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March 26, 2019

Regret

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I have been thinking about regrets recently.  I have made some asinine choices my forty-year-old self wouldn’t dream of doing. I am not sure if it is the age that makes me wiser or life experiences. When you are in your 20s and 30s, it’s easy to feel invincible. The choices I made no matter how ill-advised or potentially dangerous, never seemed to have any long-term consequences. This is the moment in the blog when I think holy shit, I am lucky. There are at least one and 1/3 decades I am not sure I even remember.  Don’t get me wrong most of it was fun, exciting and sometimes extremely selfish. I am not generally selfish by nature, but the pendulum could definitely swing in that direction. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have children, there was a slew of failed friendships and relationships in my past that left me scared on some level.  The answer seemed to be overindulgence, self-medication, and self-perseverance at all costs.

I was lucky though; the man upstairs was way ahead of me.  He gave me a gift, not necessarily one I was looking for that snapped me back to reality.   The gift came with great responsibility to be the best version of me I could be. There are times I succeed, and times I still fail miserably. When I throw out the f-bomb in front of my now 8-year-old child, or when the selfish part of me rears its ugly head, or when the independent part of is on overkill and I am an asshole. I know we all have the same story different versions. I think my regrets are simpler now or my perspective has changed.
  1. Spend time with the right people.  First and foremost the wrong people are toxic if they aren’t lifting you up its time to re-evaluate. I personally need to remember I am never too busy to make time for those who matter most, tomorrow is not a guarantee.
  2. Say what you need to say. Speak up.  Don’t hide your thoughts and feelings.  Be brave.
  3. Don’t ignore your intuition. – Sometimes your mind needs more time to accept what your heart already knows.  Breathe and then go with your gut.
  4. Vivid repetitive memories are wasted time – There is a good reason why you should wake each morning and mindfully consider what and who you will give your day to. Memories are often better left in the past where they belong. 
  5. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting until you’re ready. – Sometimes life seems hard, but we often make it harder than it is.  All you ever have to decide is what to do next and move in a direction.
  6. Put the time and effort in. – In life you are either a passenger or a pilot, it’s your choice.  If you want something, work for it.  Do what it takes, not what is easy.  Yes, it will hurt, it won't happen overnight and it will require dedication.  It is all a part of the journey.
  7. Don’t avoid Risk. Do what you can while you can.  Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone.  Some of my best life experiences and opportunities came to me only after I dared to lose big.
  8. Settling for less than you are capable of. – Remember, growth and change may be painful, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
  9. Putting your own needs and happiness on the back burner. – All jokes aside, your life only comes around once.  So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you laugh, often.
  10. Letting someone walk all over you, ad infinitum. Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.  Walk away from anyone who continually robs you of peace and joy.  This was my life for years on end, so when I say stop, I mean stop. It is a delicate balance but we all deserve to be the master of our own universe.
  11. Ignoring your roots and those who have supported you. – Never forget where you’ve been and don’t take granted the people who travel the journey with you even when you don’t like what they have to say.
  12. Appreciate what you have when you have it. –I have to say, this is hard for me. Too often, I  forget happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but from a deep appreciation for what we do have. Just remember this: There are lots of people who will never have what you have right now. 
  13. Years of struggling to find happiness outside yourself. – Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Too many people depend on others, or outside sources, to gain happiness, but the truth is it always comes from within.
  14. Being too narrow-minded to see the opportunities given to you. – Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you WANT because you NEED something else.  And what you need often comes when you’re not looking for it.
  15. Admit and grow beyond your mistakes. –I have made a million mistakes but I believe I have learned great things from my mistakes. I needed to own my shit so I could grow from it.
  16. You Don’t Need Validation. – You are GOOD enough, SMART enough, and STRONG enough.  You don’t need other people to validate you; you’re already valuable.  You are YOU and that’s the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.
  17. Time spent on drama and needless arguments. – Life is too short to argue and fight. 
  18. Letting a grudge hurt your happiness. – Let it go.  Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.  Holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent-free in your head.
  19. Forcing what’s not meant to be. – Never force anything.  Do your best, then let it be. 
  20. Travel when you had the chance. – Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before. Make it a plan and go, it has been my saint and savior in so many times in my life. It allows me to step out of the confines of who I am. Maybe it allows me insight into who I am meant to be. It also allows me to see the world from many other perspectives than my own.
  21. Laugh at life more often. – Life is way better when you’re laughing.  Bad stuff happens but laughter is the best tool to combatting that.
  22. Resisting change instead of rolling with it. – You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago.  You’re always growing.  Experiences don’t stop.  That’s life.
  23. Talking the talk, but never walking the walk. – When it’s all said and done, be sure you haven’t said more than you’ve done.  In the end, actions always speak louder than words.  So work hard in silence, and let your success be your noise.

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