Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Regrets

This blog was inspired by a video that a friend of mine posted on Facebook today. The video was a clip from the show "Britain's Got Talent" and featured an 80 (!!!) year old woman named Janey who was taking a crack at auditioning for the show. Of course, she came out and wowed both the audience and the judges (grumpy Mr. Cowell included) with an incredible singing voice that was even bigger than she was. The title of the song she sang so beautifully was "No Regrets". Appropriate, don't you think????

Miss Janey probably waited her entire life to have a moment like that. I am sure that before she ventured bravely out onto the stage she had to listen to those voices in her head telling her that she was out of her mind to think she could compete against the other contestants, most of whom were probably only a fraction of her age. Kudos to Janey for not listening to those voices, and, no matter the outcome of the show, an internet superstar has been born. More importantly, Janey can live out her remaining years knowing that she had her chance....and took it! No Regrets.

(To see a clip of her performance, click here)

Watching this video really struck a chord with me. Seeing Janey, I realized that when we are all in our "Twilight" years, we are not likely to look back on our lives and regret the things we DID. More often than not, our life regrets are the things we DIDN'T do. Sure, we will all have those little regrets - a bad haircut, a lousy prom date or an unfortunate neon green outfit (in my defence, it was the 80s!!), but if we had it all to do over again, would we change those things? Not likely. Those little "errors in judgement" helped to shape us into the people we are today! No, if we were given a chance to do it over, chances are that the things we would do differently would be the things that we were too afraid to try the first time around.

A few years ago, I decided that I was going to make a point of trying something new every year. Something I had always wanted to do, but was too afraid to try. One year, it was to run a race. I didn't have the fastest time, but I will never forget the feeling of crossing the finish line after those 5K. For that moment, I was a RUNNER! Another year, I wanted to play baseball with my hubby. I struck out more times than anyone in the league, but I wore the jersey and was part of the team (and even made a few dazzling catches at home plate).

From bungee jumping and public speaking, to raising over $2500 and walking 60 (long!) kilometres in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, I have tried to step out of my comfort zone a little at a time. For someone like me, who was always the shiest kid in the class (and was likely to burst into tears if someone new tried to talk to me), all of these things were a pretty major accomplishment! Until recently, I had pretty much gotten through my life trying to blend into the background.

Take tonight for example. Those of you that have been reading my posts on Facebook know that I was in a dance recital at the Living Arts Centre. This, too, was born out of my desire to try to live my life with "No Regrets". I had been watching my daughter dance in the show each year, and each year I watched the adult classes saying "I would LOVE to try that one day!". But I never did. How could I, I had never danced a day in my life (other than at parties, bars and dance clubs...usually spurred on by a few cocktails). One day I decided....WHY NOT? What have I got to lose?

This was my third show and it was a blast! Maybe I wasn't the most co-ordinated person on the stage (OK, there's no "maybe" about it. I was DEFINITELY not the STAR), but I can say that I was one of only 8 ladies that were brave enough to give it a shot!

So, I think we can all learn a lot from someone like Janey. We shouldn't live our lives playing it safe. Where's the fun in that???? I know that everyone has a "Bucket List" of things that they want to do before their time is up. What better time than right NOW to try to cross things off that list, one at a time?? I know when my days on earth are numbered, I don't want to spend them wistfully thinking about all those things I wished I had done. Instead, I'd rather be looking back through a scrapbook of memories saying "I can't believe I actually did all that!!! What a ride!!!"

What's next for me?? I don't know if my knees are up to training for that Half Marathon quite yet. Maybe Sky Diving? That's something that has been on my list for YEARS and keeps getting postponed for various reasons (cost...having babies...disapproving hubby). Perhaps starting that novel (even if it is just one poorly structured chapter)?? I'm not sure. I am sure of one thing though. Stepping out of your comfort zone may feel strange at first, but there is no better feeling than doing something you thought you could never do. You just have to take the chance and DO IT! As the old saying goes "You will always miss 100% of the shots you don't take!"

So, what's on your list???

No Regrets.

J :)