Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 26, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 26, 2004 – I’m reminded of Franks Sinatra’s famous song, My Way, penned by Paul Anka, of Puppy Love and Put Your Head On My Shoulder fame. Paul, born in Ottawa – formerly a Canadian citizen, but now an avowed American.
There is a great lyric in the song that says, “Regrets, I’ve had a few – but then again, too few to mention”. For some reason, known only to the part of my brain that looks after all “things silly and inconsequential” – I’ve been humming that song all day. Not the same line of course, but it’s had good play during the last couple of hours. I can’t resist belting out the chorus whenever I pass the hall mirror – sort of a female Frank – “Frankie” if you will. Fortunately my talents lie elsewhere in life and I don’t have to pay my bills through song. Even karioke is a stretch for me. Lip syncing might be okay.
During one of my impromptu bouts of singing, I stopped abruptly, put down my pen microphone and thought about my own regrets. I don’t have great gobs of yearning for the past, unresolved recriminations or copious present day angst – but I do lament a few things that I’ve done and said. I am writing these as I recall them and they’re in no particular order or associated with any specific age. Given the opportunity to live my life over again, I would:
Have kept on taking dance lessons.
Have expressed my love to both my parents more often during the years they were sick, and visited them more frequently, even though they were many miles away. There is always a way if you want to find it.
Have started to write sooner in my life.
Have made exercise a more vital part of my daily routine.
Have taken a job I was offered with Zellers in Vancouver when I was in my twenties. I didn’t go because of fear.
Have moved to Toronto to take journalism at Ryerson when I was accepted into the program. Fear again held sway in my twenties! I appear to have been quite the little wimp back then.
Have been more patient with my pets – especially my Doberman Majara who died from cancer when she was very young.
Have made the decision when I was much younger to not give a rat’s ass what “most” people think of me.
Have saved more money and not accumulated as much useless stuff – like my aforementioned “dishes”.
Have travelled at every opportunity – not sporadically.
Have worked harder at some of the friendships in my life that became “seasonal” because of lack of commitment.
Have missed the baggy clothes phase of my life.
Have continued with my early interest in photography. I had a great eye for composition.
Have kept the second house I bought (and then sold – forgetting my mother’s adage to “never” sell real estate) as an investment.
Have entertained more and spent fewer Saturday nights alone.
Have been kinder to a few people during my university years.
Have invested in houses not mutual funds.
Have worn red at an earlier age.
Have stayed out all night more often.
Have told people that I suffered from panic and anxiety as soon as I had my first panic attack. Hiding my true self was foolish.
Have danced at every single opportunity.
Have been silly at every acceptable opportunity.
Have told my friends that I love them more often.
Have left behind my “self-righteous, tight-ass bitch self” ages ago.
Not bad for a woman my age. There is nothing on this list that was life threatening, criminal in intent, deceitful or brutally unkind. As I was writing, I also thought about the relationships I’ve had with people, both men and women, that ended abruptly and painfully and that were laced with their dishonesty, betrayal or conniving intentions. No that I’m an angel – I know my faults and weaknesses – but I’m not vindictive or cruel.
However these past interactions have ultimately been my strongest touchstones and my greatest teachers. Now that I’m older, I don’t regret a single day of pain. Enduring it has allowed me to grow emotionally and spiritually, and to work on two of the most elusive components of character, I’d still like to come closer to mastering – those of faith and patience.
I can still address some of the things on my list, because it’s never too late to allow the magic of change into my life. So in retrospect, I think I’m sort of like Frank – “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”.