Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Any regrets?

.

I recently saw a promotional announcement for this book which is to be published in October. I'm not exactly sure what it's about, and I doubt that I'll buy it and find out.

However, I was struck by the subtitle.
Coping with Unrealized Dreams and
Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life

Even though I know that I'm blessed -- I have a loving family and good health; I'm relatively well-educated; for a number of years I made a lot of money; I've been fortunate to travel almost everywhere I ever wanted to go -- I'm continually paralyzed with the realization that there's a lot that I thought I would do and/or accomplish that's just not likely to happen.

At what point can you no longer wonder about what you want to do when you grow up?

* * *

I've always been a fan of Harry Chapin and his music. Why? I'm not sure. His songs are almost always about unrealized dreams.

One of my favorites is Mail Order Annie. Unlike many of his songs this one has a happy ending. It's an incredible testament to accepting what you've been given and being grateful for it.




.

10 comments:

Harry Chapin said...

At first I did not think it could be you.
But you're the only one that got off the train.
So you must be my wife Miss Annie Halsey
Yes, I guess I am your husband, Hello I'm Harry Crane.

Mail Order Annie, never mind your crying.
Your tears are sweet rain in my empty life.
Mail Order Annie, can't you see I'm trying
To tell you that I'm glad you're here,
You are the woman who's come to be my wife.

You know you're not as pretty as I dreamed you'd be,
But then I'm not no handsome fancy Dan.
And out here looks are really not important.
It's what's inside a woman when she's up against the land.

Mail Order Annie, never mind your crying.
Your tears are sweet rain in my empty life.
Mail Order Annie, can't you see I'm trying
To tell you that I'm glad you're here,
You are the woman who's come to be my wife.

You know it's not no easy life you're entering.
The winter wind comes whistling through the cracks there in the sod.
You know you'll never have too many neighbors.
There's you Girl, and there's me, and there's God.

You know I'm just a dirt man from the North Dakota plains.
You're one girl from the city who's been thrown out on her own.
I'm standing here not sure of what to say to you
'Cepting Mail Order Annie, lets you and me go home.

Mail Order Annie, never mind your crying.
Your tears are sweet rain in my empty life.
Mail Order Annie, can't you see I'm trying
To tell you that I'm glad you're here,
You are the woman who's come to be my wife.

Chris said...

I don't think you ever have to stop wondering about what you are going to do when you grow up, as I don't know anyone who will admit that they are all grown up. However, I do think it is important to be grateful for the things you have been able to do as constantly focusing on what you want to do, but will likely never get to do can be quite depressing.

Lacey said...

At age 58, I find myself feeling very satisfied as long as I keep DOing...the older I get, the more "enough" that seems to be.

john said...

After seeing the title, I thought about my unlived life as a gay man.

TWISI said...

I agree, I think we will always wonder and dream about what we will do "when we grow up" I think that is part of life.... after all, once you do it all life really has nothing left to look forward to.

Joseph said...

I have to agree with John. I, too, immediately thought about my unlived life as a gay man at age 59.

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

I think that anyone who gets to a certain age (I'm thinking 40, but any number will do) without realizing that there are many, many things he'd like to accomplish but never will must not have much of an imagination. Which is not to say that other people aren't better at getting to a larger number of the things on their list than, say, I am.

Still, I think that being happy and helping the people you care about be happy are the most important things that you can accomplish. Hanging out with your family might be a bigger deal than getting to see the pyramids, depending on how you look at it. The pyramids will be the same whether you see them or not.

HollyGL said...

For me, the things I had hoped to do in my 20s are vastly different from what I hope to do now, in my 40s.

I've been fortunate enough to have experienced some pretty cool things in my life. Some were planned, some not.

Now, I find I'm a lot more open to allowing life to introduce me to experiences I hadn't the faintest notion I would ...enjoy.

Its not that I don't have goals, etc... because I do. There just seems to be a lot more space in my life - or mindset - now for the pleasantly unexpected revelation.

somewhere joe said...

I have my regrets, but that's not one of them. Sometimes I look back, and it seems I've lived five or six lives, though I've never strayed very far from the photo/journalism track that Jimmy Olson inspired me to take at about age nine or ten.

I do regret not treating those I loved, or who loved me, with more tender regard... an old man's regret.

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Then Joe, start loving us the way you are meant too. ;)

Hello Pauly Wog!
I have no regrets. I may have down the road, but for right now. None.
I can foresee a few. But they will be of things not done, as opposed to things done.
xo

Blue! Mwah