This is a picture of me and the band I play with, the Manhattan Samba Group. It was taken yesterday. I’m the one in the glasses in front of the guy in the blue shirt. Playing in this band was one of my goals when I was 40. (Part II of that goal was to not be the dorkiest looking member of the band.)
What will I do with the next ten years, besides, hopefully, writing a best-seller? I love a list! But I’m sitting here at 8AM, and not a whole hell of a lot is jumping out at me, aside from “fall in love again,” which pretty much goes without saying. I think I will put that in boldface. 1. Fall in love again.
I wish I had money like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates so I could dedicate the second half of my life to giving it away. Which reminds me. I have never been a regretful person. I’ve made mistakes, but I can always see the path to them and given who I am they were almost unavoidable and sometimes you have to make mistakes. But a couple of times lately, I’ve felt bad about not acting on a number of business ideas that went on to be VERY big businesses for others. I console myself with the fact that I’m not really a great business person and I probably would not have pulled them off. But what I’m wondering about is, why I am even thinking about any of this now?
I think because it reminds me of this. When I was in the 5th grade, I had this amazing teacher, Mr. Beeshaw. He was wonderfully encouraging and inspiring. And he loved music. He taught us some beautiful songs. He was trying to get the boys in the class to get into it, they always sang so quietly and timidly. One afternoon he had me sing a round with the boys in the class. It was a contest — all the boys in the class vs Stacy. I think he picked me because I was the one person in the class who loved music as much as he did, and had no problem singing out. I was not shy.
They were losing. All the girls were cheering me, but I didn’t have the heart to beat them. They looked so miserable and dejected. And scared. I started singing more quietly and when they felt themselves starting to win they got excited and then they finally started singing outloud and happily.
It should have been a happy ending. I didn’t care about winning. I have a healthy ego, already loved music and now they did, too. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had done the wrong thing for me. I feel that to this day. This business thing is kinda similar. It’s not that I didn’t “go for it.” I go for it all the time, you can’t go for them all. It’s something else.
Maybe it’s that I didn’t chose the right things to go for? I’m just certain that I should have sung out as loud as I could and beaten all the boys in the class. I shouldn’t have held back. FUCK. I know what it is. It was because it was the nice thing to do. Which is all very … nice, but sometimes the nice thing to do for others is the wrong thing to do for yourself.
Maybe there’s an element of holding back to my character that made me not successful at business. Or, maybe the only thing thing these things have in common then, is regret. You can’t have it all. Maybe I should feel glad that there’s so little in my life that I regret. (Of course, I could just be in very deep deep denial.)
Hell. I meant to make a list of things for my next ten years. Tomorrow.
What do YOU regret?