Karen Rivers

the absolute best and totally correct use of time to avoid future regrets.

Karen Rivers

If time ran out for you tomorrow, would you regret the time you spent blogging or looking at fuzzy puppies on the internet or listening to music or watching reality TV or writing a book?   Or would you regret the time you spent worrying about regretting the time?    Or would you not regret anything except not going to the gym more or stepping in front of the bus in the first place?   

I wonder about people who say they wouldn't regret anything, if by "wonder about them", I mean "find them incredibly annoying".   What does that even mean?  That they never made mistakes?   Or that they are so mentally robust that their mistakes have all been terrific learning experiences that have made them Better People (tm)?  

I want to poke these people with forks or something else that's sharp-ish but not sharp-ish enough to draw blood, but enough to be uncomfortable and to make the person turn around and say, "STOP THAT."  

I think I would regret the amounts of time I spent not living my life because I thought I looked fat in my jeans or my hair wasn't working.   I spent too much time when I was really young thinking that I didn't look good enough to deserve fun.   I wish I was kidding about that.   Now I look like crap most of the time because I've realized it doesn't matter.   But also that it does, so really I try not to look like crap, it just doesn't always work and I try to keep that in perspective.   TRY.     

I might regret all those seasons of Survivor that I've watched because, honestly, I don't even LIKE the show.  There are certain shows I watch because I always have watched them and I feel compelled to continue to do so, in spite of the fact they jumped the shark in season 3.   

I would likely regret that I didn't travel more or that I was so wimpy about flying.   And worried in general.  Or that I never had to outswim a shark for my life.   (I've spent a lot of time planning how that would go down, so if it never happens, I suppose all that research will have been a waste.)  

I'd probably regret that I tweeted more than I ought to have because if I'd rather look back on finished books than on witty tweets.   Though there is something to be said for wit.   And tweeting.  

And, come on, procrastination is part of the process.  I say that a lot but I also believe it to be true.

In moderation.   Yes, yes.   ALLEGEDLY.   Etc.

Obviously I would regret not seeing my kids grow up.   But let's not get too serious about this or I'll get weepy and then instead of working on my edits and writing THE BOOK OF RUTH (AND ALSO, RUTH), which is super-awesometacularly fun to write, I'll sit around and listen to music and let self-pity sprout like mushrooms in the rain all over my psyche.

There are certain metaphors I might also regret. 

Listening to twelve different versions of HALLELUJAH has pressed my emotionally maudlin button.   I should listen to something else, like WALKING ON SUNSHINE, except I hate that song with the combined heat of all the stars in the entire universe.

I am going to be in the hospital for a few days and I am rife with panic and overflowing with angst.  I'm not sick, I'm just going in for some... repairs and preventative maintenance.   Let's say that.   

Stay out of trouble while I'm gone.   And if you find yourself having to outswim a shark, remember this:  Sharks prefer not to eat prey that is fighting back.  SO KEEP MOVING.   Punch him/her in the eye if you can, or cup his/her nose gently, which for some reason overwhelms his/her sensory pathways and paralyzes him (or her).   Then swim.   Fast.