Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Examining everything.....

The results of the examination aren't important. At least, that's what I think Socrates meant when he said the unexamined life isn't worth living. The important thing is to get out the tally sheet and take stock of what we're doing.  The planet spins away from us if we don't tote up the sums once in a while.

I waited much too long, and now have some regrets. One thing I don't want my daughter, or any young person for that matter, to do when they reach 60 is to regret anything they did....or more importantly, things they didn't do with their lives.

Such as......

I wish I had made beautiful gardens sooner.

I wish I had known that all that worrying wouldn't change a thing.

I wish I had spent more time doing nothing. Not even examining anything.

I wish I had worked harder at some things. One relationship comes quickly to mind.

I wish I had spoken up much sooner (like 50 years or so). Everywhere. About everything.

I wish I had understood that I always have the right to change my mind. And I wish I had changed it a couple of times, that's for sure.

I wish I had followed my passion for writing earlier. Many young people got a good teacher, but my voice was silent for much too long.

I wish I had smiled more. (Someone paid me the ultimate compliment the other night when he said that even though I didn't know the steps to the foxtrot yet, I had the smile down..... and that was the most important part.)

I wish I had danced even when I felt awkward and conspicuous. I know now that no one else cares how I look on the dance floor, because they're only thinking about how they look. And if they are assessing me, they need to do some totin' up themselves.

As one becomes long lived, I think we tend to become more contemplative. I surely wish it had happened sooner, though, especially now that I've reached the age when the yellow brick road ahead is shorter than the one behind. There's a lesson here for people just now travelling into adulthood, if they care to hear it. I hope they don't wait until it's nearly too late, like I did.

Of course, Socrates also said, "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."  Go figure.

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings,
so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."

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