August is the dying month in my family. As July smolders into August, the buzzing days of late summer appeal to the fathers and grandfathers in our family as a good time to check out.
Held in the swollen glory of a humid day, a day so full of family reunions and ball games that it is possible for them to slip away without fuss, They made the transition from sweaty matter to incandescent soul surrounded by the sounds of family and life.
The grandmothers are not ready yet. They have life in their soft days filled with small tasks and gardens, smidgens of food and hours with photo albums. These women remember, recalling best friends and parties, boyfriends and first loves all with girlish detail and private smiles. These women have no regrets and that is how it should be.
Impending death is not the time to feel bad about your life. There is never time in life for regrets.
I used to go over events in my life to see which ones I’d like to do over. Should I have stayed in Colorado when I was twenty-four instead of continuing to California? Why didn’t I kiss that guy when he was standing right in front of me? Why didn’t I buy that old Porsche when I had the money and no children? It has taken me years to accept that there is no purpose in beating myself up over past decisions. I have free will. I exercised it.
A life of no regrets requires no bucket list to define it and until we can all easily transport ourselves to another time and dimension, we are stuck with our lives as they happen. Regret just gets in the way.
Don’t despair. Here is the one rule to enjoy a life of no regrets: Be grateful.
Gratitude is love energy and that is powerful stuff. It propels the Universe and lives inside of you making every cell sing with happiness, health and those nifty rejuvenating hormones.
That’s it. Be grateful for every little thing that’s ever happened to you because you know what? It really DID happen for a reason, a reason you helped bring about (with the help of thoughts, emotions and the wonderful world of physics!).
So stop regretting the one who got away, the money you never made and the trips you didn’t take. Gratitude is the plan for the day, the focus of your prayer, the sound of silence. Gratitude is the wind on your face and the scent of lilies, the sun on your arms and tears on your cheeks. It’s the smile on your daughter’s face and the love in your husband’s eyes. It’s the sand in your shoes, the stones you collect, the business that tanked, the dog you found, the hair that’s thin, the wrinkles you hate. It’s the life you live.
It’s all good because you are an energetic being within the Universe and the Universe doesn’t make mistakes.
When I ran into an old friend (the one I regretted not kissing when I wanted to) I was ready to reminisce over a bottle of wine about a love life lost when he put everything into perspective for me. “Mimi, if we had gotten together then, I’d be divorced from you, not my second ex-wife.”
Bullet dodged. So grateful.