with a beer. It did not go well.

People, we are not out of this. My Thanksgiving plans are in a flux. I thought I was going to my uncle’s memorial service as part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Nope, not happening. My aunt is planning a lovely church service complete with choir and an anticipated 100+ crowd. She wants to remember her husband. She lives in a remote area that has less than 1,000 residents, but talk about a superspreader event. No thank you.

I woke up this morning and realized that we are in this for the long haul. As much as I would like to move forward with my social life, I can’t. My health is one of my most precious gifts. I need to nurture it, respect it, and most importantly protect it. Sometimes it sucks being a responsible adult.

Raging chickens….

Be Nice – Part 2

I am no fan of the president. Hearing that he and the First Lady have COVID brings me no joy. It worries me. Part of me whispers about karma, schadenfreude and the like, but I quickly quash it. I do not wish him ill will. No pun intended.

I do not think he will learn from this, whatever the outcome. A Narcissis simply cannot summon empathy, so I hold no hope for that.

What I do hope is that his supporters see the common decency of those that oppose him. World leaders sending gracious, polite messages of support for his recovery; Democrats and others also sending similar messages. Biden has pulled all his negative ads. This is what empathetic people do when an adversary is facing a difficult time. They remember to be empathetic and polite.

We all need to remember to be polite and empathetic to others. It makes a difference. Yesterday I was getting out of my car in the rain. My door flew open and hit the SUV next to me quite hard. It was a complete accident. The car owner happened to be in her car. She popped out and said she felt it. I immediately apologized. Sincerely apologized without an excuse. “I am so sorry. I don’t see any damage, but do you? Please look.” She was immediately appeased and a bit surprised at my reaction. She took a close look and found no damage. Crisis averted by using empathy and taking ownership of my mistake.

Please be nice. It isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of empathy and humanity. We need a lot more of that. However, if the person is an asshat, forget all this nice BS and defend yourself. LOL because there are some asshats out there that see nice as a weakness. I feel sorry for those miserable SOB’s.

I was going to end there, but I just thought of another story regarding being nice in the face of an asshat. I was at a busy gas station and had pulled around and backed up to a pump. I didn’t think I was cutting anyone off, but the plumber behind me did. While he pumped his gas, he started yelling at me for pulling around. I was incredulous because I didn’t think it inconvenienced anyone. It was one of those really uncomfortable situations that everyone either froze or looked away.

I went inside to pay and when I came out, he still had something to say. I had it. I unleashed on him. “I feel so sorry for you that you are so miserable and angry about this. You are such an angry, miserable person and I am so sorry. I hope you have a better day.” People in the gas station applauded. Yep, nice can take the day.

Be Nice

I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. If you haven’t watched, you need to. It is must-see TV. Even before seeing it, I have been making a very concerted effort not to post politics, rants or anything negative on my FB feed. Yes, I am an old fart who prefers FB to Instagram and I will not get TikTok because, well, that’s another post.

Anyway, if I post and that is a big if, it is something beautiful or inspiring or funny. My feed has changed due to that and I don’t see much political BS unless it is a close friend.

Once you watch The Social Dilemma, you will understand why that’s important. I think the algorithms of social media have been a major contributor towards our country’s moral degeneration. Social media is like a drug dealer. The drugs are causing the addiction and the horrible things associated with addiction. The drug dealer is simply the distributor of the ills.

If I want news (and I am a news junkie), I read legitimate news sources that I have paid for. I subscribe to the New York Times, the Washington Post, a local paper, a business journal, a couple of online reputable magazines plus I get my industry newsletters. I read A LOT. I read diverse opinions. Yes, the journalists don’t always get it right and sometimes their own biases creep in. HOWEVER, if you are reading a major news publication, those journalists have taken ethics courses, they research and discuss their subject matter and they try to get it right. I am able to get facts so I can think about and determine my own opinions. I research candidates by going to THEIR websites and listening to THEIR videos, not stupid ads.

When I see my crazy friends on FB quoting these fake news stories from sources that have no journalistic integrity, I cringe. They have been brainwashed by the algorithms of their social media feeds. If you watch The Social Dilemma, you will see how easy it is to slip into a deep abyss. You will understand how young people have become radicalized. It is terrifying.

When people rant and argue over our societal issues, I simply cannot engage. It is pointless. Until they realize they have been brainwashed, I will not engage. Plus I am not wasting my breath and energy trying to convert a fanatic. Not my circus, not my clowns. Perhaps I should care more, but I don’t because they refuse to listen to any reason.

