Too Young for Regrets?

7 08 2012

Today, I was having lunch with some friends. One of them is moving to England at the end of the month. Both this woman and her husband are teachers who’ve been caught in the massacre provoked among educators because the government can’t seem to fund its schools. Her husband is a British national (now dually a citizen of the U.S. and boy was that a grueling process) and wants to return to complete his education as a “barrister.” (I love some of the British English words.  Doesn’t barrister sound so much classier than lawyer?)

The library assistant from our school asked us all a question. It’s a thought-provoking one, so I thought I’d share it. She’s in her early 50s and sending her only son to college this fall, but her husband is 10 years older, getting ready to retire. She still has many dreams and goals she’d like to pursue but he thinks they’re too old for such adventures. She asked, “At what age will you wish you were younger because you regret the things you haven’t accomplished yet?”

Credit to: torwars.com

I was sitting with a group of outspoken, opinionated people. After a pregnant pause, she explained what she wanted to do that her husband insisted they were too old to do – or would be by the time she retired. I have to admit, there’ve already been times when I’ve regretted choices I didn’t make. I played it safe when I should’ve had faith. I lived recklessly when circumspection would’ve netted a better outcome.

Someone said it all depended on how healthy you were. If you got to an age when your body wouldn’t let you pursue your desires, then you would wish you were younger. One person was sure that youth was a state of mind. All of us were considerably reflective, wondering at what age we would be filled with such wishful thinking. Apparently, none of us has attained it yet.

When we’re young, we’re always looking forward to the next birthday. When we reach that landmark age of 18, things will finally be at their pinnacle. I think I was about 28 when I didn’t look to the next birthday with any eagerness. After all, it would be the last one before I became 30, which seemed like a death knell. Now that I’m smack-dab in the middle of my 40s, I think that’s a silly notion. With each passing year, I become more alive, embracing beauty and love with delight, realizing life is fleeting.

I think I’m at the age right now where I realize that if I don’t get after my dreams, I may end up with a treasure trove of regrets. I want to live every day to the fullest so that if it’s my last, I can leave with a smile of satisfaction. My biggest question is: am I following hard after my passion?

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