Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Take A Chance On Me"

Do people take enough chances? Are we being too cautious?

I had a conversation a few weeks ago with my friend Josh. We started sentences with 'If I was 18 now, and knew then what I know now...' If I were 18 now, I'd think about culinary school. I'd think about living abroad. I'd think about picking up and moving to a new city.

I know it's hard to avoid thinking like that. But why do we? Why does age have to affect our decisions? Why can't we just do what we want to, to take a risk and to do what our gut tells us to do?

I guess it's hard to live a life completely without any regrets. Shoot, I regretted not buying squash blossoms from the Farmer's Market the other week. But what about those bigger decisions and choices? Regrets around job decisions? Falling in life? Or simply playing it safe and not going for it. What about that age old question: WHAT IF?

Why can't we take more changes? When it comes to things like new jobs? Or trying out new things? On taking a chance? Eating new foods? Falling in love and following our heart?

My mom battled cancer for more than seven years. And near the end of her life, I found myself wanting to ask her questions. Knowing that I didn't have much more time with her, I wanted to take advantage of every second we had together. I wanted to know, did she have regrets in her life? What would she have done differently if she could have gone back in time? In the end, I never did ask her. Part of me didn't want to know. It's such a personal question in so many ways. Why ask someone to think about their regrets? I just hoped that there were more things in her life that she was happy with and didn't regret. And that she was happy with her life and her family. I just hoped that my sister and I made her proud, and that she knew how much we all loved her.

I was thinking about all of this as I was walking to work one day, with iPod in my ear. Then the ABBA song "Take A Chance On Me" came on. And I had a light bulb moment. I found myself listening to the words and all of them having new meaning to me. It's cheesy, but one of my favorite ABBA songs was essentially where this posting came from. You just never know where you'll find inspiration.

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