Saturday, December 31, 2011

Banishing Regrets Before the New Year

I forgive me for not saving more money.

I forgive me for not losing more weight.

I forgive me for not going to the gym as often as I intended.

I also forgive me for spending time playing Scrabble on line, watching “Mad Men” reruns and staring at coral, burnt orange and purple sunsets over the water instead of lobbying to cure cancer, reading important books and occupying anything much more than my apartment.

That feels good! 

I am ushering in the new year in the spirit of forgiveness. Instead of burdening myself with prissy promises that I may or may not keep in 2012, I have decided to banish all regrets, past and present.

You know that song, “Let It Snow?” I’m singing, “Let It Go.” This is not a new song. In water aerobics class, for years my friend Bernice and I used to grouse first and then call out, “Let It Go,” stirring up a froth of highly chlorinated water at the same time. Our displeasures, our disappointments, our regrets -- out with all of them, all at once. Gone, down the pool drain.

Regrets keep us stuck in the past, wishing we could rewrite bad behavior, or at least edit it enough to make it look better when we remember it. Just as there is no broom big enough to sweep up debris accumulating in the future, there is no way to redo, undo or whoop-de-doo the past, so what’s the point?

This New Year’s Eve, I plan to forgive myself for all the unwise decisions I have made in the past – many of which I have forgotten -- and I plan to forgive myself for all the unwise decisions I made not that long ago, those that I remember clearly. Among them:

·      Bought a beautiful woven jacket that hardly ever makes it out of the closet because I rarely go anywhere that calls for beautiful jackets.

·      Ate not one but TWO malasadas (Portuguese stuffed doughnuts) in Hawaii and two days later I devoured a piece of passion fruit cheesecake on a crust made from macadamia nuts and dark chocolate.

·      Aimed to go the gym at least three days a week and then – often after putting on my gym clothes – still didn’t get there much more than twice a week.

I committed other transgressions as well, some of which had nothing to do with money or food or exercise, yet these are the ones that loom largest for many of us on the last day of the year.

It’s okay. I forgive me.

In 2012, I will recognize my standards of personal perfection as goals rather than realities. Then I will work toward those goals at my usual well-intentioned (if sometimes unsteady) pace, and carry on.

Knowing me, I will also buy an item or two that I don’t need but do want, eat the occasional outstanding dessert, play Scrabble, watch “Mad Men” (the new season starts in March!) and stare at breathtaking sunsets. And that’s okay.

You can play too. Forgive yourself -- and let it go. Then welcome 2012!


  1. Hi Pat, found you on Lisa Hollenbeck's Facebook comment just now and have forwarded your blog URL to my dear wife, Viv, from your J water exercises back in St. Lou. You'll likely hear from her. Glad you're enjoying the Bay area.
    Ernie Wolf

  2. Hello Pat, This is Vivienne Wolf, from the J.Ijust read all of your blog. Wow, you are good! Hey, I, too, bought a $100 sweater from Chico's for 50. White with cut work on front. Did you return yours? And re: the GOP, neuter them all with your pen... So sorry to hear about Maggie. I am still using that hand cream you recommended, Glysomed and think of you often. Hope you are well and you do sound happy. Viv

  3. Hi Viv and Ernie! How wonderful to hear from you. Happy New year -- and say hi to all my old friends.

  4. that's a great way to finish the year ! I'm catching up with the posts I had not read yet... Forgiveness is Freedom ! Freedom brings Joy... Joy induces Good Health !... etc...