Living in the Past


MistakesI prefer to leave my past, well, in the past.  It’s not that I was bound, tortured, and left for dead, I just believe my mistakes, failures, bad choices,  and regrettable actions should stay behind me.  Sort of like the devil.

However, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned (content?) to repeat it.”  Apparently, we are supposed to take our past out every now and then, dust it off, and learn from it.

Here are ten things I’ve learned from my past:

  1. Don’t over stay your welcome.  No matter how charming your company is, everyone needs a break.  Even dogs get annoyed when you interrupt their routine.
  2. Not all good things come to an end.  They may hit a bump in the road, they may insanely veer off into a different direction, but a good thing only ends when you slam on the brakes.  The choice is yours.
  3. It takes two to argue.  As hard as I try, it is impossible to argue with myself.
  4. Know the difference between a friend and an acquaintance.  You can’t call a friend for bail money because they are either right beside you or are scrambling to provide you with an alibi.  Acquaintances have bail money.
  5. Make peace with your family.  You don’t have to be best friends, but realize they are who they are, and like it or not, they helped shape who you are.
  6. Don’t try to change people.  If you think s/he would be perfect if only… either accept the “if only” or move on.
  7. Realize you aren’t perfect.  You will make mistakes, however, if you keep making the same mistakes it’s time to reevaluate your behaviour.
  8. Don’t beat a dead horse.  No matter if it’s a job, a friendship, or a relationship, if it is damaging your mental or physical health leave sooner rather than later.  You will end up hating yourself for staying, and you will end up more damaged the longer you stay.
  9. Don’t be a cheater, and don’t help someone cheat.  If you don’t want to be with a person any longer, allow them the dignity to walk away.  If someone is cheating on their spouse/significant other, why would you want them?
  10.  Own your mistakes.  As ugly as the truth may be, a lie or shifting responsibility is uglier.

And here are five things I’m struggling to learn:

  1. hakuna-matata-symbolBreathe.  Stop analyzing and worrying about everything.  Breathe and enjoy the moment.
  2. Not everyone arrives at the station at the same time.  Some people take longer to reach their destination, but if the trains are on the same tracks, everything will be okay.
  3. Let the good people in.  No matter what happened in the past, not everyone is out to get you.  The people who like you and don’t want to hurt you are the people who are always around.
  4. Don’t force the issue.  Stop, back away, evaluate, improve, try again.
  5. God doesn’t make junk.  My priest was fond of saying this when he would find me weeping in the church.  It’s a hard philosophy to believe.

What are your lessons?

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4 responses »

  1. I like this, a lot. And I find myself nodding “yep” to quite a few of these myself. I think the biggest thing I have to work on right now, is that it’s ok to want to help those who have a hard-luck story… but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. I’m a sucker for the sob-stories, & have ended up with 2 extra roommates I had no desire to have, & can’t afford. (Friends of my daughter)

    I’m so glad you commented because I lost you!

    The roommate issue is certainly one that should be on the list…I’ve had 2 roommates in my life and both ended badly (I see a future post here). I have learned that if someone is “homeless” there’s probably a good reason to leave them that way.

  2. [Make peace with] Family: I’ve gone from empty-nester to taking in/raising our 3 grandkids ( Oh, yeah, and their father) – but it’s all good, kids are happy and thriving. That’s all that matters.
    Good wishes to you, your friends, dogs and house as well.
    Keep on posting!

    I complain that I’m alone, but there may come a time when my children show up in the night with grandkids. One never knows.

  3. I’ve learned to not ask the questions I don’t want the answer to.

    “You want the truth?! You can’t handle the truth!” I learned long ago not to ask questions when I’m not ready for the answers. Sadly, you can’t keep people from volunteering the information you aren’t ready to process. When this happens, the opposite of hilarity ensues.

    I’ve learned that sometimes, the family you wish you could make peace with in #5, is actually the dead horse you have to stop beating in #8.

    I thought of you guys when I wrote that one and was careful with my wording. I’ve had my own difficult peace to make and it’s an ongoing process.

    I’ve learned that you really can hold grief in one hand and joy in the other and not lose your mind.

    I’ve learned to always trust my gut.


    I like the picture – I don’t want a PhD in my mistakes, either. :)

    Sometimes I feel like I’m earning one.

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