Saturday, December 9, 2006

Looking Back...Or Not

I've always looked far younger than my years. Once, when sent to purchase wine for a party (a rather interesting choice since I don't drink and know absolutely nothing about wine), I got carded. The clerk looked really embarrassed when, after examining my driver's license, she figured out she had carded a 38 year old.

I mention this story because the other day I had a similar experience related to someone being astonished about my youthful appearance (though it didn't involve purchasing an item). The young man asked me if I had entered my mid-life crisis. "No," I replied, "I think I'll skip it."

Many of my contemporaries like to spend time strolling down memory lane. Most are able to laugh about missed opportunities and questionable decisions, but most everyone I know has regrets.

I spend little time looking backward and, though I've made my share of mistakes and missteps, I don't regret them at all. Everything that has or has not happened to me to this point makes me who I am today. If I had not made this mistake or that mistake, I might be a different person altogether.

Besides, each of us could have trod down any number of paths. When we each come to a fork in the road, none of us has the power to see where each road will take us. Some roads look dismal and harrowing, yet bring us into the light. Other roads look easy and well lit, but lead us into darkness.

In essence, life is a crap shoot. Sometimes you roll boxcars and sometimes it's snake eyes. Consequently, for me, it's not that important to analyze the cards you're dealt, how you play the hand is more important and, once each hand is completed, you move on.

I'm certainly NOT suggesting that each of us shouldn't learn valuable lessons from our missteps and misdeeds, but nothing good comes from wallowing in the mud of regret. What's done is done; no amount of grousing, regretting or self pity will change that.

So let go of it and cast your gaze forward.

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