How many times have we thought, “If I could only do that over again?” Whatever that is, there is always at least one thing, maybe several things, we wish we could take another shot at. There are conversations where we wish we could have said something differently or take back the words we spoke in haste or in an unprepared moment.
Oftentimes the do-over we want has more to do with our desire to do something better while seeking another attempt at fixing any mistake or regretful moment where we may have erred. We seek improvement so that the next time we are faced with the same opportunity or conversation, we handle it better.
Second chances are awesome, third chances are terrific, and fourth chances are tremendously amazing. And for a guy who has had way too many do-overs in life, I am grateful for those multiple chances to get it right.
As life goes on and people come and go in our lives, personally and professionally, and as we lose those we have loved, if we are not careful we may find ourselves saying something like, “What I wouldn’t give for one more day or even to have just five more minutes with that person.” Those are always tough moments as we wish that we would have made more of an effort to see them, spent a few extra minutes each week on the phone with them, or invested the time to listen and learn from them…
If someone were asked to recall the last thing that you had ever said to them, what would you hope those words would be?
Famous last words are not just for the famous, and they are also not only limited to the dying. We all have something to say these days, don’t we? And our famous last words may not really be our final last words, they might just be our last words for now.
We know what this sounds like when we are in a disagreement, one of us might say something like, “That’s it, end of conversation.” The last words. It’s not that the last word has to be contentious either, no, far from it. The last words could sound like, “I love you too.” And those are much nicer and warmer last words.
If we were to think back on a few of our most recent conversations, we might be able to relate to this as we can probably recall exactly what someone said before we parted company, ended a telephone conversation, or signed off on an email or text. Now, if we take another minute to imagine how others are reflecting on the last thing that they heard or read from us, would we be satisfied with what we said, or would we want a do-over?…
There are certainly plenty of reasons for us to want 2020 to be a distant memory. The pandemic, the heartache of lives lost, the impact it had on our family and friends who suffered and recovered, and the economic burden and stress the pandemic created for so many individuals and businesses.
Layer on top of the pandemic the social unrest gripping our country, a very heated and contentious election year, one of the busiest hurricane seasons on record that left a wake of devastation, and hundreds of wildfires that burned out of control bringing more death and destruction.
It’s no wonder why many are hoping Jan. 1, 2021, gets here sooner rather than later.
There were some very real and horrific events that took place this year. The losses, hurt, damage, chaos, and confusion. Each one has been unnerving and unsettling, to say the least. And as with any event or season of life, the hope is that we will take something away from the experiences, even the pain. That we will learn from the failures and the mistakes that we made along the way. That we will not only learn, but that we will make the changes and adjustments that will bring lasting change, greater opportunities, a sense of calm, healing and hope, and a kinder society.
As I was taking a drive this past weekend, I heard Billy Joel’s song, “This is the Time.” As I reflected on the song lyrics, I thought, “Why is this the time to remember?”
Then my thinking shifted.