Awake in bed alone in the early morning hours my mind wanders.
I realized a return to sleep was out of the question by then when I found myself compiling a mental list of regrets. Very poor use of time and an otherwise mentally healthy disposition I know, but I live on the edge occasionally and allowed it to continue a lot longer than I should have.
I wish I’d served in the Navy right out of high school when it was first offered me. I wish I’d gone into insurance or real estate early on and I’d be rich and retired by now. I wish I’d have beaten the hell out of Tony Franciosa when he called me out in 6th grade. I’d like to have been able to grow more than 12 hairs on my chest by now… And the list went on seemingly reciting itself for about 20 minutes. I don’t recommend it. Very few other morning mental gymnastics can ruin a day you haven’t even started yet.
The list kept growing as if it had lied dormant just under my skin much too long and I’d scratched exactly the spot it had been hiding. It was way more easy than it should have been.
Turned on the light, kissed my dog, and came to my senses. Said a brief prayer and laughed a little at myself for the waste of time and brain cells.
I’m fine. No damage done. The list of regrets dissipated with each sip of coffee, but the lesson that remained is how readily we can live in those regrets, should-haves and unrealized wishes with such ease, but can’t just as easily turn the tables and be thankful and happy with where we’ve landed in life so far.
By then I was here at the computer typing into a new Word document every fortuitous blessing, turns of events that once saved my life, and motives for living that usually accompany my first step to the floor out of bed each morning. I reminded myself I’m a positive guy, very slow to anger, and mentally astute as my list began filling the second page of the document which became my second prayer of thanks this morning.