Friday, May 2, 2014

Just Be Honest

It is crazy to me how many excuses people make to hold themselves back from doing things.

I think a lot about this lately (and I apparently also use the words "a lot" a lot, which is a cardinal sin in my former writing classes because what "a lot" means to different people varies widely. But I digress). I think that one of the only good things to develop out of Dane's death is the gift of perspective. At 43, and at 13 for Sicily, we are able to look at what is important to us and then act on it. Some people spend their whole lives and never figure out what really matters to them.

According to a palliative care nurse who spent many years tending to people who were dying, their regrets, regardless of background, are pretty much the same: working too hard, not being true to themselves, not spending enough time with family, not staying in touch with friends, not expressing their feelings, and not allowing themselves to be happy. Your priorities may be different now, but I will wager that in the end, they are pretty much the same.

(Side note: when I am harping on Sicily about practicing French, I tell her, "No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Man, I regret learning the second language.'" She is never impressed by that, but when I asked her what she thought one of the five regrets were, the first thing she said was, "Not learning a second language." That made me chuckle. The indoctrination is taking hold!!)

I was on the interwebs this morning and saw a post on Facebook from Macy Miller, a friend who designed and built her own (spectacular) tiny house. The first comment was something along the lines of, "Of course she built a house because she is an architect." The insinuation being that you are utterly powerless to build a house unless you already possess the skills to do so.

Which is absurd.

That was just one more excuse. If the commenter really wanted to build a house, nothing would have stopped her. But instead of saying, "Hey, I think this is cool, but I highly doubt I would be able to persist through all of the scraped knuckles, poor measurement, and other mistakes to learn the skills I need to build the house," she made an excuse. 

We all make excuses, but what a colossal waste of time. Just be honest with yourself and make life a lot smoother (see? Used it again. Damnit.). Sometimes we just don't want to. Sometimes it's too hard, or we don't want to sacrifice something else, or we lack confidence, or, or, or. Just be honest with yourself, and maybe your regrets will be fewer.

Or maybe not. But at least you were honest.

Image by Carmella Fernando via Flickr


  1. I have very few pet peeves but making snarky comments like that which have the ability to make others think 'oh yeah, she's right, I couldn't actually do this' are on my short list. That along with my profession, and all the building professions apparently, being misunderstood. An architecture degree is a fancy way of saying I can get paid for drawing with crayons and markers... it does not mean I even know how to hold a hammer... it's way different and anyone could buy my skillset when it comes to tiny houses for a couple hundred bucks in the form of a set of drawings... the building fields take years to master and I give them a lot more credit! I was glad you were on that! I can moderate some things but it only goes so far when it comes straight from me (sadly), it means a lot more when people leave comments like you did!

    1. I got your back, sister!! We all make excuses of one sort or another, but diminishing someone else because of our own hangups is just silly.