No Regrets

Posted: October 1, 2013 in a lonely journey, September 28
Tags: ,

No Regrets

When I said last September that I was going into a self-imposed hiatus I wasn’t planning on turning unmaskd.com into a one-post-per-year site. Alas, that seems to be its present fate. If I keep going at that rate for another year or two, this site will be qualified for a honorary mention in The Guinness Book of World Records as a the least frequently updated blog that still gets some reads.

It remains to be seen whether we’ll get there, but at this point I’m not back yet. Not in full swing anyway. But I’m still around and I’m stopping by today for my annual September 28 post and just to say hi to everyone I’ve missed in the last twelve months. Traditions have any meaning only when they are followed and I’ve come to like mine. In fact, I became so attached to it that this year most of thinking I did on that day was about the tradition itself. I was trying to understand what made me look so eagerly to this day during the year. After all, pondering about one’s life doesn’t have to be limited to a specific date. In fact, in my case it isn’t.

And so, as I was trying to figure out why my anticipation of that day had felt like an equal mix of irritation and excitement, it occurred to me it had become a mix of the past and the future. A day to look at the things that I have done and the things I’m hoping to do. The screw-ups and the hopes of doing better next time. The pride of an accomplishment and the resolve to keep on going. It has turned into a day when despite every moment of weakness I still know I have strength. The day of a simple question: did I get the most out of these twelve months of my life? And so far, every time the honest answer to that simple question has been a deafening resounding NO. Just like it was this year.

But this time there was also something else. That endless struggle, that never-ending fight with the Sloth… what exactly was it all about? It had always seemed like an unavoidable side effect of a human nature, something fully recognized and immortalized by many philosophies and religions around the world. And yet, it’s just plain dumb. Fighting myself over control means that I have conflicting life goals. But I don’t. I really really don’t. There’s no conflict between a shining noble goal and instant gratification, between an ambitious objective and the Demon of Procrastination. Because — despite the poetic beauty of the double-soul concept — there’s just one person. One soul. One mind. And that mind is I. And there’s stuff I want to accomplish, that I want to experience, that I want to do. And if I choose to do something else… well apparently that’s what matters to me.

So at the end, it all comes down to being absolutely clear about what you really want. Those few things — maybe even one thing — that truly matter to you. It could be going after that dream. Or being with your family. Or making a ton of money. Or finding your soul mate. Or riding a bike like a pro. Or all of the above. But whatever these things are, they are the only ones worth living for. Really. They don’t have to sound noble or grand. You don’t need to justify them to others, in fact, to anyone. Even to yourself. You only need to be sure they are the things you truly want. Because they are the things that make you tick. And that ticking is your life.

And once you find those things, just fill your life with them. Sure, you’ll have to spend some time doing stuff you don’t like doing. We all do. But as long as you can fill your time — even one minute of it — with things of your choice don’t fill them with junk, no matter how shiny or easy or satisfying or grand it looks. And that’s the whole secret to living your life with no regrets. Because if you think about it, filling your life by choice with things that don’t matter to you is sheer insanity.

So where does this all leave me? Doing the things that matter to me. As much as I can. As long as I can.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. *“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart… And being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it! Be smart, be thoughtful and be generous…. * #quote

    Like

  2. dancergypsy says:

    Don’t everybody jump at once… Unmaskd made a surprise appearance..!! 🙂

    I guess everyone is still sleeping…

    Congratulations, sir! Looks like you’ve come a long way and made some additional realizations. I concur with all points. I think I could live by some of those thoughts. Actually I do! Those things that make me happy are like cravings. That’s how I look at things I want in life. For example, I don’t eat to snack. I don’t eat to make others happy, not even at gatherings or when food is free (like samples at grocery stores). I eat when I’m hungry. The kind of hungry you feel after working hard and setting your mind on exactly what you want. That’s how life is for me usually. I see something I want and I get hungry for it, or I change my mind if it turns out not being what I thought.

    Sometimes, I get a desire to eat a particular food and I’ll eat it for weeks and weeks. I ate beets every day for weeks once. That’s right, I ate steamed beets like they were apples. My hands were pink for days. Most people would get tired of eating the same thing for more than one meal, much less two, much less beets. Of course, I don’t really care how silly it is, because it suits me just fine. 🙂 When you start living like that, let me tell you, there’s nothing more satisfying and rewarding. It makes it a lot easier to do what is true to you.

    I’m working on being truer to that mind of I. I’ve come to realize some things that I thought were me, really aren’t, and other things I love are often kept a bit hidden. They are so much more a part of me than even my family realizes. The journey can be so romantic, trying to get to know yourself. That’s how I feel. I feel like I’m constantly learning how to make myself happy. It’s like a noble quest!

    I want to live until I’m ripe old with a zeal for what makes me happy, like Fred Beckey. I want to know exactly what I want in life and not stop until I literally can’t move. This short video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9d9Of1NJjs) touched me so much. It gave me tears to see this man, at 80, still following his dreams. His one desire at that age was to rock climb the Dolomites. He pauses for a time to rest his back, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. How many times do we young folk complain after a simple day’s work? Too many times. Needless to say, this man really inspired me.

    Climb on, my friend, climb on!

    Like

  3. dancergypsy says:

    P.S. I love the change. 😉

    Like

    • Dawn says:

      Great to hear from you sir. You sound like you are in a much better place these days. Living life to the fullest and doing what makes you happy is the best way to live. There will always be things we regret doing (or not doing) but you can’t live in the past. Instead you have to move on to tomorrow and make it a better day than the one before.

      Like

  4. I wish you could write more … I really like your texts! 🙂

    Like

  5. Diane Big says:

    Just today, I looked at my hard copy of your manifesto which I keep in my kitchen cupboard. I glance at it, occasionally, for encouragement. Keep on keeping on. Thanks for this annual post. : ) ❤

    Like

  6. Anonymous says:

    Iv looked at this a few times but hesitated to comment because I wonder if you read it,and if my comment is of value.But anyway,you sound in a much better place and I’m pleased that you are.I think you live in the fast lane too much.Life is a merry go round and just sometimes you have to get off and just watch the world go by.Good luck with your future but there is an option for a short time when things get just too much.One of my fave men made this song.Just listen and digest.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da69-pu_pqc

    Like

    • Thank you for your message!
      I watched the video you sent to me and I listened the song by John Lennon!
      I loved it!
      This song is linked to that you had written before, and to the feeling that permeates your mind and heart.
      You’re very good with words!
      I love all you write!
      And I share with you about these feelings …
      I would love that you continue writing when possible. Even if it is once a year.
      You’re a special person!
      And though to be a virtual friendship, I would like to keep talking with you.
      I quite understood your answer and your message through to the video.
      Unbelievable! Unbelievable!
      I hope we can keep in touch!
      Again, thank you very much!
      Be happy with your choices, your present and your future!
      Be always a dreamer, and show me your true colours!

      Like

  7. 9-28 has arrived again says:

    so I’m peeking in, anticipating to hear what you’ve unmasked in your thoughts and life in the year that has passed since your last post. How morbid that sounds. “A year that has passed” as if it was a year that had died. Let me rephrase it to “in the year continuing on in your journey in being you”. Like a dog wagging it’s tail and greeting you at the door after you’ve been away, I virtually, enthusiastically say, “it’s 9-28, it’s 9-28, It’s 9-28!”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s