Last week the morning radio hosts I listen to talked about this article from Buzzfeed which suggests 27 things you won’t regret when you get older. I agree with almost all of them. The only one I take an exception to is # 7, but that’s because I was one of the few people who had a good time in high school AND didn’t peak there. You might have been the cool kid back then, but look at me now, bitches!
Oh, sorry. What was I talking about??
That’s right, regrets. If you’ve been here long enough, you know I don’t have them. That’s a lie. I have one – that I didn’t go forward with the trip to Europe right after college graduation. Stupid Al Qaeda for making this kid scared to go even further away from home following 9/11…
But that’s it. I’ve always gathered up the courage to quit the job that I knew was ridiculous and the money to take a weekend trip to New York City to go to a Yankees game with my dad even if it meant a couple of months of boxed mac and cheese. Someday, I’ll get everyone to think like this, but in the meantime, here are a few more things I don’t think you’ll regret when sitting in that rocker in the nursing home, plus a few things you will.
You Will Never Regret…
1. Eating the Cake at the Birthday Party
One thing I am learning from this clean eating challenge is that eating too healthy may be just as bad for you as eating crap. OK, eating crap 24/7 will always be worse, but there are some folks in the challenge that are suggesting habits that don’t seem smart, tasty, or feasible for the long-term. One cannot live on raw vegetables and grilled chicken alone.
If I were to never allow myself a glass of wine, a plate of French fries, or an ice cream cone, I would miss out on a lot of life experiences. Perhaps that’s what some people need to break lifelong bad habits, but a life sitting at home alone with a bowl of cauliflower while my friends are trying out a new sushi restaurant is not a life well-lived.
Eat the cake when there is something to celebrate. Then go for a walk. Eat a salad for the next meal. Quit feeling guilty and go live your life.
2. Taking A Walk With Your Old Man Dog, Feeble Grandma, Toddling Toddler vs Leaving Them Behind To Get A “Real Workout” In
Exercise is important, of course. For some, so is marathon training. You’ve got to make time in your life to reach your goals, but if that means you’re missing out on potential memories, then what’s the point. (Hmm… I see a theme here.) If it’s that important for you to do yoga each day, get up before the sun and get it done. You can do both, I promise.
3. Writing Your Great American Novel
See also: sewing your own wedding gown, building a cedar truck for your child, perfecting your pot roast recipe that will be handed down for generations, starting a nonprofit for a cause you believe in, etc.
To me, there is something important about tangible evidence that a life was worth something. Sure, having children you raised go out and become doctors and presidents is good, but could they have done that without you? Maybe. Have a hobby that no one else can take credit for. Create a legacy to leave behind that will make others smile as they think about your contributions to the world.
4. Saying Hello To The Stranger At The Grocery Store
Do this and you have courage. Courtesy. Grace. Positivity. I would argue if you say hello to strangers, it guarantees you are a good person. Bonus if you make a new friend and/or their day.
5.Taking A Picture At Every Occasion
The article does mention that you should take pictures at family functions, but I’d take it a step further and say take a picture every time you are out. Big event or little, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the coffee date or movie night on the couch may turn into the best memories. Wouldn’t it be great to have photographic documentation that the time really was that wonderful? Thanks to the ever-present smartphone, now you can keep that easily.
P.S. You only need one picture. Any more and you’re bordering on selfie territory. See below.
Good Chance You Will Regret…
1. Not Taking A Nap
Seriously, when has a nap ever been a bad idea?
2. Too Many Selfies
Anytime you take more than three pictures before finding the perfect shot to load to Instagram… yeh, you’ve lost “The Moment”. Now you’re just trying too hard on your duck face.
P.S. If you are over 14 or male of any age, you shouldn’t use the word “selfie”.
3. Eating Because You Are Bored
If you’re bored, go for a walk. Clean up the kitchen. Call your mom. Do something else, just don’t stuff your gullet. Unless its with carrots. If you’re bored and a bowl of carrots will do the trick, then have at it, Tiger.
4. Being Scared Of An Exercise Regime
Forget about a fit figure, if you don’t have some form of exercise in your routine, you run the risk of heart disease, osteoperosis, alzheimers, and all sorts of other scary stuff that may keep you from that rocking chair mentioned above. Work isn’t an excuse. Take a walk on your lunch break and breakthrough your writer’s block. Sweet! Kids aren’t an excuse either. Go out and run around with them. Time together and it’s good for your hips? Bonus!