The religious ed book we are using with Quinland had a section called “If Only…” where it listed some of the thoughts teens might struggle with: “If only I looked a certain way…”, “If only a certain person liked me…”, “If only I had such and such…”.
It then asked the students using the textbook to list their “If only…” statements.
Quinland said, “I don’t have any.”
David said, “Neither do I. Oh, Quinland, how about: ‘If only it had snowed more before we left for Europe.'”
She agreed, “Yeah, that would be one, but that would be about it.”
I couldn’t believe it. We talked about it a little bit, and both of them were insistent that they just did not think that way.
My mind is filled with these kinds of statements:
- If only I had worked out more in my life and were more fit now.
- If only I were more organized and self-disciplined, so many things in my life would be different.
- If only I had better health…
- If only I had been better at certain aspects of teaching…
- If only I made more time for my friends…
- If only…
That’s just off the top of my head; there are zillions more.
I don’t know why I am like this. My mind jumps, instantly, to what I could have done better, what I could have done differently, how things should have been. It all ties in, I suppose, to my irritating perfectionism and unending drive to improve everything around me. In a twisted way, I guess I am trying to motivate myself.
But think of how different it could be to think as David and Quinland do, to never regret what could have been. It would free my mind up for so many more positive things.
Ha! Even that was an “If only…” If only I were like them.
But I am not, so I need to figure out how to make this tendency work in my favor, instead of the other way around. Instead of gloomily dwelling on what might have been, perhaps I can try to turn each thought around. If only I had worked out and were fit? Great! That’s what I need to do, so I will start doing it. Think of the improvement that could be made then!
- I’m grateful! for the relationship I have with my daughter. I am thrilled each time she wants to cuddle or joke around, each time she says, “You are my best friend.” Who wouldn’t love to hear that from their 13-year-old? I love that girl.
- I’m lighter! I booked a massage therapy appointment at long last! I have gone over two weeks without a massage, and I am really feeling it in my hip, leg and foot. Can’t wait to go in on Tuesday.