No Regrets

"Love is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Yesterday I spent some time with mom for her 74th birthday. She always gets excited like a little girl on her big day, which is rare for many people. Dad was there and feeling much better. He was joking around, trying to hit me with his cane and being his ol’ sarcastic self again. He’s appetite finally came back too. At 3pm, the nurse and the social worker from hospice came over to check on him. As he was speaking to the social worker, he mentioned all the things he did in life, like running the fish market, a restaurant, had his own excavation company and made foundations for many, many homes around the area. He said to her, “Don’t get old. It goes just. like. that,” as he snapped his fingers. “One day, you own your own business and do well with it for years, and then it’s gone...just like that.” I didn’t know how to respond to it and thought the social worker wouldn’t have any words for it either, until she said, “Be proud of all you’ve done in your life, Charlie. Look at how many people have strong foundations for their homes because of you. Look at how many people have enjoyed a seafood dinner because of you. Look at the family you raised. Be proud.” My father’s eyes lit up and I can see it definitely lifted his spirits. I wouldn’t have even thought to have said that other than listen to him. This woman didn’t rush out or didn’t give me the feeling that ‘this was just a job’ to her. She was amazing. What a challenging career, for some. But for her, it’s who she is. It just comes natural.

What a wonderful thing to not look back on your life and say, “I coulda’ woulda’ shoulda’”, and sincerely be content and still excited about everything you’ve done over the years. We all have our lot in life, whether it’s a home maker/stay at home mom, carpenter, cashier, banker, doctor, lawyer or volunteer worker. Our “lot” in life may not be our career itself, but it could mean being the difference in somebody else’s life. God didn’t create us just to sit behind a desk from 9-5, although it may be our stepping stone to get from point A. to point B.. We’re meant to do so much more - in terms of “our purpose” here. A quote in Ecclesiastes says it all: “Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work--whatever they do under the sun--for however long God lets them live. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life--that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.” I hope to one day live to be 75 years old and have absolutely no regrets in life like my parents.

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