If anyone asks me what I think we should do, I always answer “education.” We need to pour more money into civics, logical thinking and teaching kids how to think for themselves. Screw those standardized tests. Bring in more art, music, debate and speech classes, writing, history. Teaching kids about the liberal arts brings about a more well-rounded citizen. Get them outside for free play, not just organized sports. Teach them adulting classes that include personal finance, home repairs, simple mechanics, cooking, childcare. Yes, the adulting classes should be done at home, but we have mucked up a few generations, so maybe we need to start over with a younger generation. We need civics desperately so we can teach kids the responsibilities of citizenship and the importance of voting.

Our country has lost its civility. Why does mask wearing have to be a political decision? Why does BLM have to be about all lives? Why can’t we admit that we have not been fair to people of color? Why can’t we agree that there are some really, really good cops and the shitty ones need to go? Why can’t we agree that not all protesters are rioters and not all rioters are protesters?

I am trying to do my small part in my small place in this crazy society. I say hello, please and thank you to everyone. I greet my neighbors. I wave to my apartment maintenance crew every day. I went up to a Walmart employee who was picking groceries for the Pick Up service to thank him and tell him that his service was invaluable to me. I am making a point these days to tip more, be nicer and more civil than ever. But most importantly, I vote. I will be hand-delivering my ballot this weekend to my county elections supervisor. It was easy-peasy for the primary, so I know exactly where I need to go and what I need to do. I hope you are voting.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

Sore Loser

Today I am a sore loser. Oh I played gracious and nice on camera, but when the meeting ended, I was pissed. Plus I can’t really verbalize how pissed I am because I will simply look like a sore loser.

Well I am pissed and since I don’t feel comfortable ranting about it publicly, then this is another reason to blog.

I was in a contest for public speaking. OK, you know which one. I will have to blur a few details to protect the guilty, me and the innocent. I spent 4 hours of my weekend on Zoom. Yes, 4 hours. Not all on camera, but available, listening, etc.

I had won my club contest and now I moved up to the next level. I had 5 other competitors in my category. My speech was tight and very well rehearsed. I will go out on a limb and say it is probably one of my top 5 speeches of all time. Definitely top 10.

I paid attention to the details by making sure my lighting was good. I set up my laptop so I could stand in order to have better body language. I fucking put on makeup AND lipstick.

I was early in the speaking order, which isn’t always a good thing. I made sure to project energy, strong eye contact with the camera. I had vocal variety, my pacing and pauses were there. I am telling you – I nailed this speech.

As we waited, my club president and VP were sure I had placed. I felt pretty confident too. I listened to all my competitors and it was a competitive field. But my energy, my lighting, my speech’s structure and my winning smile were sure to win the day, right?

Nope, I didn’t make the top 3. That puts me on the bottom 3 and I am PISSED. As I write this, I get angrier. I was fucking robbed. Now keep in mind that I am sharing with you, Dear Reader, my innermost thoughts on this. I won’t say it out loud. But FUCK – I was seriously robbed.

Our club president was texting me and he thought I was robbed. I told him it reminded me of horse shows which can be quite politically subjective. I didn’t say politically, just subjective. I thanked everyone, said congrats to the winners and smiled.

WTF, he and the VP were getting texts from others outside our club who were watching and they thought I had nailed it. I did nail it. Argh.

This reminds me of my days in my old professional life when I would compete for business, do everything perfectly and not get the business due to an existing relationship or some other subjective reason. Fuck subjective. I never, ever win when the criteria allows for subjective. Never.

Argh. I played nice. I will do it again too because I also need the practice in learning how to be a better loser. Right now I suck at losing – anybody can see that. Maybe I should go take a walk.

OK, I did go take that walk. A short one around the small lake nearby. The sky was blue, the breeze was lovely and each step calmed my mind. I was able to recognize that today simply wasn’t meant to be my win. That’s life. I am happy with my effort. I am grateful for my club’s support and encouragement. I stepped outside my comfort zone and did my personal best. That’s a win in itself.

I still hate losing though – LOL. Who doesn’t?

Not my pond. Photo by Kat_ G on Unsplash

Primal Screaming

My September theme of new year, new beginnings also causes me to reflect.  One thing I have been thinking about is my lack of stress these days.  I don’t have any.  Seriously – my finances are fine, my living situation is lovely, my work is pleasant.  I have no worries.  When I say I have no worries, don’t get me wrong.  I think about the big picture stuff of mortality, retirement, how are my kids, pandemic, elections, politics and stuff of that nature, but it doesn’t give stress me out because I cannot control any of that.

