Second Chance to do it right….
I wish I could travel back in time and do things differently. Unfortunately, that’s impossible.
Is this what happens when we turn 65, or am I overreacting? Maybe it’s the holidays. No parents this year, both are gone. No more dinners to share, shopping trips or funny moments.
Grown children now parenting parents, helping them transition to the next chapter of their lives. If you are lucky, your parents are around this holiday season.
Are there baby boomers reading my blog that feel the same way?
“A second chance doesn’t mean anything if you didn’t learn from your first.”
We Can’t Pick Our Family
Being a good parent doesn’t come with a handbook. Neither does being a good adult child to an aging parent. Siblings aren’t always helpful which leads to anger and resentment. Our aging parents don’t realize they may need a little extra help and can become just as resentful toward their grown children.
Last Christmas feels as though it were yesterday. My mom was miserable and sick and I was trying to work a full-time job and take care of her. If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know that my siblings weren’t much help.
Me lashing out didn’t help matters, but at the time I wasn’t thinking some day my mom would be gone. Saying and doing things out of that frustration and anger didn’t help the situation. I remember thinking, “why did I do that?” Or “why didn’t I do that?”. I have no excuse, only that I was pretty damn tired and the whole situation sucked!
I regret that whole year and I’ve been thinking about my past mistakes. If only I could get a second chance.
For instance, I regret:
- Marrying at a young age. However, I have three great kids as a result of that marriage. The lesson learned? Don’t get married so young, live a little first.
- Working when I graduated high school. I didn’t think I’d be working beyond my 60’s. I could have used a little me time and maybe travel.
- I didn’t learn about finances and investing. I could have retired earlier than planned.
Life doesn’t come with a guarantee of happiness and success. Our circumstances didn’t just “come to be” out of the blue. I believe each of us has a “grand scheme” designed just for us. It’s like watching a movie and I’m the leading lady. That’s why I don’t think there are “second chances” or “do-overs”. Maybe that second chance is really a lesson learned from a past mistake.
There are many, many different people in the world. I believe we have lessons to learn from whoever we interact with. Have you ever felt after you’ve met a person that you have met before but don’t recall where? I have. Some friendships are meant to be. They turn out to be the most meaningful, fulfilling and lasting friendships through thick and thin.
Maybe I wasn’t meant to get along with everybody in my family because life was preparing me for circumstances beyond my control. Now that those circumstances have come to pass, I realize indeed, my past was preparing me for my future.
Grow and Learn
I listen when speaking with an older adult, even if it’s a passing stranger, because what they have to say is important. After all, they have lived a very long time and certainly have experienced more than I.
Had I listened when my mom and dad were alive, my life could have been different. I surmise it was supposed to play out this way so I would reflect on the past in order to accept what the future has in store for me.
Every day is a gift to be shared with family and friends. For those of you whose parents have not passed on, enjoy their company this holiday season and listen to their stories. Who knows, there may be a lesson for you to learn.