While searching for Monday’s Quote of the Week, I found myself traveling down a rabbit hole of poetry about autumn. I don’t often take the time to read and contemplate poems at length, but when I do, I’m rarely disappointed. There’s something about a poem that can communicate a feeling so profoundly. Free from prose’s need to explain everything in complete sentences, poetry can make its point through images and metaphors, playing with rhythm and structure in ways that make the reader appreciate language like never before. A great poem has the power to make me feel connected to its author through universal human experience, conveyed with just the right words.
“‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.”
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
The Grammar Girl podcast did a great show this week on how to write an apology. For a while now, I’ve been meaning to write a post about making tough apologies, so I thought I’d piggyback on Grammar Girl’s discussion. The show advised listeners to avoid four kinds of non-apologies (the “if” apology, the passive voice apology, the reverse apology, and the florid fauxpology) and to follow a formula for apologizing effectively:
Acknowledge the offense clearly
Explain it effectively
Restore the offended parties’ dignity
Assure them they’re safe from a repeat offense
Express shame and humility
Make appropriate reparation
(Credit to Dr. Aaron Lazare and his book On Apology.)
This week, Hidden Brain, one of my favorite podcasts-slash-public-radio-programs, explored the topic of regret with a researcher and head of an academic “regret lab.” The program discussed the various positive and negative consequences of regret.
I think I’ve reached a point in my life when I’m able to put most of my regrets to rest. Yes, there are opportunities I missed, chances I wish I’d taken, different paths I could have chosen, and times I acted selfishly or treated others poorly. The last category is, of course, the hardest to get over, because it’s regret combined with guilt. But we can’t undo what we’ve done in the past, and at some point we have to forgive ourselves and commit to behaving better in the future, now that we know better.
The last month and a half has been challenging for me. I traveled to Greece for two weeks, which disrupted my usual routines, though I still managed to do some meditating and blogging while I was there. Then my dad was hospitalized and died, and for a while it seemed nearly impossible to focus on anything else. I still think about my dad constantly, and my mom and I are doing our best to figure out this new normal. To top it off, I am pregnant with my first child, making me both excited and exhausted. Simple tasks like eating and exercising have become much more difficult than they once were.