Anywhoo, in the context of appreciating the simplicity of my life, I have been thinking back to my parenting, child-rearing days as a working mom.  Good lord.  How the heck did I do it?  I have no idea. What did pop in my mind were thoughts of the days I would frantically be driving to work and be screaming with primal frustration and anxiety. 

Yes, on my 45-minute to hour-long commute, I had more days than I care to admit when I would be screaming with all my might to release the pent-up anger, frustration, anxiety, etc. that was overwhelming me.  Once I finished my primal screams, I would then use my words to scream my emotions into the empty minivan.  I would fantasize of just driving away from it all. For context, I was good for a screaming about about 2-3 times a year, so it wasn’t a weekly occurrence.

What is somewhat funny is that when I thought of just driving away, I would think about driving to Orlando.  Why Orlando I have no idea.  It is 3 hours from Miami and I guess just far enough away from my insane life to feel liberated?  It definitely wasn’t for the attractions.

Perhaps this primal screaming in my morning commute was my therapy that kept me sane.  It was a release for me.  Was it a healthy one?  Who knows.  It seemed to have worked as a band-aid for me.  Somehow I kept it all together as I dealt with all of the activities of two busy, school-age kids, coordinated all the logistics of household maintenance, shopping (including gifts and clothes), social calendar, bill paying, pet care – you name it, I did it.  Where was the father of my children and my husband?  Working.  Going to Happy Hour with “clients”, working on Saturdays (I actually liked that).  He believed that working as the “primary” breadwinner meant that he didn’t have to carry any of the household load. 

Yes, he did drop off for a year or two off and on.  Yes, he handled the annual income tax because he had an S-corp and the accountant.  But he did little else. He wanted me to work 40+ hours and handle all the same responsibilities of a SAHM.  I did the groceries, cooked the meals, cleaned the kitchen, made the school lunches, did the laundry.  I had a weekly housekeeper to help control the chaos which was a necessity, not a luxury.  I bought clothes for everyone – him included, any gifts for family members.  I arranged medical care for the kids and me.  He expected me to do it for him, but I drew my long, overdue line there.

Plus I was responsible for our social calendar.  God forbid we had a simple weekend or two staying home.  That was unacceptable.  We had a full sports calendar for the kids including me being team mom oftentimes, we had family nearby so birthdays were frequent, we hosted many large (12-24 folks) holiday gatherings. Towards the end, we did a 30+ person Memorial Day barbeque.  It was just a very busy time of my life. I look back and wonder how I did it all.  No wonder I had some mornings spend primal screaming.

Now I look back and ask myself, “was it worth it?”  I have to say….yes.  My kids had a wonderful childhood.  We had an interesting, busy, fulfilling life filled with activities, family and more.  I spent too much money, drove myself to the brink of sanity, but I can accept that.  If I had to do it over again, I would strive for more boundaries, but I chose a partner who was never going to co-parent.  Shame on me, but man, we created some amazing kids.

My advice to you young un’s: be more like RBG when you seek a partner.  Go find your Marty.  I am blessed that Taz found her.

Starting Over – a Year Later

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” 

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

I have always found September to be the start of the new year for me.  After 20 years of kids in school, my life ebbs and flows in sync with the school year calendar rather than the traditional calendar. I have just celebrated my one-year anniversary in my new apartment by renewing the lease. Additional festivities include a thorough cleaning out of my shit stuff. 

I think I have found the golden egg to my motivation.  Sunday brunch.  I began Sunday with a long, beautiful walk in a new walking path I have been exploring in increments.  I returned and made a delicious brunch of a small goat cheese omelet and mini-waffles. Mini-waffles are going to be a problem.

On Saturday I bought a $7 mini waffle iron from Walmart.  Best $7 I have spent in some time.  That sucker churned out 4” pecan waffles every 5 minutes.  I devoured 3 of those.  The sugar rush coupled with the double espresso caffeine rush fueled a 6-hour marathon of paper sorting. 

First I tackled my bookshelf and got rid of about 10-15 books.  Next I went through my old files, my mom’s papers, tax returns. If it was paper, I looked at it so it could be sorted into piles of dump, shred or organize.  The result is a box to be shredded, a garbage bag for recycling,a bag of books and a half dozen empty binders to be donated. 

I felt lighter at the end.  I looked at my bookcase when I was done and I was very pleased with the result.

I also had an idea for my photo project.  You know, the photos I am always bemoaning but making small baby steps of progress. I have been coming to terms that the photos are only one aspect of the project.  What I really want to do is create a series of scrapbooks that include photos, letters, cards paired with my journaling about these items or the event it captures.  It is a much, much larger project than just organizing photos into boxes or albums. 

