Invitations to an event or function will often include a “Regrets Only” RSVP. Meaning that if you are unable to attend, please let us know, otherwise if we don’t hear we will assume you’ll be there!
It’s not a bad thing to give our “regrets” to the inviter – a considerate response that assists them to adequately prepare the space, refreshments, entertainment needs, etc.
Then at some time or another we have received a, “We regret to inform you” notice of one form or another. Although this type of notification is usually disappointing and can even be life altering, how we respond to that notification defines us and our outlook on life experiences.
And although we don’t always have the ability to avoid less than favorable news, we do once again have a choice in how we respond to them and what changes in our future direction we may choose based on that outcome.
What are you thinking right about now?
Perhaps you’re remembering:
- An invitation to an event you couldn’t attend, but wanted to, and you sent your regrets
- An invite to something you wished you had a reason to miss (yes, we’ve all received this invitation on occasion or two lol!) and this time your regret was different…
- A letter of “there’s a better opportunity for you somewhere else”, often called a rejection letter for a job, or a credit card, or a loan (do you ever wonder if they really do regret to inform us or is it just a considerate way to say, “we wish we had better news but…?”)
- A telephone call that expressed regrets or less than favorable news
Living Life With Its End In Mind
There are many scenarios to describe regrets that in not so many words mean, “I wish it were different but…”
One scenario that comes to mind comes at the end of our lives, or at the end of the life of someone we care about.
“Wait!” I hear you say. “This is the beginning of a new year, why are you talking about the end of life?”
Because I believe our life each day should, in part, be handled with the end of life in mind.
If we truly understand that we aren’t promised tomorrow, we can live each day and handle each circumstance with care and consideration for ourselves and those around us.
This may mean giving “regrets” sometimes and other times may mean NOT giving “regrets” to an invitation and arranging our often busy schedule so we can attend. Or perhaps it means sharing a word with someone, not because it’s easy, but because it will mean something to them.
One memory that comes to me was at the hospital bed of a dear friend who had been like another grandfather to our kids when we first moved to Chillicothe.
He especially loved Noah, who was three when we moved here, and about 10 when this occurred.
As I shared a few moments with this friend and his wife, he struggled to say: ”So many things I want to say but can’t…” There was regret in his faltering voice. I assured him we loved him and knew he loved all of us, and that that was the most important. I let him know we were so grateful for the times we had shared with him over those few years and the times he had shared with his “little buddy,” Noah, who often ran across the street to find him and talk to him.
That time at his hospital bed, just a few days before he passed, was difficult but worth every moment and a reminder we should not live our lives with regret as long as we have the chance to make a difference in someone’s life and our own.
Living Life With No Regrets
So what does living life with no regrets mean to me? To you? I can’t determine that for you, only you can.
For me it means:
- Spending time with the One who gave me life and loves me unconditionally, opening my heart and mind, and listening.
- Doing a few less “things” that someone else can do or that perhaps really don’t need to be done at all, so I am available to share life, love, and encouragement with family and friends.
- Accepting an invitation with the inviter in mind, less me in mind (even if I’m tired).
- Doing the hard things in difficult situations, like visiting with someone going through a sad time, a severe illness, or sharing in someone’s grief when they’ve lost someone dear.
- Giving as much as possible when there is a need made known, and even a bit beyond my comfort.
- And above all, speaking a word of encouragement and love to those who have ears to hear and paying attention so not to miss the opportunity.
Will I have regrets? I know there are already some and that there will most likely be more in the future. But if I choose to pay attention and respond accordingly there will be fewer regrets, rather than more!
Will you join me in this endeavor?
I believe it’s a good life goal and one we can always strive to achieve while understanding that less is more: less regrets and more blessings for us and those around us!
Have a Happy and Blessed New Year 2018!
May we be attentive, may we listen more, may we act when it is needed, and may our choices bring blessings to those around us!
P.S. Does living with less regret for you mean learning new habits in your life that will bring improved health and even reverse a negative direction? If that is you, please join us at our “Healthy Happy Hour” with Monesa, our newest team member at New Image, and certified health coach on Jan 4th! Come and be blessed and encouraged with information that is available to help you on the path to no regrets!