Tip of the hat for today’s topic goes to Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council. I first met Mark in passing years ago as a friend of the folks who ran Nothing Strikes Back. A few years back, I ran into him again and had the opportunity to ask him a question I’d been wondering about.
About an hour drive west from Austin, a sign popped up sometime back around a small set of buildings calling the place “Blumenthal.” Somehow connecting that place with the herbalist fellow — who had at one time lof before lived west of town — I figured he must’ve secured the right to name his own small community. No, he explained when I asked him, although he did have the opportunity to purchase the name and properties.
Roughly paraphrasing his words, he told me, “That is one of my — I don’t use the word regret. It seems to imply I would want to change something. But that might change where I am today and I would never want to risk that. So, I don’t regret things — but I do have a few laments. And I do lament passing up that opportunity.”
How perfect! It is too true that I have made mistakes. I have done hurtful things. I have made bad decisions. In that sense and when I look back at those things, it would be easy to express regret about my actions or what happened to me or any number of things. But had I made any of those decisions differently, it’s possible everything afterwards would have been different. Meaning I would have ended up in different circumstances, likely in a different place quite literally, doing something entirely differently with a different family — or none at all.
No, thank you. I love my life. With all its problems, issues, and flaws, I love my life as it is now. And I would not trade it or change it for any other life. All of my decisions — good ones, bad ones, indifferent — contributed to making me who and what I am and what my life is now.
Sara Hickman captured this realization beautifully in her song, “A Woman Waiting to Happen,” with this lyric:
My mistakes brought me to this place
Where the flowers replaced the thorns
So although I may lament some lost opportunities along the way, count me as someone happy to move past those missed moments or mistakes.
Count me as someone with no regrets.
I like the way you think!