Regret and Reflection
I believe that we over-use the word regret and we should replace it with reflect. Reflect on our decisions, stand by them and if we don’t like the situation or circumstances; put into action a way to make it better!
Who decided Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end to summer?
Probably the same person that determined Memorial day weekend was the unofficial beginning to Summer!
Does that make one greedy—to want the early start, but not the early end?
It does seem like there are so many more folks who look forward to Pumpkin Spice everything and the cool nights of fall vs. the hot and steamy days of summer. I’m probably in the low percentile of people who LOVES and really, really looks forward to summer all year long!
I will admit, as I get “older”—I have come to appreciate and enjoy all four of New England’s seasons. I certainly could do without the dreary and bitterly cold days between late January and late March, but I guess you always have to take the good with the bad.
However, when Labor Day rolls around it always seems to sneak up on me, every year. Sometime during that long weekend, I look back at my summer and begin “wishing” that I had done more. I’m usually wishing for more beach time!
Where does the time go; why don’t I ever have enough?
And each year, as I review our three short months, I can usually account for something that “happened” during the summer that had taken me away from my precious beach time.
I do want to add, this year I had two very special beach days with my kids, which I usually do not get, and an upcoming trip with my BFF! Admittedly, though, having only three beach days just isn’t enough for this salty gal!
This year, my sore back stole the month of June [my butterfly garden can attest to that!]. We traveled to Tennessee for the month of July, to visit with Ray’s boys (a couple always needs to find balance with each side of the family). And, well, I guess August just disappeared with the summer breeze.
Why is it only the end of summer that brings me so much regret—hmm?
Is there a season for you, when it ends, you wished you had “done more?”
Perhaps the holidays. Are you so busy preparing—shopping, wrapping, cleaning, and cooking; that you simply forget what we are really preparing for?
Or is it something a little bigger, like planning your wedding? When the special day finally arrives, are you pleased with the spectacular details that you pulled together or are you too busy wishing and worrying for perfection?
What is the definition of “reflect?"
To think quietly and calmly or to express a thought or opinion resulting from reflection.
What is the definition of “regret?"
To mourn the loss or death of, to miss very much, or sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power to repair.
Regretting is so unhealthy, and based on this intel from the smart folks who work at The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I bet we often misuse the word regret. For example, “I regretted my decision to work this weekend instead of spending time with my family.”
Or do we?
I suspect, the person who made that last statement would have much sorrow, but wasn’t the situation in their control to make the choice of working vs. spending time with family?
I also believe that we over-use the word regret and we should replace it with reflect.
Reflect on our decisions, stand by them; and if we don’t like the situation or circumstances; put into action a way to make it better!
In a previous post, we chatted a little bit about reflection, “While on a path of self-improvement we sometimes must reflect and go back in time before we go forward; as a pause of reflection, not regret.“
I personally believe that prayer and meditation are both perfect opportunities to reflect. In the quiet moments of the early morning or late evening listening to your breath. Sit still and listen for the voice of God or your inner spirit.
With all of that said, let’s each of us make a list for the next 12 months.
What are your personal goals for each month?
I’m not talking about the “usual goals” like to eat better and exercise more. This list should be about the fun things you want to accomplish over the next 12 months!
Remember to be realistic! What is your expected weather for each month? What is your budget? Do you have an extra slush fund—great! Plan a wonderful trip!! Or, is your budget a little tight—that’s okay too! Make plans for the wonderful free activities that you can accomplish, such as hiking, biking, walking on the beach, investigating a new city near you or going to a museum (most museums have one free day each week or month)!
You’ll also want to be practical about how much time you have each week. Can you plan 52 amazingly fun things, or should you stick with just 12?
Write each activity down on a three by five card and prioritize. The order of your cards should be based on two things: the “necessary” (weather the particular activity needs) and what is most important to you.
Keep the cards handy, for example, inside your daily planner and as your day off approaches, make your fun activity a priority and make it happen!
The result that you are looking for? When the end of your next season comes to a close, you will not have any regrets!
Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.
Until next time… Peace and Blessings, Friends!