Monday, March 31, 2008

It's the Regrets

I heard someone say once that when you get older, it is not so much the things you have done wrong that bother you... as the regrets you have for not doing what you could've done.

It is true for me. Missed opportunities, particularly in relationships but also in education, career and some other personal choices are my main regrets. I know I could have and should have made certain choices. Why do some people just seem to KNOW exactly what they want and then move heaven and earth to make it happen? I really admire that.

The worst though is feeling like you have let someone down...that you could've done more. They say the first step in correcting something is to recognize what needs to be done. Then do whatever you can to fix it so you don't repeat past mistakes. So don't wallow in the shoulda, woulda, couldas...but take action, rise above the flaws and mistakes and press forward...always striving for the best. I guess the trick is to know when perfection isn't attainable and recognize when you are doing your best...and it is what it is.

I am forgiving of others. I always cut the other person slack, figuring they're tired or having a bad day or life. But when it comes to me...I am a hard task master and I don't allow myself the same leeway for mistakes as I do for others.

I would do well in these times to remember my own words that I have at the bottom of my web page: Even when people disappoint us or we disappoint them, we need to realize that sometimes in life, all we can do is our best and it's not always going to be someone else's best, but it is our best at the time and so we need to be forgiving of ourselves and others when necessary. (SeaSpray)

The following poem was taken from the front of a card I have in my card file box that I no doubt purchased during one of my feeling guilty moments and then still didn't send it.

Dear Lord...
There are so many wonderful people I love,
and I ask your forgiveness -
and theirs -
For not letting them know
all the times that I could
how they're kept in my thoughts and my prayers.

How the thinks that can seem
so important each day
really mean nothing at all
Compared to the warmth
and the blessings we share
in a visit or letter or call.

So, please help me remember
there'll always be time
to accomplish the things I must do,
But the memories we make
with the ones we love
are the treasures that last all life through.
~ Emily Matthews ~

12 comments:

Jenster said...

Great post, Seaspray, and one that I needed to read.

Thanks!

Drama Mama said...

I often wonder about the regrets I will have when I get older- I already regret my career choice- I should have majored in something else-
I don't want to have any regrets when it comes to my kids-
I guess regrets are always a worry-
great post!

SeaSpray said...

Thanks Jen...I think we all would do well to remember this every now and then. I know it and still...I miss opportunities and special moments because of being "too busy" or "whatever"....always thinking there's tomorrow.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Drama Mama and welcome! :)

I know I was/am a good mother but still...I have regrets and I could quickly list them too. I know the mistakes I have made. But I know they know I have and will always love them unconditionally.

And I think mistakes are inevitable and part of being oh so human.

Still...there are some things in my life that I would do differently both personally and in some relationships. But if we are the culmination of all past experiences then I must've done some things right. :)

BUT...I DO need to pay better attention to my personal relationships because...we don't have forever and we aren't even guaranteed tomorrow. When all is said and done it is the personal relationships, friends, family and other cherished people that count most and in my opinion our relationship with God.

Can you slowly work on switching your career?

Rositta said...

Yes, I have regrets too but I can't change them. My biggest, taking my Mom to hospital last April, she never made it out. I second guess myself and wonder if I'd waited for afternoon when the doctor was planning a house call things would have worked out differently. As it was I panicked when she had difficulty walking and breathing and called the ambulance. This is something that will always weight on my mind especially now that the first anniversary of her death approaches. All the other things that have happened in my life are small in comparison and I don't even give them a second thought any more. Just that one biggie...ciao

SeaSpray said...

Oh...Rositta...I think you did the best you knew to do at the time. I guarantee you if someone was having difficulty breathing or some other change in physical status I would be calling 911 because i would rather err on the side of caution if there was any doubt.And really...difficulty breathing would would've prompted me to call for help.

What if you waited and she died? You would have been more upset. It's always easier to Monday morning quarterback. But I do understand how you feel.

I might do a post on this but in one of my other blogs I was questioning the timing of our deaths...you know...like when it happens it is meant to be. I am kind of fatalistic in that sense.

We all go out in different ways...some worse than others. I do believe in God and think that he calls us home when it is our time.

Some people die when least expected to and others don't die no matter how much they tempt fate or are predicted to. No rhyme or reason to it.

You are wise to let go of the smaller regrets and I would be wise to do the same.

I wish you peace amidst your sadness and that you will be able to know in your heart that you did the best you could at the time Rositta.

I don't see that you had a choice given what the circumstances were.

passionstamper said...

I just finished reading everything...up till now about Dee. Even though you told me alot, reading it really hits home. Especially the part about Devan and her card...I lost it then. That dear sweet child..

About regrets, we are lucky-you are lucky to have realized it now, while there is still time to go forward in this new knowledge and do things differently. Listen to your heart, Seaspray but don't beat yourself up over past opportunities. I think about how I kept wanting to go see Dee but there were always other things that had to be done..at least that's what I told myself then. She was doing so well for a long time. And oh my goodness what a strong, determined sweet lady she was! We were hopeful that there would be a good outcome..how were we to know what was to be and that her time was short? So I can beat myself up too, but what good will come of it?

We all have things we wish we could change-we are the lucky ones because we are still here to make the difference!

In reading all this, I realize how much you mean to me as a friend-not that I didn't before, but it's just more pronounced to me now, and I just want to tell you-I love you. I know we say it, but it can never be said too much. Thank you for being a wonderful, caring, loving, sharing and very dear friend to me. I bet that's what Dee was thinking too, when you had the silent conversation with your eyes...

WhiteCoat said...

Thought-provoking post, Sea.

One of my favorite quotes is this:
For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:

It might have been.

Trish said...

Great post I am glad to have read it. I too love Pachelbel

SeaSpray said...

My dear, sweet Passionstamper...you know I love you too. Thank you for all your support in real life and for your kind words too.

I am still touched that your husband actually took a day off from work to come to the funeral. It was nice having you both there.

You have nothing to feel guilty about. They were busy with what had to be done and she was resting in between. They also know you cared. And Mom thought it was nice you were both there too.

Also, thank you for your kind words here. :)

SeaSpray said...

Hi WhiteCoat. Thank you for saying that...coming from you that means a lot.

I am familiar with that quote...sigh...eloquently put and so true.

SeaSpray said...

Welcome Trish...I am glad you appreciated the post.

Yes and Canon in D is my all time favorite classical piece. I have it set on my Sonific songspot (upper side bar) to play repetitively so I can do other things while listening to it. I epecially love this one because of the accompanying ocean sounds (perfect for my SeaSpray-wonderful life blog) and because of my love for the Sea.

Thanks for stopping by. :)