This file is about worry and regret. Also see Acceptance, Success and Failure, Attitude and That's Life.


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

(Robert Frost)

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

(Erma Bombeck)

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."

The Station

(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.
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.

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Songs about Regret

Songs about Might Have Been

Songs about Worrying

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