“Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.”
How many times have we heard or said that phrase? I was reading an article the other day that hit me like a brick — or maybe it was more like a giant meteor falling from the sky — yeah, that was it. I’d been having one of those moments when I was second-guessing all that I have done in my life, or should have done by now — or the things I’d done that I shouldn’t have done, and, well you get the picture. I believe the word for all this is “regret.”
Anyway, the article gave some great advice. I never thought of myself as someone that regretted life or what it has to offer. Then I discovered that having regret is fairly common and “emotionally normal,” and it seems to hit hardest at mid-life.
Ok, good to know I’m normal. Not real keen on the idea that I’m at the mid-point of my life. Come to think of it I’m probably already on the other side and heading down-hill fast.
People at this time in their life start to realize unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. My mom still thinks I’m going to play football one day in the NFL. Up to about a year ago I was still giving myself a shot as well. Hey, I can still think “crazy” even if I’m normal, right?
I think the best advice from the article was to know that “every life path has potholes.” But you can’t focus on a life-unlived and know that it would have been better than the one you have right now. It doesn’t work that way. What one can do is focus on the future. I’ve always said, “If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.” Just because your wagon has a flat tire doesn’t mean you have to stop pulling.
We all know someone that has taken the worst circumstance in life and turned it into something very positive. Many folks start a whole new career path much past their mid-life point. No, it is not easy and, yes, it is real scary. So what can you do?
Try reaching out to others that are going through a similar situation and offer each other support. Realize, however, that there are people out there that would rather pull you down to their level than lift you up a notch or two —hey may not intentionally do it, but it happens, so choose wisely.
I’m also a strong believer in creating your own happiness. It’s a choice we all have to make. Again, it’s not easy. And relying solely on your own knowledge and experience will most likely take you nowhere new. So try taking God with you.
As I shared with my daughter this morning during our devotion time, God gives us the answers to the questions we face and the wisdom to preserve us from being overcome by the disappointments of life. He can help move us forward from the toughest situations. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).
DeLong is the executive director for The Suites at Station Exchange. Email him at Suites.StationExchange@gmail.com.