Make sure you’re having fun and don’t worry about the mistakes you make. At 40, you’ll look back at your life and have a few regrets, it’s inevitable, but you’ll realize it just doesn’t matter. As long as you care and love the people around you, you’ll be doing just fine – A Very Wise Man
This is something my coworker shared with me today; something told to him by a very nice man in a bar in Scottsdale, Arizona (and as I aptly named him, a very wise man). It was a very appropriately timed quote to hear as I work towards letting go of being a people pleaser and letting go of the idea I have to monitor everything I do out of fear someone might be mad at me or judge me. This week has been a pretty remarkable in that way. I know I’m going to stumble but it’s felt so good to just let go of trying to be perfect and trying to be what I think everyone else wants me to be. I care less about what I say to people. I ask myself if an activity or choice is something I really want to do or is it something I would do just for someone else.
I had a couple of other thoughts this week that related very well to this man’s words of wisdom. I got invited over to a friend’s house the other night. I knew it was something that probably wouldn’t start until later so I wrestled a little bit with whether or not I wanted to stay up later than normal on a weeknight. But you know what hit me? I asked myself…when I look back on my life, what do I want to say? Do I want to say, “You know, I had a lot of fun and a lot of great memories with a lot of great people” or “Gee, I sure got a lot of sleep!” So it was pretty much a made decision at that point. I didn’t make it to bed until 12:30 but you know what? I had one of the most fun nights with my friends.
This really got me thinking about this whole “when I look back on my life…” idea. When I look back on my life I don’t want to say, “Man, I sure worked a lot of hours!” I don’t want to say, “I’m really glad I didn’t take any of those risks” or “I’m really glad I had all those walls built up around me for me so long.” I never want to find myself thinking, “I wasted so much of my life worrying about what people think of me.” I don’t even want to say, “I’m sure happy I pleased all those people.” I could keep going with this list, but you get the idea.
I like being the nice person, I do. I like being liked. I’d ideally like to limit the number of regrets I have and mistakes I make too but I also know what teachable moments regrets and mistakes can bring. Whatever happens, I know when I turn 40, I hope I’m sitting around nice people, maybe at a bar, buying them drinks and reminding them to live life to the fullest and they’ll be “doing just fine.”