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Another Missed Opportunity

By Steve Parker

elderly man giving thumbs up

 

We all, from time to time, take a backward, reflective look at life. We dwell on remembering and rehashing some major missed opportunities.  “If I had just  ...”  “Why didn’t I?”... “What if I had? ...”

What a terrible waste of time!

One of the major advantages of getting older, for me, has been less reflection on those so-called missed opportunities and a sharper focus on the opportunities to come. What good does it do to lament on a missed opportunity of twenty or thirty years ago? Can you reverse time and make a different choice? How can you possibly know what the outcome might have been if you made a different choice?

I choose to see those missed opportunities are what got me to where I am today.  Who knows where I would be if I had taken a different path with my life? Am I happy? Is my life filled with excitement and daily challenges? Am I excited about getting up in the morning? The answer to all three is an emphatic “YES!”

In the past, many of the opportunities I missed, I frankly didn’t even recognize until the opportunity had passed and my life had already taken a different direction. How could I even know if that missed opportunity would have been a “hero or a zero.” I believe hindsight is highly overrated and I choose to not allow it to take up valuable brain space.

Without the clutter of “might have been” and “if only,” I am much more aware of seeing the opportunities that lie ahead, both large and small. Opportunities are waiting from the time I open my eyes in the morning until the time I lay my head on the pillow, taking a moment to reflect on the opportunities of the day. Awareness is the key. Being critically aware and in the present allows one to see the opportunities, big and small, in our daily lives. The opportunity to smile at the kid bagging your groceries, looking them in the eye and saying “Gracias, as well as a tip for their services. The opportunity to compliment Salvador who takes such pride in keeping the ciclopista clean every day near my home. Waving a warm greeting to everyone I meet on my morning walk. Even the opportunity to struggle with my Spanish at the market, showing the vendor respect and even laughing with them when my effort falls short.

I appreciate the opportunity to keep my mouth shut while encouraging others in my world to speak and express their thoughts without interrupting. Listening is a definite opportunity not to be missed. Perhaps this is a reason why I look forward to my Thursday LCS Writing to a Prompt. What a wonderful opportunity to live vicariously, even for a moment, in the creative thoughts of others.  

Opportunities both big and small are part of our everyday life and it is definitely more exciting to experience them every day and repress the desire to lament past opportunities. 

 

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