This file is about worry and regret. Also see Acceptance, Success and Failure, Attitude and That's Life.
- All that we are not stares back at what we are. (W.H. Auden)
- Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. (Robert Albert Bloch)
- The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. (Bernard M. Baruch)
- Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.
- Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.
- Conscious choice is creative. Unconscious choice is destructive. That is how we end up living other people's lives. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
- A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. (John Lubbock)
- Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. (Norman Cousins)
- Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. (Cherokee Indian Proverb)
- Don't tell me that worrying doesn't help. The things I worry about hardly ever happen.
- Don't worry about what people think of you, because they seldom do.
- Every problem has its price, but if you worry about it you pay double.
- The fact that everything will be all right, does not necessarily make anything all right now.
- Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Footfalls echo in the memory...Down the passage which we did not take...Towards the door we never opened.
- For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!' (John Greenleaf Whittier)
- Fortune is a great deceiver. She sells very dear the things she seems to give us. (Vincent Voiture)
- The future you shall know when it has come; before then forget it. (Aeschylus)
- Hindsight is an exact science.
- Hold fast to your dreams, for it dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
- How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened. (Thomas Jefferson)
- I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. (Mark Twain)
- I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. (Diane Ackerman)
- I wish I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours.
- If all you can see is your shadow, you're blocking your own light.
- If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. (Don Herold)
- If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time. (Edith Wharton)
- If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. (Calvin Coolidge)
- If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. (E. Joseph Cossman)
- If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning...sleep late. (Henny Youngman)
- It is not impossibilities which fill us with the deepest despair, but possibilities which we have failed to realize. (Robert Mallett)
- It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down. (George MacDonald)
- It is only too easy to compel a sensitive human being to feel guilty about anything. (Morton Irving Seiden)
- It won't do you any good to run if you're running the wrong way.
- I've developed a new philosophy...I only dread one day at a time. (Charles Schulz)
- Let not the mistakes of yesterday--nor the fears of tomorrow--spoil our today.
- Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. (Kierkegaard)
- Life is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. (Horace Walpole)
- Life is like a taxi ride...the meter keeps ticking whether you're getting anywhere or not.
- Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.
- Look out behind you--the lemmings are gaining!
- Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it's dark. (Zen Proverb)
- Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. (Brendan Francis)
- Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. (Arthur Miller)
- Misfortunes one can endure--they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults--ah! there is the sting of life. (Oscar Wilde)
- The moment we're born they try to make us cry, and sometimes it seems as though they never stop.
- Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.
- Never borrow sorrow from tomorrow!
- No matter what a man's past may have been, his future is spotless. (John R. Rice)
- No one can solve problems for someone whose problem is that they don't want problems solved. (Richard Bach)
- Once a day you should look into the mirror to see if what stands between you and happiness isn't you. (Edward Somers)
- Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (M. Kathleen Casey)
- The past is never dead, it is not even past. (William Faulkner)
- The past is not only that which happened but also that which could have happened but did not. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
- The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it.
- People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.
- People in distress will sometimes prefer a problem that is familiar to a solution that is not. (Neil Postman)
- Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. (Sydney J, Harris)
- Regrets and recriminations only hurt your soul. (Armand Hammer)
- A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was. (Joseph Hall)
- So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. (The Eagles from Already Gone
- Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist. (Edgar Watson Howe)
- Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. (Jerry Seinfeld)
- Sometimes you wake up in the morning and wish your parents had never met. (Bill Fitch)
- Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you weren't sleeping.
- There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud. (Carol Shields)
- There are whole years for which I hope I'll never be cross-examined, for I could not give an alibi.
- There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do. (Freya Stark)
- There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. (Marcel Proust)
- Things only happen to others until they happen to us. (Robert Half)
- To be upset over what you don't have is to waste what you do have. (Ken S. Keyes, Jr.)
- Today is the last day of the first part of your life (John Hovancin)
- Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
- Tragedy isn't getting something or failure to get it; it's losing something you already have.
- Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. (Euripides)
- When a man finds no peace within himself it is useless to seek it elsewhere. (L. A. Rochefoucauld)
- When it comes time to die...make sure all you have to do is die.
- When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one, which has been opened for us. (Helen Keller)
- When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look; you most likely turned your back on the world.
- Who says worry doesn't help. All those things I worry about don't happen.
- A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem. (Harold Stephens)
- Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. (Corrie Ten Boom)
- Worry is imagination misplaced.
- Worry is interest paid in advance for a debt you may never owe.
- Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere.
- Worry is the darkroom in which 'negatives' are developed.
- Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. (Leo Buscaglia)
- Worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
- Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying about the future?
- You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you. (Rwandan Proverb)
- You can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
- You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.
- You cannot change the past, and you can ruin a perfectly good present, by worrying about the future.
- You couldn't get hold of the things you'd done and turn them right again. Such a power might be given to the gods, but it was not given to women and men, and that was probably a good thing. Had it been otherwise, people would probably die of old age still trying to rewrite their teens. (Stephen King)
It Might Have Been
Of all sad words
of tongue or pen
The saddest are these:
"It might have been."
