Although most of us look to the future this time of year, all of us have regrets about the past.
That’s a no-brainer. All of us mortals have screwed up at one time or another.
Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve got plenty of memories of the silly, foolish and downright stupid things. You see, I didn’t have too much common sense as a kid. Is that a crime? No, but it’s certainly not a pretty sight. At age ten I still jumped off sheds and high fences in hopes of flying like superman.
I believed in Santa, yes, really believed in that chubby compulsive toy shopping man. Blame my Baptist minister dad. Between preaching about hell and the imminent second coming of Christ he happened to mention that the
- and the airplane lights in the sky around December
- were actually the running lights on Santa’s sleigh.
Try getting therapy for that kind of trauma.
I did. The cognitive kind.
“That’s an airplane,” I now tell my self every Christmas when I see a flashing light in the sky, “not a sleigh or a reindeer.”
Most significant break through? When I recognized my husband’s handwriting on my gifts. Not Santa Claus. Well, unless my hubby was actually…no, it couldn’t be. He doesn’t even like dogs, much less reindeer.
See, how I processed that? I’m really truly cured.
But, I regress in my regret. Let’s talk about my teen years, how I almost got kicked off one of those teen mission teams when I was seventeen.
Not my finest hour.
But, jumping boulders across a rushing river in San Salvador seemed logical at the time. How was I to know I’d lose my nerve mid jump? The team leader screaming at me from the bridge overhead may have had something to do with my sudden plunge. She was hysterical. How was I to know the rushing stream doubled as the village human waste removal system?
Flash forward about 10 years. I just invented the jump-in-mommy’s-lap-as-fast-as-you-can game for my kids. Unfortunately, I sat on a glass coffee table at the time. When the last kid piled on me I went right through glass to the floor.
“Help!” I yelled, “I’m bleeding out. Plug the holes.”
I figured the shards had pierced all my vital organs so I dared not move.
Concerned for my safety but more excited about playing unsupervised, my kids ran off and left me alone. I sat in silence waiting to die until I realized I had not been cut at all. Somehow, all the shards had missed me. Even the sound of the ambulance coming was all in my head.
I had survived.
What do I regret? All things I did mean and cruel, uncaring and unkind. But, I do not regret everything silly or crazy or not too bright.
Fact is, some of my not-so-clever adventures proved beneficial in the end. I’ll never regret
- taking spontaneous road trips to see family living over 8 hours away,
- Committing to help someone with something I hardly knew how to do myself ,
- Making friends with the most unfriendly of folks,
- Dropping everything in the middle of the day just to listen to someone who needed a friend.
Bottom line- I’m certainly not perfect. Sometimes I’m downright ridiculous in what I say and do. My inability to “get it all together” often haunts me just before I go to sleep.
But, I never do nor will I ever regret being a part of someone else’s life.