Those who are familiar with this blog know I am fascinated with time. Many of my favorite films and songs are devoted to this subject. This post is part of the daily prompt series and it has litebeing chronicles written all over it! I am incredibly analytic and have spent many hours ( translation – weeks) going over major decision points to see if I chose correctly. Maybe it started when me and my high school buddy began to play the ” What if ” game, trying to predict outcomes regarding our crushes of the moment. Then again, who knows.
Psychology or writing: turns out this is not an either/or question, but a multiple choice item(Both A and B are correct).
Quit the job or keep the job: guess what, it doesn’t matter if you don’t work on yourself!
Paper or plastic: just testing to see if you paying attention, April Fools!
What I realized eventually is that most of the time I made the best choices I could have under the circumstances. Most of my choices were not made lightly and while I often predicted an accurate and sometimes unfortunate outcome, I still did the best that I could.
There were a few situations I could have avoided had I not made decisions that I knew were dumb and made them anyway. When I was about 5 or so, my aunt kept telling me not to rock the metal chair I was sitting in all the way back towards the concrete. It was so much fun so I ignored her. The doctor who stitched me up said I was lucky I didn’t lose an eye.
Another time me and my teenage friends got high in the bathroom at a PAL ( Police Athletic League) dance. Who does that! Fortunately, a deal was made where my friend gave up her supplier in exchange for the cops not hauling our sorry butts to the station. Oh were we mad when they would not return our stash. I do not know what was stupider, getting high at the dance or actually going to the dance? Yes, I saw this outcome a mile away.
I have also considered do- overs and realize that I do not want to relive any part of my life. This is because I would have to give up the ripple effects that each choice created. I am simply not down with that. I do wish that I would have taken some sage advice a bit sooner. It would have saved me some pain and heartache, to say the least. Here are some pearls of wisdom that are worth mentioning:
Pick your battles wisely: I first remember hearing this in my twenties. My supervisor at the time was suggesting that I do not get upset about every little obstacle I encountered at the office. I heard the words, but disregarded them. She was so right about this. Energy is precious and I wasted so much of it on people and situations that simply were not worth it. Sometimes life is about more than winning. I see now that getting distracted with minutia is not the way to go.
Don’t talk about past lovers with your present lover: This gem was imparted to my in my late teens. The message went completely over my head and I did not understand its inherent wisdom. I thought that I could talk about anything with my boyfriends. I had a few of them help my process my breakups ( before we also broke up , inevitably). If you are more focused on your past relationship then your present one, that should be telling you something!
Don’t take your health for granted: Thank you mom, this was a good one. Until I hit middle age, I did not have a clue what she meant. I thought it was cool to have above average vision, 20/10 in both eyes. I was farsighted in a good way. I could see things from a distance before most people could. This made me quite valuable during a road trip! When my sight declined and I needed to wear glasses, I understood what a precious gift it was to have excellent eyesight. With every new ache and pain and ailment along the way, I am mindful to be grateful for all the vitality I still possess.
Love yourself: I saved the best for last. Again, middle age was a turning point for me in discovering my inner beauty. Before that I did not have the tools or perspective to really put this advice into action. When I look at old picture albums and see the sweet lovely girl and young woman I once was, I am amazed at how I did not notice it at the time. I was too busy comparing myself to others and judging myself for my ” imperfections”. I could have really used the extra confidence back then. The good news is that I have become much more comfortable in my own skin and can see my light shine from within.
This is truly a sign of progress. I can finally love myself with less judgement now and I don’t even have the 20/10 vision anymore. Maybe that’s why they say hindsight is 20/20.