Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Twenty Years From Now

Twenty years from now,
you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do,
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

--Mark Twain --

Am I disappointed in the things I didn't do?  I'll admit, yes, sometimes I do sit back and wonder about the things I didn't do and what might have been. Things left unsaid.  Things left undone.  My first love.  What if?  Would we have been happy?  Or, what if I hadn't dropped out of school?  What if I had completed and then gone on to college?  But, I wouldn't have.  Girls from my small town just didn't go on to further their education.  The only further education they got was learning how to take care of the children and their man.  I wasn't ready for that back then.  

So, I threw off the bowlines and sailed away from the safe harbor finding myself lost in the biggest metropolis in the world.  Did I think about giving up and going back home?  You bet I did, especially in those early days when I had no money for food and lived on Ragu sandwiches.  Did I regret my decision?  In those early days, regret, yes; give up, no.  The way I see it now is, all of the early suffering, all of the trauma and turmoil I went through, I wouldn't be the person I am today.  

So, here it is, almost 40 years later, and when I look back, I do not wonder how things could have been different.  I can honestly say I am not disappointed by the things I didn't do because I know that I did what I had to do in order to grow.  I know, today, that had I chosen to follow my classmates, I would have lived a life of what if's.  Each path I took led me to another, bringing me to where I am today.  To change the past, would be to change the me that I have become.  I think, if I had to pin one thing down that I am disappointed in, it is the things that were left unsaid.  

Twenty years from now, will you be disappointed in the things you didn't do?


  1. i can honestly say that i don't look back much...yes i do have some regrets , but they have more to do with things i didn't say to the people i love and that are gone now.

  2. Unfortunately, my nature is always to look back and not forward. There are sometimes where I get stuck in the past and have to mindfully remove myself from ruminating and remind myself that I at this very moment the person I am because of what I did and didn't do in the past.

  3. Wish I had said I love you more often to people that are gone now.
    Have I learned a lesson from this ?
    Sad to say.....no. :0(

  4. I don't like any kind of 2nd guessing...

    Gentle hugs,

  5. Good morning dear Mary....I used to spend too much time in "regrets".
    Now I try to spend all my time "in the now"....It is a much more pleasant place to meander!! (O:



  6. I don't think so.. I love my life - the only wish or regret that I have is that I would have loved to have been an herbalist.. oh yes, I could go and do it now.. but the mind does not remember.. so I will have to be happy that I have done this in past lives. many times.

  7. I love Mark Twain quotes. Short but full of meaning. I like to think of regrets as wisdom. They help me make better choices today. X.