reflecting on life and making the choices that matter

There is something to be said about getting older. Wiser. Growing a family. For the first time in my life I have really looked at my past and thought "would I change it if I could?" I take that back, I have thought about this many times in my life. But this time, for the first time, my answer was yes. Not only is it yes, but I wish I could go back in time and KNOW some of the stuff I do now. Of course, this is all part of life and learning and we obviously can't go back.

For so many years though I had thought that my answer to that very thought was a clear "No! Everything I have done in the past has made me who I am today and I wouldn't want to change it if I could. I am thankful for all my life experiences good and bad!" Right? Or not? 

A recent incident started this train of deep thought. You see my dad is sick and has been for years. Only his sickness is one that involves a lot of pride, self pity, self medication, a lack of drive and a lack of responsibility. I could blame him for not being around after the age of 4 and be angry and think about all that he has NOT taught me or helped me with. I mean, come on! Get your act together, THE WAY I HAVE HAD TO SINCE I WAS 10 years old!

Why do I have to be YOUR parent?

Well, years later, I have gotten past all of this and am thankful for what I have learned from all of his bad decisions. If it weren't for him, I would not be the strong woman I am today {sounds kinda backwards but it's true}. A fighter. A lover. 

But I have been thinking lately about how it would feel to be on your death bed knowing you are dying {by choice} from something you CHOSE to die from. {I know, alcoholism is a disease, so I apologize if this comes off terribly insensitive} I wonder how it would feel to WISH you could go back in time and correct it. I mean, what pain you must feel knowing you lost all those years with your children. You lost the love of your life. Lost money. Didn't achieve your goals. Never experienced your grandchildren. 

This post is not about my father. It's about me as a parent, a human and an adult who makes my own decisions. Creates the reality I live in every day. Have I made mistakes? Hell yeah. And most of them I wouldn't take back. This moment was a realization that I do NOT want to be on my death bed WISHING I had done everything, or especially those big things, differently. 

Even as far as my health goes {and even my father's health} I wish I could go back and know what I know today about diet and lifestyle. How cool would it be if I stayed away from dyes, carcinogens, sugar, yeast, white flour, dairy, alcohol, cigarettes, and instead ate WAY more greens, tons of healthy fruits and veggies all these years? {wink} AWESOME. Right? Maybe I would prevent whatever it is I'm going to die from. {a REALLY weird thought, I know}

Sometimes it's moments like this that give me those inspirational KICKS in the ASS.

On a grander scale what if you could go back and create a relationship with your children that you never had? Would you do it? YES! Some things are just not even debatable. Right? Before I had kids I didn't have this outlook on life. I had a much different perspective. 

Sometimes I like to listen to that silly Eminem song "Lose Yourself":

Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted - one moment
Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?

And I remember that at each moment I have the power to create change or to at least the power to make GOOD stuff happen. Each moment is one to "capture". Each new day. Each new experience. Decision. Agreement. Tantrum. Wipeout. 

I'd like to make a dislaimer here though. I'm not saying we should live with guilt of the past everyday. No way. Don't get me wrong. I am just saying that we really do have a say in our life "path" or "desitiny"! Most of our current life situation {whether it be good or bad} is a direct result of our decisions, actions and choices. Is it not? God's "blue print" is definitely laid out by nobody else but OURSELVES. 

And of course you can't avoid mistakes or temptation, not even BUDDHA could do that. It's not human. But we can grow and learn from them. 

On of my favorite Yoganada Quotes {something to this degree}:

There are things of course that we will never understand or know. Things beyond our ability to comprehend. Our soul has lessons to be learned while here on Earth in this lifetime {i.e. my father}. And so yes, again, we can't live with guilt and I'm not saying we should even think much about the past. But instead I'm saying we can focus on the present in hopes of creating an abundant future by being our best everyday. By doing those things that we would NEVER want to one day wish we had done better or had never done at all. Being present as a parent is one of the most difficult tasks. But so rewarding. Learning and experiencing and being kind to our loved ones, that can be equally as hard. 

Things that you will never regret:

  • Maybe send somebody a gift today {instead of buying something for yourself}.
  • Donate money to a really cool cause. 
  • Stop fighting with your husband and show your children what love is. They shouldn't learn what hate is from you!! 
  • Make cookies for a friend who just had a baby. 
  • Tell your husband he's handsome. 
  • Call somebody you appreciate and say THANK YOU! 
  • Teach your kids something - not the alphabet - about life. True lessons. The stuff they don't learn in school.
  • Learn to cook something healthy and throw away things you know aren't helping your diet goals.
  • Change that negative grumpy thought into a positive one. 
  • Stop focusing on yourself and think about somebody else.
  • Get back to drinking less. Be present with your children.
  • Get outside. 
  • Be nice. Be kind. 
  • Laugh at more than you say NO to your child today. {this one is hard}
  • Win over your boss & get a raise. 
  • Quit your job if you're unhappy. {yikes, did I say that?}
  • Create change. 
  • Poke somebody on facebook {kidding - haha}

You know, all those important things we so often forget about. And of course I'm speaking to myself. Not everybody reading this. 

Of course, I've got to enjoy the days I have here. So I can't overdue it. But I do find that making some of these changes will give me true JOY! The kind that lasts {not the partying kind - haha}!

On a happier and lighter note. Watch this video on ATTITUDE and JOY as means of keeping you young and reversing the aging process!