Saturday, June 25, 2016

Regrets

      The micro manager's sister phoned a couple of nights ago. The sister is 83 and not doing very well. She has Parkinson's and a couple of other health issues. She lives in a complex where she has her own small suite and has all her meals in the complex. 

    The micro manager does most of the talking as the sister is somewhat slow in speech and thought.

     One thing that bothered the micro manager was that her sister constantly commented that , "she had made so many mistakes"

     Now I happen to think that my sister-in-law was a pretty awesome lady. She came here on her own with a brother and sister to look after. She had four children. One's a lawyer, two are teachers and one a supervisor for a large drug company. She's successful financially and has travelled and wintered in Arizona for 20 years. Not bad I'd say.

     The micro manager didn't want to quiz about the mistakes but tried to get her to think more positively.

     The regrets issue got me thinking about the situation. I guess some people look back on their lives and are not satisfied and regret things. Some people become preoccupied with the issue. They think about every mistake they made and worry about it. They use up a lot of "I shuddas."

     Now I've made a mistake or two in my life. I was the typical young male who thought he was invincible and did some pretty dumb things. Alcohol fueled some of this rash behavior. 

     I made mistakes in my university courses. I can look back and see how easy it would have been to get better mark in high school. The goals I set were far too low.

     I can look  back and see things in my teaching career that I wish I could take back and do over. There were better ways to deal with a certain student. There were better ways to teach something.

     I can see things that I could have done better in raising my kids.

     However, what is past is over. It is was what it is. You cannot redo things. The majority of us do not dwell on this aspect of our life. I have a good pair of rose colored glasses. I usually think of only good happy things. Former students see me and some apologize for poor behavior. I don't remember their poor behavior.

     However, it's sad when someone gets in a condition when they focus on their past mistakes. I hope this stage of my sister-in-laws's life changes for the better.

    

46 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. She has been successful in many ways.

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  2. Hind sight is 20 20 and we all could have done better, but I try not to get caught up in it:)

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    1. You're right about hindsight. It's perfect.

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  3. I understand having regrets. I've got plenty of them, but as you said, dwelling on them doesn't help because what's past is past. I hope your SIL will realize that, too. :-)

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    1. This last while is the first time in her life when she has not been active and busy.

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  4. "Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention" -- as Frank Sinatra famously sang.

    I wonder if, as we get older and develop more wisdom about the nuances of life and the varied paths we could have taken, we actually tend to see MORE regrets rather than fewer. I used to say I had none. Now I can think of several, most of which are based on things I'd done BEFORE I said I had none. Ha!

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    1. Great tune. I think Paul Anka wrote it.

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  5. Yes that sounds bad, I agree with you, I mostly only remember the good things and all the travels I made to see the world. The "bad" things I have forgotten I suppose.

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    1. For those of us with rose colored glasses life is much better.

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  6. I wish all good things to you and your friends and family!Nice post Red!

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    1. Thank you. Have a great summer.

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  7. Thanks, Red. I needed this. I had what I thought was an issue with my daughter (misinterpretation on my part as it turned out) and spent days with all my past mistakes as a parent nagging in my mind.
    You're right, what's done is done. I can't undo it. I'm a big fan of the rose-colored spectacle method.

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    1. We do get jitters once in awhile and it' not pleasant.

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  8. I agree with you 100%. I am currently watching a sister-in-law for a example of how I do not want to live the rest of my life. I do not want to look back, I do not want to dwell on mistakes, or think about things I could have done better. Neither do I want to relive the past with deceased loved ones to the point it prevents me from being happen today and moving on in the world. I'm very sorry for those who dwell constantly on the past. I would suspect it's either the cause of depression or will be if she continues in the direction.

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    1. You're absolutely right that depression is part of it.

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  9. Makes me think of a Frank Sinatra song, "Regrets, I've had a few, .......but in the end I did it my way". Yes, we are who we are. We live each day the best we can at the time. Let the regrets only inform our future actions, and make each day a better one. Life is punishing enough without us beating ourselves up.

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    1. I've always liked the term, "Don't beat yourself up." Yes, a good tune by Sinatra and I think it was written by Paul Anka.

