Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lesson #47: Don't look back.

I recently wrote this for a friend who is having a rough time and having some regrets. She wishes some things were different. She regrets decisions she made. I have done both, myself.

The difference between regrets and wishes is this:

Regrets are things that you would change if you could, but you can't.
Wishes are things that you would change if you could, but need help or motivation or resources to do so.

The problem with regrets is that they make you focus on things outside your control.
Wishes are better because they encourage you to look for resources to help you achieve things that you want or need.

Regrets are poisonous because they breed feelings of inadequacy and despair.
Wishes are inspirational because they encourage you to envision yourself in a better, happier atmosphere -- and visions can lead to realities with the right mix of encouragement, motivation and luck.

Don't regret. Don't look back. Don't think about what could have/should have been.

Instead, look ahead at what can be. Look at what you wish for. The past laid the groundwork for tomorrow. Don't regret anything you did in the past, because you really don't know what joy and wonder tomorrow holds -- and tomorrow couldn't come to be if yesterday's foundation wasn't laid (with all of yesterdays joys and sorrows).

Let yesterday's regrets fade away as you journey toward tomorrow's dreams-come-true.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lesson #46: Remember, Chicken Little had a hard time making friends.

So, D is having trouble making his car insurance payments. He has been living on his own for six months now, paying his own insurance (sort of) for three months, and has yet to find a real job.

He called me last night to ask for help making this month's insurance payment. I know it was hard to ask on his part. And as Mom, I was glad to help and glad he was calling, regardless of what it was for. I remember being 18 and on my own. I remember freaking out when the lights were turned off because I *forgot* to pay the electric bill. Life is hard when you're 18 and your head and your ass have switched places temporarily. But I survived it, my head returned to its original, upright position, and I slowly but surely became an adult.

Watching my oldest son figure it out on his own is making my arms itch. I want to help, but I have to be careful how much.

A snippet of our conversation last night went something like this:

D: I'm so frustrated. I hate this. I just want to get rid of my car.
Me: How will you ever find a job if you don't have a way to drive to it?
D: It doesn't matter anyway. The economy is about to collapse.
Me: No it's not. There are jobs out there. You just have to try harder to find them. You have to actually go to places of business and, like, fill out applications.
D: Japan's economy is collapsed. Ours is next. Why bother?
Me: Because our economy has not collapsed and won't collapse anytime in the near future. And besides, you will still need to eat and in order to eat you have to work. At something.
D: I'm just going to take out a loan.
Me: Um, isn't that why global economies are threatening to collapse in the first place?

Each conversation leads us one step closer to college. He wanted to take some time off of school after graduation, but I think he's realizing "the real world" ain't as much fun as he imagined it would be. Sandwiches aren't free. I know I was pretty sad when that realization hit me, way back when.