I’m staring at a wrist band on my bed — a red band I received last year for running a 5K for a colleague’s son, who has already spent too many hours of his life in the hospital.
And I wonder, am I making the most of my life? Did I follow the right path? Does my time seem to have value?
I remove the ice pack from my left arm — the latest in a line of bodily conundrums. Last week at this time, I was in immense pain. My arm felt like it was on fire, and no matter what I did, I could not sleep through the pain. It turns out I have distal bicep tendinitis (more on that in another post), and I am now taking anti-inflammatory medication and hoping my stomach doesn’t turn itself inside out.
Do I regret overworking that muscle and tendon? I regret experiencing the pain, but that pain has also forced me to take a step back from certain activities in my life and relax. When I try to relax, I usually overthink. And right now, I am overthinking.
I’ve always told folks I have no regrets because every choice I’ve made has taught me something and that has led to character growth and the person I am today. Well, now that I’ve hit my 30’s, I need to renege this statement. I have regrets. Lots of them (mostly from my 20’s, surprise, surprise).
Do I regret the person that I’ve become? No. Do I feel like I have a purpose for being here? Well, no, but I do think I can make the most of it. And yet when I look back on my career and personal ventures, I see clips of a jungle. Some paths are more linear than others, but for the most part, it looks like I had magical teleporting abilities.
What was I thinking? If I had stayed on one path, wouldn’t future possibilities seem more obvious? I like having a goal and working for it, but over time, I’ve learned that while reaching a goal may bring satisfaction, the post-goal enigma does not. So, I’ve given up on goals, for now. I have my stars and I have my safety net. It’s the messy web in the middle that has me overthinking.
Would I do things differently if given a clean slate? I used to love to play this game with myself — the What If Riddle. There are so many variables that influenced my path. I can’t say things would have turned out differently if those variables hadn’t been there. But it doesn’t matter because we don’t live in parallel universes (though this would be cool).
Minus the arm conundrum, I see so many positive paths in front of me. I don’t plan to take just one. At this point in my life, I’ve learned to embrace my strengths (and turn my faults into potential strengths). So, I will use my magical teleporting abilities and explore them all. I have no doubt some of those paths will turn negative at times. It happens. But lucky for me, I have the ability to transport myself out of there. Then again, maybe I’ll stay? It takes energy to change toxicity.
So, I take the red wrist band and toss it on a pile of other wrist bands (Norm must have dominion over something).