Regrets or Life Experiences?

regretI was having a conversation with an old friend the other day; it was about getting older and the things we’ve learned.  It got me thinking about turning 50 in a year or so and how I was excited for that to happen.  I know, my mother and her sisters would cringe at the thought of me putting my age right out there on front street.   I am, no doubt, going to get a phone call from my mother to tell me to recalculate my age, but I’m excited for 50.  With every passing decade, life seems to get better.  Maybe it’s because I know more.  Maybe it’s because I understand more about me.  Maybe it’s because I no longer feel like I have anything to prove, but getting older suits me.

For the first time in my life, I am comfortable in my skin.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have major bouts with self-doubt.  I have mornings where I look in the mirror and wish I would have gotten a nose job.  I have moments when I walk over to the scale and after stepping on it, exercise all the restraint I have in my body not to throw it through the plate glass window at the gym.  But, those urges get less and less with every decade I’m lucky enough to see.  As each decade passes, I’ve somehow managed to look at the word “regrets” as more of a list of life experiences.   Those experiences have shaped me and made me stronger.  I have only one real honest regret, and that would be a very brief second marriage, I would like to erase that from my brain.  It was a foolish, rush in, grab for happiness that came crashing down within months and it is, quite honestly, my only regret in life.

I’m not here to tell you the last ten years have been a walk in the park because they haven’t.  I’m not here to post a picture of a glass and insist that it’s half full.  I’m not here to tell you I am all of a sudden this rainbow and unicorn girl.  The past ten years have been, by far, the hardest years of my life.  I have had businesses fail, spectacularly.  Moved out of our dream home to an apartment downtown.  Started my dream of owning a bakery and closed my dream.  All of this while putting two children through college.  It has been a stressful decade, but now that I’m coming out the other side, I look at the hard times not as regrets, but as experiences that have made me stronger.

I’m sure most people would look at the last decade of my life and ask me how I could not regret it, but I don’t have time for regrets.  As the cliche goes “Life is short” and I’m not about to waste it on regrets.  Another dear friend said to me the other day, “We are just living in the moment”.  She had a beautiful smile on her face, and she looked to be completely at peace.   She and her husband have some pretty impressive shit going on, but you could tell once she made that decision to live in the moment, for the moment at least, things were good.  Living in the moment, you don’t have time for regrets.

I know this whole post might sound like a cheesy Miley Cyrus song, but it’s true, it’s the climb that makes us stronger.  The key is not to regret the climb.  If you just look at one small, six letter word, completely different, you will find that life is easier.  I challenge you to look at all your experiences, good, bad, ugly and pretty as life experiences and not regrets.  I think you will find that you are content with the person you are, flaws and all.  You will have time actually to live in the moment.

 

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