Memories and regrets. Are they one and the same? You may so clearly remember moments from your childhood, your youth, or maybe your college years. Even though they may be from a long time ago, but they appear vivid and clear. You may bring these memories up often and just reminisce over them. But then there are things we call regrets. The “I should have” s or the “I wish I had” s or even the “I thought that was going to play out differently” s. Do you know what I mean?
This is from summer 1972 – I actually remember this moment baking with my mom…sitting on the kitchen counter.
For instance, I thought I would have a gaggle of college friends that I gathered with year after year. Maybe spent summer vacations with or winter holidays. But it didn’t work out like that. And sometimes I beat myself up wondering what did I do wrong? But I didn’t. Life just played out differently.
I need to reflect at the people that have come into my life since then. The people who have made my life better. The people who have been friends through different seasons. Those are the memories I created and continue to create. Those are the things in the now that I will remember five, ten, twenty years from now.
And what about the memories we are making right now. The stories we will tell to our grandchildren, or nieces and nephews about when their mom and dad were younger and the crazy things they did.
That is the thing with memories. You don’t know when you’re really making one. Oh sure… we see all the things on Pinterest and read all the blogs that tell us to “make a memory”. And yes, I think you can facilitate that. But what REALLY makes a memory in your mind? Is it something you conjured up because you dictated a scenario? That, my friends, is a recipe for disappointment.
Maybe it occurs when you allow yourself to truly be. Be in the moment. Enjoying the present. I really don’t know. I don’t have an answer.
I’m driving to the grocery store this morning as I speak these words into my phone. The sun is just beginning to peek through the clouds. It’s glorious. An inspiring moment. A small gift for my Monday. I’m on my way to purchase food for yet another Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving with my children. Thanksgiving with my parents. I have always had dreams of a table filled with friends and family and people coming from all over. That’s the dream I created in my head. A desire. A want. But instead, I have smaller more intimate Thanksgivings. Laughter. Family craziness. Dogs. That’s what I’ve been given. It’s perfect. That is the memory that I not only need to embrace. But hold. Treasure. Love. My memory. My thankfulness to carry into my future.
My encouragement to you as you travel into yet another crazy holiday season is to dump the regrets. Dump the shoulds. And be in the present. Be with the people who are right in front of you. Even if it’s only one person. Be there. Shine your light into their life. And let their light shine into yours. I’ve let too many moments pass because I was wishing for something different. Or something I had conjured up in my mind. That’s foolishness. I need to look at my today and my now.
I am so ridiculously excited about this Thanksgiving. With my children. With the people that I have had the privilege of giving birth to. With my new daughter-in-law. And with my parents. That’s the blessing. That’s my thankfulness. My memory to come.
And also. I’m so thankful for this space. Space to write. Space to express my thoughts and my feelings. And for each and every one of you who might stumble across my words. I’m so very grateful.
Expectations are the killer of joy. And I refuse to let my light and my joy be stomped out. God has been too good, too faithful, and there’s been too much grace in my life to not allow myself to shine.
And that goes for you too. Shine sweet friends because your light is very bright. Be in the now. This season may hold an unexpected memory. You don’t want to miss it.
all my love, lisa