Saturday, April 18, 2009

Memories and Regrets

I was over at my Mom's last night and happened upon one of my sisters' high school yearbooks. We're three years apart, with her being the oldest. Her last year in high school was my first. The yearbook that I found laying out was from her Senior year. Naturally, I picked it up and started leafing through it.

I'm not a person that leans toward sentimentality, so this is not something I do often. Honestly, I only owned this one particular yearbook and threw my copy away sometime back. High school was not my favorite period in life. I was a rebel to say the least and my interests led me in other directions, but that's another story!

Browsing through these pages brought back so many memories. About half of the people pictured had been in Middle school with me and many attended the same Elementary school, as well. Some I hadn't thought about in years and a few I still see from time to time.

As these memories came rushing back, I was struck by how vivid they were. Some seem like they occurred just yesterday. The reality is that my freshman year was 19 years ago! That hit me like a ton of bricks - almost 20 years have passed since I began high school. I have officially spent more time on this earth as an adult than as a child...ouch! I'm old!

When did this happen?
Where did the time go?
What have I achieved?
Where is my life going from here?

The truth is that I'm not sure when it happened. Honestly, I feel like I was running around without a care in the world a few months ago. I can see the results of my life daily in the lives of my children but, what about the rest?

Have I achieved the goals I had set for myself in school? Not really. I veered off track quite early by becoming a teen mom at age 15. Before that time I was sure that I would be a world traveler and possibly take over the world one day. (As you can tell, I didn't lack confidence!) I always felt that I would be financially set by age 30 and ready to live my life solely for my own entertainment.

The reality:

  • I haven't been outside of the U.S.

  • I lost the confidence I once had somewhere around 18, settled for less than I should've many times over, and only recently regained this strength - through the grace of God.

  • I'm in my early 30's and am far from being financially set.

Am I disappointed? A little. I wish I'd had the strength and courage long ago to continue on the path of my dreams. I wish I'd taken more time with my family and children to enjoy life along the way.

However, I've discovered that I've grown through these experiences. I no longer care about big houses, fancy cars, or plush living. I just want to be happy, healthy, and have time to serve others!

Many of us are faced with disappointments and discouraging factors daily. I think what matters the most is how we handle what we're given. Do we let these disappointments drive us off course or do we learn from them?

Where am I going from here? I'm not sure. I haven't attempted to make a plan in over 5 years, which is far too long. This is something I'll be working on this week - my goals, personally and familial. I challenge you to do the same. It's harder to be driven off track if you have a current map of the trip you need to take!


Thomas said...

Okay, first things first - I want to hear about those rebelious years. You Tease!

Sounds like you need a new list of Pre-50 goals. *There's a young buck at work, all of 26 years, working on his bucket list*

I've been outside the USA - it's not all that.

You never lost your confidence, you just placed in on hold for more important things. Now you can start focusing on YOU.

Very few 30 somethings are financially set. Heck - very few 40 - 50 - 60 - 70 year olds are financially set.

The grace of God makes you a winner in all those age brackets and more.

Okay - Make youself 5 reasonable goals by this coming Wednesday. I don't care if one is a brand new pair of walking shoes.

Misci - This is the name of Danita's Pre-50 List.

Thumperdd said...

Thomas, I just love you! You're so insightful.

Last week I was thinking about making a Bucket List, myself! How funny!

Thank you for taking time out of your life to make others lives better...


Splendid Little Stars said...

Well-said, well thought out. The thoroughness of your thinking says you are farther along the path of understanding the true purposes of life than many. Remember, God puts dreams in your heart, but he doesn't always fulfill them as we imagine.

Thumperdd said...

Thanks, Splendid!

We talked about that this past week in our Bible Study class. My friend Ruth said that it's always important to remember that God answers in His own way, in His own time and not a moment before.

Sometimes we have to pull back and do an assessment to truly see His work in our lives, because things don't always occur the way we imagined. I found that out when I prayed for patience. Boy was I sorely tested for weeks!