Living With No Regrets

Today’s offering is from Inspiring Quotes; a website that is becoming a favorite of mine. The daily quote often makes me stop and ponder the message, and I think it’s good to ponder now and then. Often, the quote I read on the website will stir enough thoughts that I’m compelled to write about the topic.

Here’s a recent quote of the day: “The only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough.” Ted Hughes

How true that is

And how important it is to have few regrets when coming to the end of one’s life. I learned this while working as a hospital chaplain, and I’ll always be grateful to a work colleague who encouraged me to live boldly. I was going to take a safer path when making a major move in my life, and she encouraged me to think about what my heart really wanted.

My heart wanted to live out in the country and play farmer, and I got to do that for about 15 years before I had to move back to a city. But I had those years and now have sweet memories of the country place; the good times my husband and I had there, especially when kids and grandkids came to Grandma’s Ranch. And, through those years, I had my critters who were great company for a few years after my husband died.

Having no regrets is equally important when a loved one is making that final journey. When I was working as a chaplain in a hospital in Omaha, NE before moving back to Texas, so many times I saw the stark contrast between families that had healthy relationships and those that did not. In the latter camp, some family members would cry hysterically, throwing themselves on their mother’s bed, begging her not to go and leave them.

In the camp of the former, family members would take a deep breath, swallow hard, and tell Mom that it was okay for her to go.

In those situations, there was often a stark contrast in the patients, too. The mother that was being clung to was often agitated, needing medicine to relax her in those waning hours. The mom being reluctantly let go was much more peaceful, requiring a lot less medication.

When I sat down to write my blogpost, I didn’t intend to write about death and dying. My intention was to write something inspiring. There are so many good quotes from Inspiring Quotes to chose from. Quotes that life us up, connect to our hearts and souls, but when the quote from Ted Hughes popped up, I let it percolate for a while and this is what I came up with.

While writing nonfiction is different from writing fiction, there is an element of both that is constant; sometimes in the process of writing, thoughts and ideas just start taking the writer down a different path than intended. In both cases, when that happens to me, I’ll step away from the work for a day or so, then come back to make sure I want to stay on that path. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I turn around and start in a new direction.

Today I stayed on the original path

What I share here may not be at all what poet Ted Hughes had in mind when he penned his quote, but I think living boldly applies to writing, too. Dare to write what your muse gives you.

Now a little about Ted Hughes, taken from the Inspiring Quotes site: An English poet, Hughes is best known for his stark, no-frills writing on the natural world, which explores the inherent wild nature of both animals and humans. Hughes wrote numerous poetry collections and children’s books, and is also remembered as the husband of the renowned writer Sylvia Plath. Hughes’ words here remind us that taking risks is an essential part of living. With every chance we take, we make ourselves vulnerable to failure and hurt. But at the end of the day, we’re more likely to regret a life lived too cautiously that we didn’t enjoy fully.

That’s all from me for today, folks. Busy week ahead with some writing, physical therapy, and helping my daughter medicate her cat. I knew all those years I worked at a Vet Tech many moons ago would come in handy. I can still slip a needle in under the skin easy-peasy, as long as someone is holding the cat. 🙂 Whatever you have on your agenda, I hope you have a happy, productive, and satisfying week. Stay safe. Be happy.

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