From The Guardian
What is your biggest regret in life? That’s the starting place for the video. I regret that I didn’t get out of my marriage sooner. I feel the weight of those lost years sometimes. Because of two fantastic young adults (actually three, now that Jay married last fall), I never regret having tried, only having clung to what became a toxic relationship. But that’s not my biggest regret.
What’s your biggest regret? Not the kind like “I wish I’d tried ballroom dancing” that would have been nice, but doesn’t shift your world view. I mean the one that changes you so that you never look at life the same way.
I regret that it took me so long to start growing into “me.” I regret… well… sometimes, people think I’m a little wacky – I’m more daring than a lot of people. A big part of my reason is that I’m afraid of how I’ll feel someday if I look back and realize I missed my chance. Because I have missed some chances. I missed getting to really know some people who came into my life briefly, whether because I was too concerned about what other people would think, or because I was busy and didn’t take the time.
I used to put myself in a box, trying to behave in ways people wouldn’t find fault with. I thought that’s how I was supposed to be. But as we all learn, there’s always someone who can criticize… anything.
Slowly – too slowly for my satisfaction – I gave up that life and began embraced the me I believe God creates me to be (for God is still creating, you know.) I skip down the sidewalk, laugh gustily, and belt out those show tunes when Kay sits down to the piano even ‘tho I may be hoarse later. And, although the “Pastor” etched across my forehead leads me to some caution these days, I generally take the risk of telling someone I care. If not, I may regret it forever.
What is God inviting you into, today? Who did you meet this month that you’d like to get to know better?
We have only one life. Really, all we have is today. Tomorrow and yesterday are concepts. We can’t touch them or live them. “Today” is it, for any of us.
Like other pastors I regularly tell people that I’ve never heard anyone say, “I wish I spent more time at the office.” Most regrets are about relationships – not being nurtured, or never tried.
I read "Warning" (“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple…”) when I was in my 20s. It struck a chord in me as I suppose it did so many others. It nudged me further on the path of self-discovery. If you haven’t read it, do! It’s not just for women, although we may need to hear it more because of the voices of our youth still playing in our minds.
No one can rewind the calendar – what’s done is done. Still, when we play it safe, we can rack up the regrets. God wants us to celebrate this life we’ve been given, in ways that nourish not only ourselves, but all of God’s beloved creation. Moping sucks the energy out. Dancing, making love, eating and laughing with friends add to it.
What will I regret? It’s a good question for each of us. There are lots of things we can do, many things we could say. Plenty of them, we can skip and never look back. But, some – if we don’t do them – will haunt us forever.
You’re still breathing. That means you still have time. If there’s something you’ve been regretting, today is the day to face it. Face the person. Face the situation. Try.
Watch the video.