Last week, I was talking to a mother of four. As we were in a coffee shop, we overheard a young couple talking. They were planning their trip abroad (it sounded like a really great trip to South Africa). As they were talking, she said to me ‘I wish I did that’. I replied in saying, well you can. She was adamant that she was too old, that she had kids now, she’d missed her time. I could go on.
It brought us on to the conversation of regrets. Or the ‘I wish’ sentences. We spoke about what regrets we both had and what things we both don’t regret doing. She told me her biggest regret was staying with her first boyfriend for too long and my biggest regret was not getting off the couch sooner.
When it came to things we didn’t regret, actually it took us quite a lot longer to think of sometimes. Well, I don’t regret finally getting off that sofa and she didn’t regret finally dumping her boyfriend. But it struck me. It struck me how much easier it was for us to talk about the regrets we have and the things we wish we had done or the things we wish we hadn’t done.
It took far longer to think of the achievements we have. Aside from children, college, university, the usual, it can be hard to think of the things we’re glad about. The everyday life achievements we have are often so easily forgotten but are so important. They’re what make the days more enjoyable. They’re what make you smile. What about the perfect batch of pancakes you cooked last week? or managing to get the kids to school on time every day? or going to work? I mean they’re achievements aren’t they? I’m always pretty chuffed when I make a good meal. I’m always pretty surprised I get up in time for work every morning. An achievement!
I think sometimes we forget how awesome we are. I think we forget to celebrate the small things sometimes. I think sometimes those small things have the potential to become the big things!!
So next time you’re thinking about the ‘I wish’, I challenge you. I challenge you to think about what you could do instead or if the ‘i wish’ really is an I wish or is it a ‘one day’ instead?
I also set another challenge. I think behind even the darkest of days, there are good things. When I was younger, I had a teenage magazine called ‘Mizz’. In one of the sections, it suggested keeping a book of all the good things in your day whilst going through the stress of school… I actually did it in my teenage angst. By doing it, I realised how much good there were in most days. Even the day I lost a very important person, there were still good things like the coming together of friends and family and the support.
What I’m trying to say is I think we should be our own biggest cheerleaders more!! I think most of us probably achieve more than we ever let on. I mean pancakes aren’t that hard too mess up..(mine looked more like omelette)