We have all done things we regret. Right? Please don’t tell me I’m alone. I’ve done things that I still feel guilty about. I’ve also done things that are embarrassing or just silly. I can’t change the past, even if I really, really want to. Too bad. I can, however, use what I’ve learned and start a better future. My husband Greg always says, in moments when I’m down, “Don’t water last year’s crops.”
It says so much. Last years crops are dead and gone and there’s absolutely no point in watering them. Do, however, water this year’s crops- the ones growing right now. I need to nourish the future I have by taking care of my present. That silly old past- it won’t get me down!!
Here are a few examples of past moments I need to move on from (go ahead, laugh… you’ll be laughing with me, not at me… I think)
My first acrostic poem:
For anyone who might have trouble reading this, it says:
M elinda how creative was that? at least I used two different colors
E nergetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still love the exclamation point, to a fault
L emen ? maybe, although that’s debatable. I do like lemons, though
I nsperacian my spelling did improve, with time
N eet never, have I ever in my life been “neet”… or neat
D o well, that’s just common sense. I do lots of things
A ward I like to think I’d just won some great award in my classroom, but there’s no solid evidence for that
I’ve been humbled by so many things. I’ve learned not to compare myself to my sisters (my twin, Meredith, wrote a poem just like this and hers is awesome!! straight lines, correct spelling, and words that actually described her) If I did that, I’d just go crazy. I’ve learned to laugh at things that might be embarrassing… like… LIKE THIS PICTURE!!!!
My first “mistake” haircut:
I looked like a boy. My bowl cut matched the baby Tommy doll in the case I’m holding. I think that’s a classic Christmas morning nightgown. I had braces at age 6… brutal.
But I digress.
This beautiful, coherent acrostic poem (and the bowl cut) is in my past. I can’t change that! (which I’m completely okay with…I’m one of those people who can laugh at myself…thank goodness) But you know what else? Something I CAN do?? I can write a new one!!! Yes!!
Here is a new version, written today.
M elinda some things from our pasts shouldn’t change, so there, I kept the original M
E nigmatic sometimes…
L aughing daily
I nterested in almost everything
N ever neat though I’m working on it
D edicated to those I love and pursuing my dreams
A pprehensive at times
There! Done. Changed, or updated, something from my past.
Although- now that I’ve gone and done that, I think I like the original one better <3
Another example of something I can’t change:
The dreaded brown and short hair. I don’t know what I was thinking. Hadn’t I learned from my childhood, that short hair just isn’t my thing? I went through an identity crisis. Luckily, Greg still proposed when I had this hair, but even more lucky…. it grew back.
My second “mistake” haircut:
It took years to get back to my “normal” self. In the same way, when I make big mistakes and hurt those I love, it seems as though it can take years (or even longer) for things to go back to normal. Sometimes the people I love most in life surprise me and show me complete grace…forgiving me right away. Greg is the best at this. It is often ME who has a tantrum-like moment and often HIM who smiles and says, “Okay, can we be done arguing now? I just thought of the birds outside and it made me so happy!” Literally. This exact thing has happened.
I’m so grateful for poetry of my youth, the fact that hair grows back, and people who chose to forgive, rather than hold grudges. I’m thankful for mistakes and the fact that we can LEARN from them, rather than wallow in them forever.
If you’re interested… Here are some examples of my poetry. I like to think I’ve come a long way since the acrostic poem of my younger days, but you should let me know what you think ;)