By Kenneth Stepp
We are always pursuing something or someone. Over my life I have had many pursuits. I regret most of them, yet they seemed so important at the time. Not all, but most. What are some of the pursuits I do not regret? I pursued God and knowledge about Him. I pursued my children, to raise great humans. I pursued love. Mostly in the last five years, my regrets… Money would be the biggest.
I owned a not so small business and many small businesses. Anyone competing in those spaces with me hated trying to grab market share. I was brutal. I would work day and night to beat my competitors. And for the most part I did. Winning was more important than that what was actually important. I missed my kids games, recitals, etc. I made a lot of them, but regret every single one I missed today. I love my children, but allowed career to take the top shelf in my life. I pursued poorly.
“Time flies, whether you’re wasting it or not.”
― Crystal Woods
Flash forward a number of years. My children are grown, the businesses I gave so much of my life to build were destroyed by a seven figure theft, I’m single, my marriage was one of the casualties, and these days, I’m alone a lot. The labor to build my future failed. The things in life I traded for the things in life I thought would always be there are gone. I have my, “What have I done?” moments more often than I care to admit.
You see, what you pursue needs to be what really matters, or what really matters will be gone at the end of all your hard work. My wife was the love of my life for twenty four years. She mattered to me, and at least in that regard, I made sure she knew it. She admitted this after all was lost. Do I have regrets? Wow, do I ever. But things were done that cannot be undone. Are there any lessons here? Many, if you stop and think of who you have that matters today. Are you pursuing them? Do they know their value to you?
“For at the end of the day, what matters is never the wine, it’s always the moment; it’s always the people.”
― Olivier Magny
So what have I learned? After years of replaying, in my mind, all that I did wrong, I realized that I have today, and with any luck I’ll have tomorrow. My past has taught me to look around my small world. Those people in it, they matter. My pursuit now is to love more, to be the very best friend I can be to those I call friend; to help that stranger, no matter what their lot in life or their station in society; to pursue the love I once held so loosely in my hand before and this time wrap my arms around them tightly, to never judge another human being again.
We are all here, all doing life, and all equally hurting and confused as to what we should do next. I guess, at the end of the day, we should simply love more, all we can. This, in my opinion, is what matters. This is how to live without regrets. This is what we should all be pursuing. Imagine the world this way. For me, I search for someone I cannot live without. I search for forever, my forever love. Will I know her when we meet? Have we met already? I suppose only time and clarity will tell. Be careful out there, my fellow travelers. Being single in the world today is like I have described often… It’s like dancing in a minefield. Enjoy the dance…
“We make time for what’s important and what’s important should include what we love. One life worth living!”
― Akiroq Brost