Saturday, February 19, 2011


Do I have any regrets in life? 
  • I regret not going to college.  Forty-seven years of my 64 years of life were spent in a workforce environment that openly demeaned me for being "uneducated" because I didn't have a college degree.
  • I regret not moving away from my home town.  I've always wondered what it would be like to be welcomed back home.   
Those are the two biggies on my list of regrets.  Maybe all of us have regrets that we don't talk about, but it's good to openly admit them and address them.  I think it's common for all of us to say, "If I only knew then what I know now."

Regrets are silly, really, because they hold hindsight.  Our minds play tricks on us all of the time, trying to make us feel deprived of this or that.  But, just maybe life, for each of us, turns out exactly as it was pre-destined to be.  What we feel deprived of might have been the worst thing for us.  We cannot allow our minds to play the "what if" game with us.

I sit here in my home of 43+ years, and I am so immensely comfortable within its walls, that I couldn't fathom a life anywhere else.  Every wall, every window, every cupboard, every door, every room holds memories of a marriage between two high school classmates.  We went to high school together, we tagged up and formed a life together, and we worked our butts off to get to where we are today.  Nothing came easy to us, nothing was handed to us on a gold platter, and maybe that's why we cherish our home the way we do. 

As I look back on each of the decades, I can see myself facing life differently.  When I was in my thirties, I was so immersed in my career that nothing else mattered much to me.  In my forties, I was wound like a kite fighting to stay young and never hit the 50 mark.  On my 50th birthday, I grabbed hold of life's reins and vowed never ever to get old like others get old.  When I reached 60, I found myself retired and enjoying life like never before. What I dreaded most, turned out to be the best.  My job no longer controlled my life.  It was I who decided what time to go to bed, get up in the morning, and how to fill the daytime hours.

Life has a domino effect.  We knock the decades down, one by one, but we ultimately end up retired, tired, and free to be ourselves and do what we want to do.  We are our own keepers. 

If I want to entertain the two regrets in my life, well, then, I can sit around and drown in my soup of sorrows.  But, if I choose to erase my regrets, I can slip on my slippers of luxury and thank My Creator for keeping me from a degreed education and keeping me in my home town.  Both of my regrets are actually two of my biggest blessings.  If I had gone away for an education, then I wouldn't have married my best friend, and I wouldn't have been here for my family when they needed me.  I gave much of my life away to stand beside those who needed support and love.  And, now that I'm pushing 65, I am thrilled beyond belief that I stayed near my home base and lived my life with those that fulfilled me as a human being.  Selfishly, I could wish to have done more with my life, but I choose to believe that My Creator needed me right where I am. 

So often throughout the years I have questioned My Creator's way of doing things, but the older I get, the more I understand the Grand Scheme of Things.  There isn't one situation that hasn't worked itself out for the better.  It may take years to unfold, but it will and it has.  That is where faith enters the picture.  We simply must have faith in the Grand Plan, live out our days as best we can, where we are, and look ahead to when the pieces of the puzzle will all land in their rightful place. 

When I really think about it, I honestly have to say that I do not have any regrets.  Despite the pains of loss we experience along the way, there is a joy that eventually wins out.  The best strategy is putting one foot in front of the other, taking one breath after another, and forging ahead in whatever life situation we find ourselves in.  There is absolutely no question that we will arrive at the perfect place pre-destined for us to be.