Reverb 13 | December 4 | 20/20

20/20: Hindsight is the one thing we never benefit from in the present.  Is there one moment you wish you could do over?


We are always worried about making a Really Big Mistake. And we sometimes think that Really Big Mistake is going to have Really Bad Consequences. And so we work very hard not to do whatever that thing is so we can avoid the unpleasant outcome we are sure is awaiting us.

Looking back over the past year, there isn’t any Really Big Mistake that I would like to go back and correct. That’s the good news. The bad news is: there are a million, bazillion teeny tiny little mistakes I wish I would have never committed. Any may I go out on a limb and say that those teeny tiny little mistakes I make, when I make them over and over again until they become expected, they have actually Much Worse Consequences? Because I think they do.

I wish I could undo all the times I snarked at Aaron about house cleaning. Or worse, used words to make him feel like I didn’t think he was my equal and complete partner when it comes to household management. Do we have different ideas of what a “clean house” is? Yes. Do I wish his standards were more like mine and a little less “I noticed that milk in the fridge had gone bad, but I didn’t throw it away?” Yes. But if our worst problem in our super young marriage is that he doesn’t sweep, then so be it. And I would gladly let sweeping be a problem forever if it meant that no worse problems arose between us. I wish I had approached every crumb of dog food (that the dog leaves all over the house) and every dirty dish with that perspective throughout the year.

I wish I could undo the times I lost perspective during wedding planning. I am proud to say that I don’t think this happened too often, and it was much less often about the things and more often about the people. Here’s a few truths I will always remember:

  1. If someone loves dishing gossip to you about someone else, they are dishing gossip about you to someone else, too.
  2. When you gossip, complain, or whine about something, it always finds its way back to that person. Especially if you share any sort of community with that person. Always. And it is almost undoubtedly hurtful to that person when they finally hear it. Third hand.
  3. Nothing hurts worse than gossip about your own wedding.
  4. A wedding is not the beginning or end of the world. It is not the be all. If you have super strong opinions about how a wedding should work, then throw yourself a wedding.
  5. People are more comfortable with expectations about how things should be: the exact placement of vases, the exact order of this or that. But setting expectations about how things should feel is more authentic and makes beautiful space for creativity, happiness, and surprises.

I would undo all the unreturned phone calls, emails, and texts. I really just do forget. Or sometimes I respond in my own head and don’t even realize I didn’t actually tell you my response. I know it makes me seem irresponsible or like a bad friend (see Much Worse Consequences). Sorry.

I would redo my summer running. A new interest in cycling, spurred by my first BRAND NEW BIKE as an adult, and a disappointing race at the Fargo Half Marathon had me feeling pretty blah about running and I didn’t give it the time and attention it deserved over the summer. Which I am paying for now that I am practically starting over (again, see Much Worse Consequences). You know what you can do if you are sick of starting over? Stop Quitting. When will I learn?


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