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  10. My Godfather told me when I was in my late teens that regret was a destructive, negative emotion which could to easily lead to bitterness if dwelt upon. I have tried never to have regrets about things that have affected only my life but occasionally I look back at things I have done or not done which would have made other happier. Sometimes they do get to me.

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    1. They get to us and that's fine as long as we're not obsessed with them.

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  11. Always move forward and life is a lot better

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    1. Life is short enough so don't waste it by brooding over things.

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  12. I also hope her mental outlook changes. I don't beat myself up too much over past mistakes, of which there an no doubt many.

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    1. You have a very upbeat attitude. It shows on your writing.

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  13. Hi Red, From one old teacher to another ... Here's a quote I think you'll like ... "“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” ― Zadie Smith. And with that said, I'll leave you with this YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQ4ZkbldTsw Have a great week ahead!

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    1. Yes, tenses in French were a challenge.

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    2. Growing up in Texas I had classes in Spanish but now I wish I had classes in French. Either way, foreign languages are a challenge for me. By the way, thank you for your comment on my blog about being an early riser. You are right on and, I guess, for spotting ships, that is a good thing. The cruise ships are in very early, sometimes just after 5:30 AM. Also, it seems like a lot of container ship traffic arrives in the early morning. I don't know, but guess they are scheduling to make the best use of the daylight for loading and unloading. Of course, they do that 24/7 but I bet they prefer working in daylight. Thanks for your interesting comments about my maritime posts!

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  14. I think we all have reflective times when we think about the past but it must be awful to get stuck in those times. So sad. I do hope your s-in-law doesn't stay in that unhappy place for too long.

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    1. To think about the past is normal to be obsessed is taking things overboard.

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  15. Losing a son was the worst of it all but I still keep looking ahead and always try to stay positive....;)

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    1. My parents lost an 11 year old daughter. It was a struggle particularly for my Dad.

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  16. It's tough to live with regrets because there is nothing you can do about them now. I hope your sister-in-law can come to realize it's useless to dwell on mistakes and enjoy the rest of her life. Forgiving oneself seems to be even harder than forgiving others.

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    1. The last couple of years is the first time she's not been very active so she needs something to occupy the time she has now.

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  17. Hopefully someone will help her get back to the reality that any mistakes she made have been erased by other good things...

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    1. She's been a very successful woman.

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  18. It is sad that she struggles that way at this stage in her life. I hope her outlook improves, so she can find peace. I agree with you: we cannot change the past; we can only learn from it.

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    1. This is the first part of her life where she has not been busy.

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  19. I hope this stage passes quickly also...for her sake and your wife's. It is so easy to have 20/20 hindsight...and make our hearts wretched with regret. Much harder to forgive ourselves...I do not know why.

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    1. I hope she find some activities that will keep her busy.

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  20. I have heard a lot about the use of coconut oil for Parkinson's.
    I wonder if it is effective.

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  21. Illness can leave us introspective, and thinking of old mistakes.

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  22. Your sister-in-law sounds like a good woman. Hope she can get past these feelings of regret.

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  23. This is an interesting post, Keith. In fact, many of my clients say that they lie in their log-term care beds, and think over the mistakes.
    It is really hard to put those out of your mind, and look at what you did well. I advocate on a virtual hospice site, and you have to just let these things go. I, too, have had some dumb mistakes. I try this at 2 a.m., when I wake in the night. I turn on the radio and listen.

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  24. Been away for a while and popping in to say hi Red. Yep, what is past is past. Nothing one can do to change history, but one can let it all go and leave it there. Live each day as you would like to remember and thats not always possible. I hope you sweet sister in law is able to pass by these feelings....woulda, coulda, shoulda, isn't always possible. Truth is , most of us learn from mistakes and sometimes wish we coulda done things different but...past is past, right. I'm sure MM will give her comfort and reassurance about regrets. Heck, we all have em, right. Have a good day and as usual most interesting post Sir.

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  25. We really can be our own worst critics...

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  26. Regrets? Yes, I've had a few or maybe more than a few, but you can't live your life thinking about them. Sigh... But sometimes it's hard not to dwell on them.

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