Reframing regret, and other u-turn moments

I read somewhere recently that there were certain things that you should do in your 20s to avoid regrets in your 30s and 40s.

Well, it’s too late for me, I just turned 41, and so I read on to see what I had missed out on :D.

Number 1, Build the habit of eating healthily and exercising. Your body will thank you later.

Uhu, yep, I’ve not been good at this and, yes, my body is not necessarily thanking me.

Turns out motivation will only get you so far in life. Self-discipline is what will hold you in good stead and it isn’t always in ready supply. Eek! Note to self: every decision you make today will change your future. Think about it Linda! Think about it!

It is true though: eating real food, and being active is a great habit. I am already old enough to know recognize that strength and good posture is priceless.  Ok, ok, you got this girl. You can do this, Linda!

  1. Carefully choose who you spend your times with. You’ll be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.Or as my Dad would say, “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas”. It is much easier to see this with hindsight because hindsight is always 20:20, have you noticed? 😉.

I once had the misfortune of seeing a Police rap sheet on a person who came to Police attention young, and continued to have regular interaction with law enforcement throughout his short life.

We start out with such promise when we are children but I saw the degradation of this young boy’s lifestyle choices in the photos that were taken each time he was apprehended by police for a crime. He started associating with the ‘wrong crowd’ at an early age and the photos told the story ☹. It was incredibly sad; he went from fresh faced and smartly dressed, to bedraggled with sunken features. It must have been devastating for his parents to watch ☹.  For me, it was a really clear illustration of how every choice we make has a consequence.

  1. Understand that no one has it all figured out. Don’t place unnecessary stress on yourself by believing that you should have everything set in stone.

Well, hey, I’m feeling better about myself already!!  😊

Seriously though, everyone makes mistakes and you and or I are most likely the only people expecting us to be perfect.

  1. Polish your communication skills which will affect you for a lifetime. Communication skills are inherently important for every aspect of your life.

From personal relationships to business and employability, working on your communication skills will actually upgrade what you bring to the relational table and to the world around you. A win-win situation.

  1. Travel as much as you can. You’ll never find it enough. If you have the opportunity to travel, seize it.

I know this is crazy but last month we put together a 21 day trip in 7 days, and got on a plane on the 7th day, with our two youngest children in tow.  It was right for us to do that right then and we needed that time away. We visited London and Paris for the first time.  We also spent much needed soul-healing time in my husbands’ native Sweden where he was able to reconnect with old friends he hadn’t seen for, in some cases, 20 years, and also spend time with family where our children got to meet their Swedish cousins for the first time.

Travel is not always about covering vast differences. Our children have been to many parts of the state we live in and also other states in Australia. We try to take shorter, closer-to-home trips when we can. It is good for expanding the children’s minds and also for the family to have a change of scenery.

  1. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions. You never know when ‘they’ might not be here to listen.Hey, this can be a hard one but give it a go. When we make the choice to be gutsy and let love be the loudest voice we find that love is what comes back at us. Let your loved ones know you love them. Love is not love until you give it away. I’m pretty sure there is a minefield of gold waiting for you on the other side 😊.
  2. Take your work seriously but not yourself.Your work is your contribution to society. Perform to the best of your abilities. You are a carbon-based life-form, much like everyone else. Also take time out. Seriously! No one gets to the end of their life and wishes they had spent more time at the office.

In summary, no matter what age you are, and whether you are married, single, a parent or not, we can all benefit from spending time with great people, working on how we communicate, eating real food, being active, getting out there and having adventures.

Express yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. And hey, we go through seasons of life that can be quite challenging and all-consuming. For example, our beloved children who sometimes keep us awake overnight can leave us feeling worn out and too tired to think straight, let alone make life changes. I know what it is like; don’t be too hard on yourself!  Sometimes all we can take is a break for now, or little steps in the right direction.

Oh, and whenever we find ourselves going in a direction we don’t like we can always do a U-turn.

In life, U-turns are always allowed 😊.

Linda Alfredsson
Blog Administrator

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