Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

It's important to live in the moment and to not procrastinate or push things off until later because something unexpected could happen and you might just lose your chance forever.
As I look back on my life, there's lots of things I wish I would've done that are no longer an option for me now that I'm paralyzed. I wish I would've learned to play the piano. We didn't have a lot of money for extracurricular activities/lessons when I was a kid, so my mom said she would teach me if I wanted to learn. I played during the summer for a couple of years, but that was about it. I just didn't make practicing a priority. I'm sure I would've been more diligent and would've tried harder and taken it more seriously if I''d had a teacher other than my mom, but that wasn't an option.
I wish I would've learned to swim. I never had lessons when I was a child, and have always had a fear of deep water. My mom offered to pay for swimming lessons when my younger sisters took them, but by that time I was 15 and I didn't want to learn to swim with a bunch of little kids. I wish I would've taken the lessons when I had the chance. Of course in the end it wouldn't have really mattered if I would've learned to swim or play the piano since I was destined to become paralyzed, but I still wish I could claim them on my list of accomplishments.

[Something I DID do that I'm very grateful I did was go white water rafting when I was 17. My family was going on vacation and. I was terrified of doing it (largely because I didn't know how to swim). I was so scared that I almost didn't do it. My mom said it was up to me and I did go in the end. I'm so glad I did, especially since I would no longer be able to if I'd passed it up. If I hadn't done it I'd really regret it and would definitely look on it as a missed opportunity. Here's a picture to prove I did it (I'm the one with the yellow paddle). I'm glad I bought one a pic for proof!]
I should've learned how to do more things. For example, my younger sister Chandra has recently started crocheting and she makes it look so fun. I'm totally jealous of her moving fingers because I know I would enjoy it! It's such a relaxing hobby. I know the basics of crocheting, but I never got very good at it. Here's a picture of me doing a little crocheting over Christmas break, about 12 years ago when I was 17. (How young I look!)
I could've/should've been a better student. I got A's and B's for the most part, so it wasn't like I was a total slacker by any means, but I know I could've been so much better. I wish I would've tried harder and would've pushed for great instead of being content with good. I worked quite a bit at the movie theater through my junior and senior years of high school, so finding a balance between work and school/studying was hard. If I hadn't had a job I think I would've done even better, but I really liked working and wouldn't have wanted to give up my job.

I wish I would've gone away to college instead of commuting to college while living at home. I don't think I made the wrong decision, but sometimes I regret not having the whole college experience. I've never lived on my own and never will have the opportunity to since I'm now paralyzed and dependent on others for my every need. I just wish I would've lived on my own when I had the chance. No biggie in the end, but it just would've been nice to be able to say, "I did that."
Since I do wish I would've done more with my time before my accident, I try hard to not make the same mistake nowadays. I try hard to be productive and to not let my nervousness/timidity keep me from taking part in opportunities that come my way.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and re-live certain situations/scenarios of my life where I wish I would've tried harder, would've been kinder, would've exercised more self restraint, would've just been plain all-around better. (Not that I was a terrible person or anything... I just wish I would've been the kind of person where if I came up in conversation people would say' "Heather's the best: so helpful, so kind, so nice.")
There are no "do overs" in life. If you mess up you can't go back in time and redo whatever it is you've done poorly. The point of life is all about becoming a better person as you learn from the mistakes you've made, so you just have to recommit yourself to doing better in the future.
Guilt is one of the worst feelings in the world, in my opinion, and it makes it hard to forgive ourselves. But if you repent and make things right you should forgive yourself. Resolve to do better in the future and move on. Looking back or saying "what if?" only wastes the limited time we have left.
It's nice to know that tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities. We can always start again!


Kathe said...

once again I enjoyed reading this post. You have such a great positive energy.

Kellie said...

Love the blue and brown couch!

Lisa said...

I love your "from the heart" posts!

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