Make Friends With Your Regrets

Two Sunday’s ago we had a guest minister (Rev. Wayne Olson). The subject of his sermon was “How to Get Out of a Rut.” I think we all, at times, feel like our life has gotten into a rut, and we are at a loss on how to change it. I wrote down the things he suggested, and I would like to pass them on to you with the hope they will guide you if you need help.

  • Assume responsibility for your life
  • Believe you can change
  • Make friends with your regrets (what a novel concept!)
  • Clarify what you really need
  • Stop worrying about what others say
  • Stop waiting for ideal circumstances
  • Do something bold and dramatic, refuse to procrastinate
  • Do it now

I have promised myself that I will store these points somewhere in the dusty bins of my brain and use them whenever I get that “rut” feeling. As our minister pointed out, you are in a rut when you can take your hands off the wheel of your life and it travels, unassisted, down life’s highway.

 When my boat capsized last month, I lost my cellphone (it doesn’t like water) and my wallet (same reason). My wallet needed replacing anyway. It’s pretty bad when you pull your wallet out to extract a credit card, or money, and it has staples placed at strategic places to hold something together. For some reason, I am reluctant to replace my wallet. Maybe, it’s because over the years, it has shaped itself to fit snugly to my hip, or it has become soft and pliant. For whatever reason, I normally keep the thing until I am ashamed to pull it out of my pocket.

 One of the very nice attributes Jerilyn has is whenever you tell her you need to do something she helps wholeheartedly. I told her I needed to replace my wallet, and it immediately went to the top of her ToDo list, so off we went searching for wallets (at the best price of course). I must have looked at two dozen wallets. After a while, I became confused and had no idea what I had looked at previously and which ones I preferred. Unwilling to let Jerilyn see my confusion. I decided to pick one at the very next rack we encountered. I am now the proud owner of a new black wallet that is a mite too big for me to extract easily from my pocket. I have to become a contortionist to get that darn thing out of my pants. I keep thinking that it will get smaller as time goes by, but I’m quite sure that is not true.

 My cellphone (the Krave that got wet when I went for a swim) had to be replaced since it failed to respond to my efforts to get it up and running. I called Verizon to see how much it would cost to replace it ($240-normally $300). I looked on Craig’s List and found several in the area, with prices ranging from $125$200. I finally bought one from a local resident for $80. It works fine and I am very pleased with it. I guess the point here is, if you want to buy something for 1/3 retail and are determined, you can do so. I have had a few disappointments using this technique, but a good buy will easily wipe out any previous loss (or doubt). This is not for the faint of heart.

 I recently decided that my old 1996 Dodge Ram needed a new paint job. Paint had started to flake off in various places, and it had begun to be a little tattered and worn (sorta like me). Being two-toned (white/gray), I knew, would cost more. Freddy’s (a local paint shop about a mile from the house) wanted $2500 (ouch!). I could not bring myself to put $2500 into a paint job for a $4000 truck. What to do? I called our local Earl Schieb franchise and took our truck in for an estimate. Earl says, “I can paint your truck for………$725!). I really tried to keep that big smile off my face (you know, like they do in poker). That sparkling, beautiful, truck is setting in our driveway, and I smile every time I walk by it. Hey, pretty things make me happy.

 As I looked back over this missive, trying to detect misspelled words and grammatical errors (which I am not very good at doing), I noticed that several of my musings were about the price of something. That got me to wonder if, maybe, what I paid for something was being given to much importance. I know that when I was young that was very important to dad. He always got delight from buying something at a ridiculously low price. It could be that each time I buy something on the cheap I’m saying, “Hey Dad, whatta you think of that price?” Of course, I’m probably not saying anything to him when the purchase turns out to be a dud.

 I ran across this in an article and wanted to pass it on to you:Large-scale studies have shown that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90-95% of all heart diseases. Thus, the disease that accounts for more premature deaths and cost’s Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable, and even reversible, simply by changing lifestyle. What we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke cigarettes, how much exercise we get, and the quality of our relationships and social support may be as powerful as drugs and surgery in treating (not just preventing) many chronic diseases. I certainly was unaware of this fact. Guess I need to push harder to lose more weight. Jerilyn says I’m losing brain cells because I’m not getting enough sleep (at least seven hours per night she says). If I lose more weight, I guess I’ll just be an old fool.

 Well, that’s all for now. I hope you have enjoyed reading my monthly missive, and I look forward to writing you again. Enjoy whatever season it is in your part of the world.

    “Being on a boat is like being in jail–with a chance of drowning…Samuel Johnson