I have few regrets. Once I worked through the shame of the truly stupid choices I made in my life, once I forgave myself and realized that those choices led me to where I am today, I was able to be grateful instead of regretful.
Recently, though, I realized that my remaining regret is that I have not taken advantage of the traveling I could have done. When I was in high school in the 1960s I had an open invitation to visit and even stay with my Aunt Ruth in Berkeley, CA. I can’t imagine how my life would be different had I done so. Perhaps I’d have never made it back to NY. Since I like who I am and where I am in my life, this regret surprises me. (I can compare it to how my husband might feel about missing the Woodstock Festival — I was there so I don’t have that regret. Instead, he visited a girlfriend in the Adirondacks who broke up with him that weekend. Total bummer.)
As I looked deeper into this regret of not discovering California until the last decade and not traveling as much as I would like, I realized the gift of this memory. I have open invitations world wide, relatives and friends to visit from Italy to Mexico, Palm Springs to Palm Beach. My travel bucket list is long! The idea of visiting people who love me and want to share what they love about where they live is enticing.
I am starting in Charleston, WV, where my good friend Barbie lives. She and her husband visited us this Summer and I am returning the favor this Fall. There is added incentive for making this my first bucket list trip — my last remaining relative of my parents generation lives in Charleston. I spoke with Aunt Lil a few minutes ago and she is delighted I am coming. She is moving to an assisted living facility, leaving the big house she’s lived in for more than 50 years. Though sad about the move, she is getting frail and she is resolved that it’s time. I’m glad I’ll see her in her new home, where we will make new memories for both of us.
This is the best, visit my dear aunt and my cousin, play with my good friends, and experience deep gratitude rather than regret.