I'll add this thought
unto this verse:
It might have been
a great deal worse!
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.
If I Had My Life to Live Over
I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculptured like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television--and more while watching life.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said,
"Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love you's." More
"I'm sorry's" . . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . . look at it and really see it . . . live it . . . and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with.
And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually. Life is too short to let it pass you by. We only have one shot at this and then it's gone.
I hope you all have a blessed day.
The Meaning of Life - a slightly different version...
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the desk in front of him. When the final student was seated he picked up a large and empty glass bottle and proceeded to fill it with rocks . . . about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
He then picked up a box of pebbles and added them to the jar, shaking it lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. "Is the jar filled now?"
Yes, the students said.
But then he picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the bottle. The sand filled in everything else. Once more he asked if it was full and after some thinking they said that it was.
The professor then took two cans of beer from a bag at the side of the desk and opening them both, poured their entire contents into the jar. The students roared at this demonstration.
After the laughter subsided the professor spoke: "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things in your life; your family, your partner, your health, your children . . . things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter . . . like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else. The small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, rewire the lamp.
Take care of the rocks first . . . the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
After the impact of what he had said settled one of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
"I'm glad you asked. It just goes to prove that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."
(by Robert J. Hastings, used by permission from Nancy Hasting 2008)
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon of corn and wheat, of flat lands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
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But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there our dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering--waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
"When we reach the station, that will be it!" we cry.
"When I'm 18."
"When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes-Benz!"
"When I put the last kid through college."
"When I have paid off the mortgage!"
"When I get a promotion."
"When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!"
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. "Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it." It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
Songs about Regret
- Chains of Regret - Josh Logan (2004)
- I Don't Regret a Thing - Mitzi Gaynor (1960)
- Mary Ann Regrets - Burl Ives (1962)
- Million Regrets, A - Moon Mullican (1952)
- Miss Otis Regrets - Burl Ives (1945)
- No Regrets - The Walker Brothers (1976)
- No Regrets Yet - Sonya Isaacs (2004)
- No Tears, No Regrets - Darrell Glenn (1955)
- Regrets - The Last Wish (1994)
- Regrets and Apologies - Between Us (2008)
- Regrets and Roses - Danny Darrow (1964)
- Repetitive Regret - Eddie Rabbitt (1986)
- River of Regret - Dale Ward (1968)
- Road of Regret - Jimmie Logsdon (1951)
- Rose Petals of Regret - Eversfield (2005)
- Waltz of Regret, The - PeeWee King (1949)
Songs about Might Have Been
- Could Have Been Mine - Crystal Bernard (1996)
- I Could'a Had You - Hurricane (1984)
- It Could Have Been Me - Sami Jo (1974)
- It Could've Been Me - Lillian Briggs (1955)
- It Might Have Been a Different Story - Gene Krupa (1947)
- Love That Might Have Been, A - Moon Mullican (1966)
- That's the Way it Could Have Been - Rogers and West (1984)
- Things That Might Have Been - George Allman (1987)
- We Could Have Been the Closest of Friends - Janie Fricke (1977)
- We Could've Been Sweethearts - Hoyt Axton (1990)
- What Might Have Been - Little Texas (1993)
- Who Knows What Might Have Been - Percy Faith Orchestra (1961)
Songs about Worrying
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- Ain't Gonna Worry - Leon Ashley (1969)
- Do I Worry? - The Ink Spots (1940)
- Don't Worry - Tony Martin (1961)
- Don't Worry, Baby - The Beach Boys and Lorrie Morgan (1996)
- Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing - SHeDaisy (2005)
- Don't Worry 'Bout Me - Glenda Griffith (1978)
- Don't Worry 'Bout Me, Baby - Janie Fricke (1982)
- Don't Worry 'Bout That Mule - Louis Jordan (1946)
- Don't Worry 'Bout the Mule, Just Load the Wagon - Barber (1968)
- Heartbroken and Worried - Ike Turner (1951)
- I Ain't the Worrying Kind - Billy Edd Wheeler (1968)
- I Never Let You Worry My Mind - Red Foley (1942)
- I'm Worried About Me - Don Reno (1966)
- It Ain't Gonna Worry My Mind - Ray Charles and Mickey Gilley (1985)
- There's No Use to Worry Now - Bill Nettles (1941)
- Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry - Ronnie Milsap (1975)
- Watch, Worry and Wait - The Knobs (1996)
- Weary and Worried - The Prairie Ramblers (1941)
- Weary, Worried and Blue - Ted Daffan and His Texans (1941)
- Without a Worry in the World - Rod McKuen (1971)
- Worried All the Time - Howlin' Wolf (1952)
- Worried and Hurtin' Inside - Ike and Tina Turner (1962)
- Worried, Unhappy, Lonesome and Sorry - Merle Haggard (2006)
- Worried Man, A - The Kingston Trio (1959)
- Worried Mind - The Southern Mountain Boys (1978)
- Worrying Over You - Bobby Charles (1965)