Live and Love Without Regret

Mary Oliver, Elaina Avalos, Live Well Be Well, Wild and precious life

The great thing about getting older is that you start to hone in on what really matters. If you’re seeking answers and determine to live authentically, that is. Because you could definitely chase poop that doesn’t matter, right on until your last days. But if you are truly seeking to live out your best life, I think you find with time, that some things just don’t matter anymore. And sometimes that means you’re okay looking like a fool to everyone else – while doing, saying, and living as you feel compelled to.

The older I get, the more certain I become about what I do & don’t want to give my time to anymore. I also know that I can’t stomach regret. Through therapy and some tough knocks the last couple of years, that is becoming even more clear. I’ve promised myself to live a life without regrets.

Recently, I went down a rabbit hole of regret when I was second guessing sharing my heart openly, with someone I cared about. I shared my heart with him and there was no response, (which is a response). It sucked. That’s the thing though, I don’t want to make space in my heart or mind for regret. I told him because I promised myself I wouldn’t live with regrets. I didn’t want to figure out what came next for me, without telling him how I felt. And while that didn’t really work out for me, what’s worse is always wondering. I have my answer through his silence.

We can trick ourselves, when things don’t work out the way we’d hoped, that maybe we’ve made the wrong call. But the truth is, sometimes the gift is in the practice of trying, stepping out onto the limb, or trying something we’re terribly afraid to try. The more we exercise this muscle, the stronger it becomes, and the easier it is – when those moments of self-doubt pop up – to squash them. We only have this one life to live. I can’t fill it with regret. You can’t fill it with regret. None of us should.

At 45, I’ve spent the better part of 20 years around a young crowd. I haven’t had kids of my own. And something about those two things, has kept me feeling pretty young in many ways. But where I am happily feeling my age is in figuring out what matters and where to focus my energy and time. Now more than ever, that means to live and love without regret.

So – as I look toward my future, there is freedom in choosing each day to live my one, wild and precious life. If I’m focused on living fully – no matter where it takes me (even if it’s in the city I least want to be in), I’m able to see the beauty in each day. Life is not some far out thing that happens “someday.” It’s now. I refuse to look back someday with the realization that life was happening all around me and I missed it. I just won’t do it. The older I get the more certain I am that our opportunities for the life we want are in the every day choices we make now.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
—Mary Oliver