To contain the photos during the process and break them into smaller, bite-sized chunks, I want to convert a small 3-drawer container into my “hobby cart”.  I have one that I can hopefully re-purpose for this if I can add the wheels.  It can store a couple of shoe boxes of photos in the bottom, largest drawer; several photo albums in the middle drawer; and supplies in the top drawer.  Then I can move it around and it will have a neater, more contained appearance.  The clutter of all these boxes is what is bothering me the most.

I have mapped out a multi-step process on clearing out, organizing and then decorating my apartment. I was inspired by the Netflix series by the Home Edit ladies.  Although they are a bit too OCD for me, they do have some excellent suggestions on the process:  determine the zones you want, edit (huge step) and then organize.  Only in Step 3 can you have a field day buying containers. Right now I am re-purposing what I have. When I get to the end of my editing, then I can determine what containers I need. 

One of the categories I shed is my self-help and business books.  Is it because I have attained my highest level of nirvana?  No.  It is simply that those books are no longer pertinent to me.  I have moved past them.  I am at a different stage and they are no longer applicable. 

I thought back to this time last year when I packed up and moved up here.  It was a huge step of leaving Miami behind, leaving my 20+ year career and identity, leaving my old,bad habits around debt and money.  It was about wrestling to regain control of my journey.  It was about no longer compromising.

Make mine a double

Next Goal

I have been working diligently all year on my next big goal. The ever elusive weight loss. I have floundered around all year with limited success, then backtrack, then try again with limited results, pause. You get the picture – basically limited consistent effort doing the right things. In August I paused and thought about what had been working and where I was screwing up, I came up with several key guidelines:

First, exercise. Yes I was exercising, but it needs to be the right exercise for my body to lose weight. Beachbody on Demand 21 Day Fix Real Time is my solution. As much as I love Barre Blend, I need the HITS of 21 Day. So I am working back through it and will move on to 80 Day Obsession next (another HITS program). Or I might just do 21 Day again for a third time. Who knows?

Don’t get the idea I am some beast at this. I am nowhere close. I huff and puff, curse and pause. I can’t do some of the moves, my legs can’t straighten out completely and I only have 5 pound weights. Hot mess, right? But it doesn’t matter, I do this in complete privacy and refuse to do anything other than be proud that I am getting this done. The last part has taken some time because I have to forget about perfection.

I have battled with my impatience and perfectionism. I want results sooner rather than later. I want to do all the exercises correctly even if I am modifying. I am learning that my body will do this on its on schedule and my brain needs to back the f*#k off.

The other area I changed has been my portions. I eat healthy – little to no processed foods, mostly plant-based, but the scale wasn’t budging. WTF? I realized it has been the quantity. I bought 4 smaller dinner plates and use only those. If I need a bowl, I have smaller bowls and even use ramekins to limit my portions. I try to eat more slowly and give myself time before considering seconds (which I rarely have).

In conjunction with the portions, I think about the hunger scale and strive to keep me right in the middle at 2+/2/2- all the time. Tonight I had dinner, very healthy and was still hungry. Really hungry. I drank water, waited and thought about why. I thought about what I ate today and it was unusually light for me. I realized I hadn’t had enough fats or protein to feel satisfied. I noshed on something that fit the bill, drank more water and feel much better.

Today, I reviewed my tracking sheet for August. Exercise, sleep, weight, measurements. I had consistent, strong results. I averaged over half a pound a week of weight loss. Even with bobbles. Even with me working through my trial and error.

It was all encouraging. When I look back at my weight at the beginning of the year, I am down over 10 pounds. This is where patience needs to come into play. I have to be in this for the long haul. This has to be a lifestyle, not a quick fix. This has to be sustainable.

My body is getting older and I need to recognize that the days of quick results are long gone. Both exercise and nutrition need time to yield results. I can’t think about deadlines. If I can just keep trucking along with my half pound a week, I will be great. That will be weight that stays off – it’s not water, not drastic. It will take over a year to get to my goal, but that is fine. I just need to stay the course. I just need to focus on a healthy lifestyle with good, clean food in the right portions and moving my body to make it strong.

As the writer Michael Pollan says, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. That sums up my plan in a nutshell once I add the exercise.

Bon appetite.

Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

What Would You Do?

Today was a crazy day. I am officially on vacation for the Labor Day weekend and it is off to a full moon wacky start. However, one event has created an ethical dilemma. What would you do? Sit back and let me set the scene.

