What do you wish you spent more time doing Ten years ago?
Ten years brings many changes to life, I have changed jobs a few times, moved to new locations, and changed my entire outlook on life.
Looking back, it is kind of amazing that so many experiences came to me in the short period of a few years.
Now, like most people looking through the lens of experience, there are many things I wish that I had been doing earlier in my life. But all is a process and you have to follow them step by step. What seems like wasted time is really time to learn. A few of these lessons follow.
I Don’t Think I Thought Enough
One of the things that I really wish I spent more time doing was thinking. Not the egoic thoughts of judgment and criticism, I had plenty of those, but time spent in contemplating the wonder of life and how to live it and be happy doing it.
I spent way too many years just assuming that I knew the answers when I really wasn’t even aware of the right questions. It is an inevitable part of the aging process, that when you reach the 40’s you start to reevaluate your thoughts and you start to see through the cracks quite clearly because you are just not happy. Even though you did all that you were supposed to do.
However, I am also wise enough to know that I couldn’t have possibly spent more time thinking five years ago because I was not ready to absorb the lessons life had for me. In time, I can only hope that I am a willing receiver and am moving my thoughts in the right direction. Kindness, acceptance, and understanding.
Understanding Friendship Better
Friendship is a two-way street and I was the kind of person five years ago who thought that I had many, many friends. What I had were a lot of acquaintances who I shared a job or an interest in golf with but very few friends. I wish that I had invested more time in developing those relationships on my part.
When hard times come, you find out who you can count on and whom you can’t. I don’t blame anyone but myself for this realization. I think I just expected friendships to continue without any real investment on my part. Since all relationships are two-way streets I have to conclude that the disappearance of so many in a time of crisis has to be a reflection of my own contribution to those relationships.
I should have been investing more into those relationships a long time ago. There are so many people who I miss, to joke, and laugh with that my failure in this area was a significant shortcoming. I, of course, would never value friendship as much as I do today if I hadn’t had that experience. The friends I make in life and in the world are all so very cherished by me. I am grateful for every comment, thought, and reader that is shared with me. This would never have happened unless all friendship was lost. Sometimes it is lessons learned the hard way that lasts.
Not Doing It Alone
In all lives there are some dark and difficult times and mine were darkest and most difficult five years ago. There is little value in getting into the details because they don’t matter much. But I was in dire need of help then but did all that I could to avoid getting it. Those that cared about me I pushed away so that my depression and problems wouldn’t “bother” their lives. I suffered in silence and the key word here is suffered.
Suffering is a part of life, but it can be made much less difficult if you don’t choose to suffer all alone. There were plenty of people who were willing to help, but when you are in a hole you don’t see the value. At least not until long after the need for help is imminent. I should have asked for help and allowed others to help me. I did not.
This was a valuable lesson for me though I think as I read things people post about struggles that they are having, I am glad to offer support and encouragement to them because they may, in fact, be in a hole of their own. If they need help in how to get out. Hopefully, they know to just ask. I may not know the answer but I will attempt to help.
Ten years have brought a lot of change, I had never written a significant word of any kind in my entire life, I had never heard of a blog and I was shoulder deep in negative self-defeating thought. It has been an interesting time period and any wish to do anything differently is really just a wasted thought because all experiences are a gift that provided the lessons in life to become a better person, and for that I am grateful.