Friday, April 24, 2009

No More Regrets

When people look at their lives going forward from this moment, their conflicted feelings are often rooted in regrets for things they have not done.

So she looks at her possibilities and thinks to herself that she wanted to be a painter all those years ago before she got consumed in corporate work. She regrets that she never put in the effort to see how far she could go with it. So she has been taking her drawing and painting materials out again and seeing if she still has the touch, the eye, the feel for it. And she likes what she feels, even if she does not always like what she sees, because she knows that if she does more, it will come back and she will get better. Now she is thinking of a way to work some kind of job so that she still has plenty of time and energy to draw and paint. No more being on call 24/7 and putting in office hours half the evening and on weekends. No, just something simple that leaves time for creating art. The kind of job where you lock the door behind you and don't think about it again until the next time you have to go in that door.

And he looks at his possibilities and remembers how he wanted to write a novel, and how he used to play guitar. He regrets not having pressed on with those to see what would come of it. So now he has lost his zest for writing financial reports and auditing accounts and he is cutting back on his hours. He wraps everything up each day and leaves the office at 5 so that he has the evenings free to spend on his writing and his guitar playing. He finds that the two different interests feed each other; music inspires him to write, and spending more time on storytelling, melodies seem to spontaneously suggest themselves, springing to life without preparation. We do not regret the things we have done. We regret the things we have not done that we really wanted to.

If life is presenting us another opportunity to choose, will we really make it different this time?

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