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Calculated regrets

February 16, 2012

Most people say then want to live a life of no regrets.  But that concept can be interpreted two ways.  You can either live at full throttle, never having time to be sorry for things you didn’t do because you did everything that you felt counted, or you can live a life of extreme caution, carefully avoiding mistakes and failure.

The first group of people inevitably have regrets because living at full throttle will eventually thrust you into some situation that it would have been better to avoid.  This group usually flies high and crashes hard.

The second group of people also ends up with regrets because they traded a large life for a safe one and in the end it left them feeling pinched and constipated.  This group doesn’t fly very high, but then again, they don’t really crash hard, either.

I wonder if there’s any middle ground?  I wonder if there is a place where risk and wisdom can live together without being the odd couple?

I don’t really have any great regrets for today.  But if someone were to show me what I could have done today if only I’d been aware that it was there to do, I might change my tune.  Sort of an “I coulda had a V8” moment.

I am sure someone else out there is having great regrets about today.  They are playing the “if only” game– the one where you rewind a scenario and play it over and over in your mind, imagining how a different personal response would have changed the outcome to something more favorable.  It’s a miserable game and there’s no winning it, but I understand the compulsion to play it.  Not every day of my life has been as regret-less as this one.

Jeanna over at Xanax or Running Shoes? posted a great quote today:

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gosh, I love that.  I am going to begin tomorrow with too high a spirit to be encumbered with my old nonsense.  Heaven knows I have plenty of old nonsense.

Dr. Seuss put it another way in his fine work One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:

Today is gone.  Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
Every day,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.

Tomorrow I intend to make some new nonsense.  You should, too.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2012 9:37 am

    I love it. I think that the only reason that I have regrets is because I haven’t applied the righteousness of Christ to my life that day. However, regrets can be a good thing if we use them to remind us to “never do that again”. I think it’s because of God that we shouldn’t have regrets, but ONLY because of HIm…because through Him we find forgiveness and because of the blood of Christ, there is no condemnation. I know that’s what you are saying as well, but I just had to repeat it for myself. Because I’ve had a friend who lives by the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote so much so that she makes excuses for how she mistreats people…and moves on with no asking of forgiveness and no regrets…but for her that leaves a trail of people in her path that are laying bloody on the road.

    This is why I had to repeat what you said in my own words…because I have to remind myself that we shouldn’t really have regrets except in the form of if we’ve mistreated other people. We have to be careful to remember that No Regrets is only because of the forgiveness of God for our mistakes…not because we don’t have to be responsible for the things we do and say. Okay…my saying all this was simply to get this straight in my mind…not at all because I disagree with what you said….I do agree with this and I agree with the quote from Emerson. But my friend uses this quote all the time to excuse her behavior, so I just had to say all this to put it in perspective for myself. Sorry if I rambled! :)

  2. February 17, 2012 9:50 am

    Sounds like a good plan. Nonsense it is!

  3. February 17, 2012 10:04 am

    It truly is an awesome quote isn’t it? So is the Dr’s…. these guys know what’s up! ;P

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