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Movie Quote Monday – Hook

As I’ve gotten older, particularly in these past few years, my greatest “did not do” regret is I did not nurture some of the most important relationships in my life.  And now it’s too late.  It’s over…and I missed it.

Moira:  It’s so fast, Peter.  It’s a few years…and it’s over.  And you are not being careful.  And you are missing it

This makes me think about my grandparents.  I wish that I had spent more time talking to them, asking questions and especially listening.  Because I didn’t really know them.  I loved them because they were my grandparents but, at least in the years I can remember, I knew them as…well, they were peripheral people in my life.  When I came in, I gave them a hug and a kiss.  When I left I said, “I love you.”  I spent the in-between time interacting with other people in the household, with aunts and uncles and cousins, people I had more in common with, people closer to my own age.  

On my mom’s side, there was mostly just my Nannie in the house, so I did converse with her.  But I was young enough that I don’t remember the conversations; I remember the feel of them, but not the words. What I would give to have a record of those talks, to have cared enough to pay real attention.  To have understood what I was letting pass me by.

The truth is I didn’t know my grandparents as individuals.  When they were still available to me, I chose to put my focus on other things.  And I think that we allow the same thing to happen with any number of relationships in our life.  We put our focus elsewhere, without thought, without realizing that, however much time we have, when it’s gone, that time will have been too short.

We only have so much of ourselves to go around, only so much time and attention, only so much energy and emotion to give.  These are resources that we are daily choosing how and where to use, and my question is, “Are we choosing well?”

I haven’t always chosen well.  Have you?

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Not nurturing my past friendships is also one of my biggest regrets. I’ve actually reconnected with some of those old friends on facebook and have had the chance to apologize and make up for lost time. Time does go so quickly . . .

    November 21, 2011
    • Time goes by very quickly, and faster every year. I’ve tried to find some of my college friends on facebook a few times with no luck. I do regret letting those connections go.

      November 22, 2011
  2. It is hard to choose well. I don’t know if we have more demands on our time than people did in the past, but it seems so. I find myself on the computer more these days. I use it for work, but then in the evening it calls my name and I spend more and more time on it. Not all of it wisely, I’m afraid. Thanks for reminding us to pay more attention.

    November 21, 2011
    • I think we do – more demands on our attention, anyway. My computer and the internet call my name continually. I needed the reminder, myself!

      November 22, 2011
  3. I love Hook. I love hearing stories from my grandparents. I recently asked my grandmother to write some of them down for me to read. I hope she does it!

    November 23, 2011
    • Hi Thoughtsy! If she doesn’t do it for you, I would definitely do it yourself. The best thing would be recording her telling you the stories. I can still remember the sound of my grandfather’s voice, but the others are faded. Recording would be easier for her and for you. Or videotape would be even better. Maybe you can write them down for her, in biography style, and give it to her as a gift.

      Whatever you do, don’t wait too long, and don’t wait on the hopes that she will do this herself. When you are my age, you will be so glad you did it. Other people told me this when I was younger and I paid it no mind. I truly wish I had paid more attention when I was able.

      November 23, 2011
  4. I definitely have not always chosen well. I know this will sound cliched, but in many cases I didn’t know what I had missed until it was long gone. Sadly, I think that often when I allowed relationships to die it was because I was too young to understand their import and/or I couldn’t see the consequences of my actions (or lack of actions) in real time. I don’t know if I can put this well on the spot (who put me on the spot? I guess I did!), but when I look back on my life I can see that half of the decisions I made–about whom to get to know, whom to love, which relationships to nurture, which career(s) to choose–came about without me even realizing that I was making them at the time. We can be pretty hard on our younger, more naive, confused and immature selves when we judge them through older and wiser eyes, with minds shaped by experiences that include those very mistakes we regret making. Even knowing this, we continue to regret lost opportunities. I certainly do.

    This was beautiful, Michelle!

    November 23, 2011
    • That’s a very kind thing for you to say!

      You are so right about learning from our experiences, how else to truly learn than through making the mistake yourself? I certainly didn’t learn from my parent’s mistakes – my dad told me way back then that I should talk to my grandparents and learn about their lives. But it didn’t make an impression on me. And I definitely have the same experience about making decisions on the fly – “without thought”. I have just lived my life, la di da, going about my business without really paying attention. I’m 42 and I’m just now starting to truly look at my life and make decisions about what I want from this life, what I want for my future. Now I’m stepping back into your post…interesting, huh?

      You have also reminded me that I meant to link the Regret Query to this one. That’s the one where I said I don’t believe in regret, basically because I believe that all of our life experiences make us who we are today, so how can I regret that? And then I said, but I do believe in regret, because I have them. But I don’t…wait…hmmm…I don’t know. So many things are like that – I don’t really know what I think, and I fall on a different side of the fence on any given day depending on the circumstances. But I think for me, it’s more what you said, “lost opportunities”. I don’t so much regret what I’ve done, as what I’ve left undone.

      November 23, 2011

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