She had regrets.

Yesterday I was standing in line at yet another grocery store and was chatting with a woman.  She just turned 78 and she was widowed (don’t even ask me how we got to that level of conversation!).  She said that she had a few regrets in life.  One was not going to law school … she wanted to but her husband wanted her to raise children.  The second, was that she stayed married to a man who loved her but didn’t really respect her.  She said she didn’t realize it would be a regret until he died a few years back.  Sad.

It got me thinking: we can all have regrets about “things” we don’t do in life but are there things I can change now to avoid a regret later?  Yes.

1. Worrying about what others think: We all have different masks we wear.  I get that.  But sometimes we spend too much time worrying about impressing others or looking a certain way.  We should not fear judgment by others if we know in our hearts who we really are.

2. Not choosing your own dreams:  The woman I met – she had this regret.  She let her husband pick his dream not hers.  A big life challenge is to figure out who we are, what we want and then to go get it.

3. Being with angry people:  Being with angry people is a choice, not an obligation.  Remember that.

4. Being selfish:  The ones we admire the most are the ones who shared themselves.  This is a struggle because on the one hand we need to do for ourselves. But on the other hand, what we do for ourselves, dies with us. What we do for others, remains forever. Give when you can.

5. Avoiding change and growth: I wonder if this will be a regret of mine.  I don’t love change, but it’s constantly happening to me.  Someone once told me that if I want to know what my future will look like, look at my present choices.  Likely true.

6. Micromanaging:  This is also tough for me.  Some times I have so much going on that it’s easier to manage it than just let it be.  But, I need to let the dust kick up and settle all on its own.  I need to remember that it will all work out, no matter how we get there.

7. Thinking you deserve less than you do: It is easy to settle for less.  But, don’t do it.  Look around you and if it doesn’t look right, rub your eyes and look at it again.  Make a change.

8. Waiting for tomorrow: We do this all the time when we’re younger.  And at that point in life there’s a lot of time in front of us.  But we eventually get older and realize that waiting is not living.  I wish I could help my kids see that now.

Friends, lets deal with our potential regrets now.  It’s a lot easier! 🙂

Have a great holiday weekend!

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