Monday, February 22, 2016

You Only Regret The Chances You Didn't Take




I was out for my walk this morning when one of the old gaffers from the neighbourhood stopped so his dog could meet Ginny. Of course we ended up chatting for a while, well actually more than a while, because you know me, no conversation is ever brief.

It turns out he'd been meaning to say hello to me for weeks, in fact he'd even tried to catch up to me a couple of times when we were out walking, but apparently "for a shorty" I walk fast (that's what happens when you are being dragged by an 80 pound black lab). Some of the neighbours had told him who I was (it's like living in PMQs, only with retirees, everybody knows everything). He told me he often sees me out with the dog, and I always seem so happy. Apparently he didn't see me the day Ginny dragged me into the muddy ditch, I wasn't so happy that day.

As we were talking he told me a little bit about himself, and I discovered we have something in common. He's a widower. His wife of 53 years passed away three years ago, so he "can kind of understand what you've been going through. But it warms my heart to see you out there, living life. Life's too short to waste being miserable". Amen to that my new friend.

He moved to the neighbourhood last year too, "all the way from BC." Turns out he moved for "a girl" (he blushed when he told me). She lost her husband around the same time he lost his wife, and they'd all been friends, and "well you know, we decided why the hell not, we like each other, so I packed up and I followed her here, it was the best decision I ever made. You only regret the chances you don't take, you know. But I don't think I need to tell you that, you don't seem like the kind of person who will live life with many regrets. Something tells me you are going to have a wonderfully, happy life."

And there I am, on a Monday morning on Main Street in Wolfville, getting a hug from an old gaffer I've just met, crying because he's just so sweet and I'm once again reminded of how fortunate I really am. I wish all Mondays could start like that.

I've thought about our encounter a lot today. He's right, I really do try to live life without regrets. I make the most of every opportunity I'm given because I know I might never get that chance again. When I look back on my life, I don't want to say, I wish I had, I want to say, I'm glad I did, even if things didn't always work out. And sometimes they won't, and that's okay. At least I'll know I took the chance. Because like my old gaffer said, in the end, you only regret the chances you didn't take.


“IN THE END… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”~Lewis Carroll


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