It runs a chill down my spine when a series of events seem to ask the same question. Recently, between a few different bloggers and a couple of theater productions, the question around “what one thing would you change” has been raised.
This question can easily drift into regret. Regret for a path not taken, a decision made that is now considered “wrong”, an opportunity lost. One blogger bounced that notion on its head with the idea that now, in retirement, you have the time to do “it”. The thing you did not do, the path you did not take, the choice you did not make.
As I face another radical (for me) change in our path moving forward, I started to think about things I did not do, paths I did not take. Not that I would go back and change anything, because the path I’ve taken has lead me to where I am today. And this is NOT a bad place! But this thinking can open up the future – many of those things I could now do.
What path not taken can I now take?
As we move into our downsized house, I want to plan In-Home Friend Dinners. This will be a learning experience for me – I’ve never been an at-home-entertainer. I’ve always wanted to be, and admire those who make it look so effortless. Friend Dinners also combine two elements of my life vision – building closer friendships and cooking more. Since our new down-sized house actually has a larger, more functional kitchen, I am very excited to be able to cook more – both for entertaining and for just the two of us.
Another element I want going forward is more mini-adventures. I’m coming to the realization that I am, contrary to what I might think I should be, more of a homebody. I have friends who travel almost constantly – off for the weekend to Chicago, a week in Paris for the Easter break, or regular ski or scuba trips. And other friends who every weekend are off on another hike, another historical site/cool town, another bike trip. And friends who have already been to the latest restaurant opened in town, the top 10 burger joints, and the greatest dining-out patios. I have often felt I need to compete and be the same way. Yes, my Comparison Inferiority Complex rears its ugly head. I need to acknowledge – I am not that person. I am not the constantly out-and-about person. I like being at home. I enjoy sitting on my porch and reading. I enjoy puttering in the yard. BUT, I do want a few more mini-adventures. Not every weekend, but a few times a year – a long weekend away, maybe tapping into RoadScholar, which I’ve been eager to try. Maybe a cool day trip once a month – plan it and do it. And yes, let’s try that new restaurant, but maybe not the first month it’s open! And most importantly, beyond the need to do the planning, be happy in the moderation. Not disappointed in the comparison.
This house move is a big one for us. I have not done many physical moves in my life. Given my homebody nature, I tend to dig into a place. And my pack-rat, hoarding, can’t throw/give anything away husband? This will be extremely traumatic as we move from 3400 sq. ft. to 2100 sq. ft. Yes, I hear some laughter at 2100 sq. ft. being downsized!
But I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a wonderful new path in our lives. A path that is full of “can do” activities, new areas to explore, and my life vision to unfold. And a few of those “paths not taken” elements coming into reality.