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... and another thing

  • Writer's pictureMirt Norgren

Hindsight is 20-20

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

"There's nothing like an old cliche to get your day started" said no one ever, but let's face it, we've all had at least one moment when we wish we'd seen as clearly then as we do now about a past situation or experience. If the clarity of foresight had revealed what my future would look like I may not have gotten married at 23, chosen restaurant work over college or waited until I was 41 to get sober. I definitely would have traveled more, started teaching yoga sooner and been a little more diligent about preparing for retirement. Every moment that I've spent ruminating about what might have been has resulted in a missed opportunity to enjoy the thing that I will be mourning about missing in the future. Not unlike the image of Uroborus, the ancient symbol of a serpent eating it's own tail, the cycle of regret can devour the pleasure of being fully present in the here and now only to wish we hadn't squandered that same moment we didn't take the time to enjoy.

Practicing mindfulness through mediation, prayer or yoga are but a few of the techniques that have been generously passed on to me by my teachers, mentors and spiritual guides.

Everything we need is available to us in this very moment and the things that have happened in the past serve as the scaffolding upon which we build character and wisdom.

Starting a family early may have changed the trajectory of my life's journey but it also brought two amazing souls into the world who have contributed joy and purpose to my existence. The friendships I established in my years of waiting tables still flourish some forty years later and I attended college in my 50's at a time when I had the time and resources to benefit the most from learning. The twenty years I've been sober are the result of excruciatingly difficult work that was presented to me at a time when I was finally mature and broken enough to be willing to focus on changing. There is still time to travel, I teach yoga at at time when I actually have a full cup to draw from and retirement may not come as early for me as I had hoped but my peers have shown me that there is no "aging-out" in the yoga community.

As it turns out regretting some of my choices has done nothing but chew up unnecessary head space in my already crowded and overworked brain. A friend once told me that I think too much and I do believe she may have been on to something. Just for today, I will try to think less and love more. I will replace regret with gratitude and focus on what's in front of me... the gift of being fully present.

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