The first day of the new year brings renewed optimism and hope. It should also bring some introspection about how we did last year. Undoubtedly, most of would like to be able to change a couple of things that didn’t go so well for us. Regret may play a part of how we process 2008.
I had an interesting conversation last week with my brother in law who is a funeral director. He remarked that regret is the toughest emotion to process during times of grieving. He has worked with hundreds of families who were in the process of saying goodbye to loved ones. The obvious common emotions are sadness, loneliness and depression. According to him, the core of sadness and aloneness is love. Because we love the person we have lost, we are sad. But the core of regret is usually bad decisions and conflict. If we are not careful, words or behavior that we wish we could take back will drive us crazy.
I suppose that is may be too idealistic to hope for a year of no regrets. It would be awesome to be able to look back at ’09 and realize no rotten choices that result in the nagging feeling of “I blew it”. Maybe I can get through today, maybe even this week, without messing up to the point of regretting my behavior. An entire year – well that’s probably over the top.
Just a little advice – some things I hope I can remember this year:
Don’t communicate with people you love while you are angry. I’m not talking about the “silent treatment”. I am talking about keeping your mouth shut when you should.
Don’t let your guard down concerning integrity and morals. One slip and your character and reputation is toast.
Don’t mistreat people. They are not dispensable.
Don’t neglect to communicate love.
Don’t be in such a hurry that you forget to do the basics.
2008 was pretty good, maybe 2009 will be better.