Have you ever regretted something you did because it had repercussions you never imagined?
Hindsight can be so freaking painful.
A year ago, the day before Halloween 2020, I early-voted on a beautiful day in Chicago.
At the time, the validity of mail-in voting was being questioned and, while I was avoiding going into places, it felt important for me to vote in-person.
I folded a paper towel in half and inserted it in my favorite fabric mask as a filter.
Then, excited to make my voice heard, I walked across the street to the old park building where I’d been voting for years.
In other elections, there’d never been any line to vote. Last year, there was a short line outside. The volunteer at the door said it was only a short line inside, too.
I ended up being inside that old park building for half an hour.
Four days later (a year ago today), I thought/hoped…allergies?
Overall, thankfully, it was a mild case of the virus (my second time getting it), but I lost most of my smell and taste…which has been mostly missing since then.
As a culinary school graduate, former professional cook, and still a major foodie, the past year has been a roller coaster that I’m still living/processing.
When Facebook resurrected a picture of masked-me and my “I voted” sticker, it physically pained me.
I flashed back to all the things that, had I known, I would’ve done differently.
I’ve largely adapted to my missing taste and smell…though I’m not giving up on their return. (Texture takes precedence over flavor these days.)
I truly believe that, in the grand scheme, I’ll be better because of this experience: stronger, more resilient, more compassionate.
AND… Hindsight can still hurt like hell.
It’s hard not to wish with all my heart that I’d found a surgical mask before going to vote or, better yet, taken my ballot to a dropbox instead.
When I go down the rabbit hole of self-condemnation, there’s a quote that comforts me:
Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
It’s all we can do, right?
I did the best I could, seeing what I saw and knowing what I knew that day.
The same for you.
Whatever you regret, what would it be like to believe you did the best you could in the moment?
Some days, I put my hand on my heart, take a deep breath, and let myself melt a little.
We’re in this human thing together. What would it be like to have some softness towards yourself, my friend?
As an Executive Life Coach, Sheila Devi helps people in high stress fields (such as law, financial planning, and accounting) see how they can serve their clients at the highest level without sacrificing their own health and happiness. As a result, her clients find more ease, joy, and freedom…while becoming even more successful in their work and personal priorities, such as marriage and parenting.
Sheila works virtually with clients, one-on-one and in groups. She also offers talks and workshops. Current favorite topics include “healthy boundaries in high-stress fields” and “how to communicate when times are tough.”
Interested in talking with Sheila about coaching or speaking? Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.