I know that the pace of travel and activity and spending (!) I currently have is not sustainable long term. In a way, that’s the beauty of this situation too, it isn’t long term. There is a definite end, so I don’t have to keep anything in reserve. I also know that even with this intention I have for the year, I will not be able to go everywhere, do everything, meet everyone on my list. But I’ll be so, so much closer to it, and I’ll have no regrets.
I love this field of flowers under the trees in Parco di Monza by our home here in Italy. They are long gone now, they are only around for a brief time in the spring. As fall approachs and these trees are about to change their color and lose their leaves, and the bed of flowers has become mown grass. I met my intention to photograph them this year, since I missed them the first spring we arrived in Italy. Who knows what next spring will bring, my last spring here. Maybe there will be freak weather that prevents them from blooming, and this will have been my only opportunity. I’m glad I caught them while I had the chance.
Capturing these flowers is part of what I am calling a “no regrets” year. With limited time left on my work assignment in Italy, we return to the US next July, I have made a personal resolution that I will go home with no regrets. I don’t want to sit down, years from now and say, “I wish I had done… whatever… while we were in Italy.” Sure, there will always be ideas I have later, places I will see in pictures later and wish I had visited while I was here, but this “no regrets” year is about what I know now. If there is something I want to do now, I am doing it. If there is someplace I want to go while I’m here in Europe, I am going. If there is someone I need to meet (all these wonderful online friends!), I’m going to make every possible effort to meet them in person.
I have actually been blessed by having this limited time, in a positive way. To have my eyes opened without having something like a life-threatening illness for me or a loved one. It is easy to see, how in the course of our ever day life, how we put things off. We say… We’ll go visit that place next month, and it turns into next year. Let’s get together for coffee sometime, and weeks go by. I should really look into that organization, and before you know it the event you were interested in is over. Life picks us up, swirls us around in the every day, and we lose our hold on the tether of our intentions. Before we know it, we’re swept along and away from what we had planned.
Think about this in your every day life. Is there one small thing you want to do, one place to visit close by that you’ve been putting off, one friend you want to meet for coffee but haven’t found the time? Do it. Have your own “no regrets” day or week, living in the moment as if you have limited time. Because the reality is, we do have limited time. It’s just not always so obvious, as it is to me right now.
And who knows, you might just find that you have spring flowers to enjoy, come fall.