Thursday, April 28, 2011

"If only"

~Sydney Smith

Many years ago Amy and I came up with what we call the "no regret" rule. Whenever we come to a crossroads and we're not certain which path to take we ask which choice is most likely to yield the fewest regrets.

The path not chosen always bugs me. What would have happened if I'd chosen differently? What if I'd said this, or done that? How would my future have changed? Would my future have changed? I LOVE to have all the variables thought out and in my control. Hahahaha, how often is that EVEN a possibility?

Sooooo... we come to the point where two roads diverge in the wood- and one path is clear and well worn and the other is murky and shaded... which way do you go? It's easy to walk in the sun, we still don't know what's around every bend, but at least we have light to see. But that murky, shadowed path calls to me BECAUSE I don't know where it leads. What if paradise is just around the corner and in my desire for safety and security I totally miss it? On the flip side- what if hell is around the corner and I save myself because I took the sunny path?

I'm getting to know myself a little better in my old age. I find that I really will regret not seeking the truths found along the less traveled path.

It's scary to put yourself "out there." Recently I did just that. All of my cards- they're on the table. And... it didn't change anything. I could have kept to the safe and sunny path and eventually these two roads would have met further down the hill. But... I always would have wondered if they would end up in different places. I would have regretted not taking the scarier path.

I might have regretted it for the rest of my life, because "if only" is a phrase that can eat away at a person. "If only" I'd said something. "If only" I'd done something differently. "If only" I'd been braver (because saying what you really think and feel takes a whole lot more courage than I'm sure I have on most days). "If only..."

Even when nothing changes, "if only" has no power over me- because I explored that other path. Even when both roads led to the same destination I can move forward with no regrets- and that meets both the words and spirit of the "No Regrets" rule. :-) I have no regrets, I wouldn't change a thing. I won't take anything back and I don't wish I'd stayed quiet and still.

"No Regrets" baby! It's a pretty darned good rule to live by.

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room