Dreams are nice but reality can be better. So much better. Bottom line— regret (in any of its varied forms) sucks. Woulda, shoulda, coulda should never replace did: as in I did it—not I woulda, shoulda, coulda done that. Does that make sense?
Seven years ago I thought my life had come to an end: divorced, jobless, homeless and bankrupt. I was sixty-four years old. I’ve told my story many times on this blog—I rose out of the ashes like the mythical Phoenix bird.
I reinvented myself. As I write this post I am seventy-one years old and in Calais, France. I was sitting on the beach yesterday afternoon and I could see the White Cliffs of Dover a short distance away across the English Channel. I think of the experiences brother Joel and I have shared over the last seven years and I feel blessed—blessed that I was given a second chance at life. I’m not always ecstatically happy nor am I perpetually sad and morose. Usually I’m pretty dang content—and content is good enough. Emotions come and go like waves upon the beach but contentment has staying power.
Today is a milestone of sorts—I just collected my 1,000th blog subscriber. When I started this blog back in 2011 I never thought it would garner any particular interest—it was more a personal journal of introspection and soliloquy. Without over-romantising it: it was (and is) one man’s search for truth. God knows I don’t have all the answers, truth be told I’m not sure I have any answers at all, but something seems to have resonated out in the blogosphere. To live a deliberate life takes work and it’s not always easy but it’s worth the time and effort. So I extend to you this invitation.
I invite you to live your life with deliberation and determination. Eliminate the woulda, shoulda, coulda and replace them with will, do and did: I will, I do, I did. Convert your dreams and passions to action—it’s simple but not easy. Simple does not mean, much less guarantee, easy. Anything worth achieving in life requires effort: work, time and courage. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort (and courage) I think you will end up with fewer regrets in life. To know yourself, truly know yourself, is the purpose of this confusing situation we call life. I invite you to accept the challenge.
Field Notes: The Muppet Brothers have nine more days in Calais, France before hoisting their rucksacks once again. We typically travel by the seat of our pants with very little planning but Europe is a different animal. It’s complicated. There are three components to European travel: 1. Schengen Countries (a total of 90 days within a 180 day period), 2. United Kingdom (6 months) and 3. Non-Schengen countries (varies by country). We will have to decide what countries we want to visit and then plan our time accordingly. It takes some of the spontaneity and serendipity out of the equation but we’ll mange. SFD