I was home participating in my Zoom Toastmasters meeting. I was minutes away from giving a speech when I hear a woman screaming and a dog fight. Since I was set up right by my window, I peered out to see a young 20-something woman fending a dog away from her pit bull mix. The aggressing dog has no leash. The dogs are the same size. The girl is trying to keep the dogs separated but the unleashed dog won’t back off.

The unleashed dog’s owner has another dog, a husky mix, on a harness leash. He is the same age as the girl. He does not run over to help. He calls the dog, eventually goes over. Meanwhile the girl is screaming for help, picking up her dog, using her body to block the unleashed dog. She is in a panic. The guy gets his dog and walks off. Her dog drags her to the ground. She is frantically fighting for control. It was awful. The husky mix is not helping and egging the situation on – off course, his pack member is having all the fun.

The guy has no leash or collar for the loose dog. She carries her dog upstairs to her apartment. As she does, I run to my door. I call to her and tell her I saw it all. She pops her dog into her apartment and comes over. She is shaking all over. I tell her I am in the middle of a Zoom, but I will come over when I am done.

Between that, the power knocking off my internet less than 10 minutes from the meeting start and a census taker earlier, I was not operating at my peak – LOL – but my speech turned out pretty good. I won a speech contest! Right before I started, I heard her yelling at the guy – they live on the same floor….it lasted less than a minute.

Anyway, back to the ethical dilemma. I pop downstairs (with my mask on) to check on my neighbor. Poor thing. What a morning for her. Her sweat pants are covered in dirt, she broke 4 nails and one was still bleeding. She had just woken up and this was the shit show that started her day.

She had already called property management who told her to call animal control (AC) and the police. The police were kind. She was reluctant to call AC because she didn’t want them to seize the dog. Poor thing. I asked her what the guy said. She said he blew her off, didn’t apologize.

I told her that property management should be enforcing their pet rules. Seizing animals is not the only remedy for AC and that it would not be her fault if the guy got in trouble. He would be getting in trouble because of his actions, not hers. Then I told her I heard their other confrontation several months ago and described it to her dumbfounded face. She tells me after that incident she got a better collar and leash for her dog and she tries to time her walks to avoid the guy. I told her that I am there for her as a third-party witness. I will vouch for her and to please let me know how I can help.

So now you are wondering where is the ethical dilemma in all this? Here it is: I work with this guy. He is in a different department and I don’t see him in my day-to-day routines. I didn’t tell her this. She said he left right after the incident. I knew it was because he had to get back to work.

I am really disappointed with this guy, First of all, why no leash? We live in an apartment complex. That dog needs a leash for its own safety. The dog is skittish. When I have come across them, the dog barks at me and runs away.

Second disappointment: no apology. WTF. His dog caused this girl pain and anguish and an apology is simple common courtesy. It is his neighbor for crying out loud.

What do I do? Do I MYOB? Do I go talk to him next week and basically said WTF? If I do talk to him, I will tell him that I talked to her. Should I call property management and tell them I saw the whole thing and they need to get their heads out of the ass?

Of course, this is huge juicy work gossip and it is absolutely killing me not to say anything, but I won’t. Not right now. I need to give this some time and I need your feedback and dialogue so I can get this off my chest. Ugh, my tongue is bleeding from biting it. Thank goodness I won’t be back in the office until next Tuesday.

So what say you? What would you do?

Her dog looked similar. Photo by Alexandru Rotariu on Unsplash

Regret?

I don’t regret anything I’ve done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to.” 

Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Wow, I read this quote this morning in one of my newsfeeds. I looked at it all day. Regret. I think regret is a powerful, strong word. It represents things undone, unsaid, unaccomplished and so much more.

Which word is stronger – regret or fear? I think that is a conundrum for many people. As Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” I think Thoreau was talking about how fear was outweighing regret. Perhaps the confirmed desperation was partially regret.

I use to have my fair share of regrets. Actions I did not take, things I did not say. However, I have also let go of those regrets. I cannot change the past and those regrets cannot be solved today — the time has passed. It has taken me some time to let go of those regrets. I carried them around in a big, heavy sack on my shoulders. I am still tossing out some leftover regrets on occasion, and fortunately my burden is much lighter these days.

I think Trevor also speaks from a place of youth. He sees regret as coming from a place of inaction, words unspoken. I think regret can also come from impetuousness.

I have tamed my regret and my fear for now. I like to think regret has been stored away forever. Fear, well that fiend will perhaps always be with mankind. For now I have it tucked away as well.

Do you have regrets?

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