/regret/

There once was a girl who thought life would be good. She married a man she loved… and still had a boyfriend on the side. A guy who’d travel the ends of the earth for her – which he did, when she was ‘posted’ overseas for a 2-year contract. What she didn’t know was that she’d end up pregnant, lose her job and find herself saddled with her husband’s medical bills as he was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.

Life literally fell apart in the span of one week.

And every night, she fell asleep crying.

*

There once was a lady who thought work was meant to be fulfilling. She had been offered several jobs – one with fame, one with traveling opportunities and one within the comfort of her own home. But she either turned them down or left after a year. Nothing satisfied her, till she entered her latest arena. Advertising.

Thrilling, it challenged her, pushed her to the edges… and then the floor beneath her feet fell away.

Her very own boss turned around and embarrassed her before one of her most important clients. Time and time again, he forgot all the promises he’d made. It felt like her own reputation in the industry was in danger of getting marred, not by her commitment or work, but by the man who first employed her.

Disappointed, she looked back at the doors she’d closed and wondered if there was any other path she could walk. It felt like there was no way out.

*

Regret.

Some say the word was coined between 1300-1350, originating from a Middle French term regreter, which is a mix of the Old French re (again and again) and the Germanic greter (greet). In other words, it came from the idea to re-greet, i.e. to welcome again and again… the past?

It does bear some truth, because we only ever feel tremendous remorse, loss, sorrow or dissatisfaction when we look at our history of faults – the common phrase that begins each thought, ‘If only...’

But you can’t drive a car while looking at your rear-view mirror.
And you can’t live today if all you see is yesterday.

*

‘I don’t know how you do it,’ Smiley said to me today. He’d just returned from a trip overseas and we’d finished updating each other with a brief summary of the past two weeks.

‘I don’t know either. I’m just taking it one step at a time,’ I sighed. Yes, I feel tired and worn out. Yes, life can be a serious struggle, too often than I’d like it to be.

‘There has to be reason why you’re facing so much,’ Smiley continued. ‘Maybe it’s because the Dream Maker knows you can do it. He is your supply. Maybe He thinks highly of you… and that at the end of it all, there’s something great to be gained.’

Maybe. But I haven’t even thought about what I’m gaining or learning. I’m just doing my best to keep still, and carry on. It’s going to be a big week several huge weeks ahead but I’m okay. I’ve got the Dream Maker by my side.

He wrote this story, shit, He knows how it ends and dammit, He loves me.
So I’m going to be just fine. And yes, I believe that.
Because I at the start of this year, I remember asking Him to help me become more efficient, to grow wiser, to be deeper in thought and more creative in my solutions. So this just might be my learning plan.

I asked for it.

And for that, I have no regrets.

*

‘God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him.
He rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.’

– Psalm 18:20, 24 (MSG)

much ado about nothing


‘It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.’

– Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t get it.

Why do people relish in seeing others fall, especially when the mistake was made by a person in the limelight? Why do we enjoy reading about celebrities’ failures, politicians’ poor grammar and leaders’ errors in judgement? Does it make us happy when we see their veneer of perfection (which we know is but a public persona) crack?

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the news in the media and at the same time, watching some members of my team scramble to handle the unnecessary attention.

I just felt it was a total waste of time and resource. Not what the team was doing – that was essential – but the hype over… nothing. And I couldn’t help but remember that Theodore Roosevelt himself once said, ‘The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.’

Shouldn’t the evidence of mistakes be in a way, celebrated? They are human. And we have hope because… if it was any of us in their position, shit, we might have made a bigger mess.

So there. Let it go.

*

I went running today and found myself being a tad bit self-conscious when I passed by other runners. It didn’t matter if I felt like dying because the moment someone came by, I held myself straighter, lengthened my strides and tried to breathe normally, instead of panting loudly, which was what I was really doing. After this weird reflex action occurred a few times, I started grinning to myself.

It was so absurd.

I needed to focus on my running but there I was, concerned about the opinions of people who firstly, don’t know me and secondly, don’t care.

I let it go.

The next time runners passed me by, I willed myself to be… myself.

And began to enjoy the wind, the feel of fire on my legs and in my lungs.

This is why I do this – for me. Let it stay that way.

Onwards!