Friday, December 12, 2008

The Fish That Got Away

Seeing Double

Today, I had planned a day of photography. But another of a string of emergencies or "urgencies" got in the way and I only had a quick half hour to take a few shots. During a bout of internal whining I realized that life is full of opportunities that get away and I need to stop focusing on them.
It happens to me often enough. I'm on vacation and the kids were tired so we skipped a certain stop that I wanted. Work prevents a photo op. I made one choice that closed the door to another.
Whether these escaped "fish" are big or small, sometimes I need to remind myself that life is full of choices and that regrets are rarely helpful. Another case of do as I say, not as I do, doctor. Or to put it another way, physician heal thyself.
I just started a book, The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry, by Kathleen Flinn. This woman threw caution to the wind and lived out a dream which was to enroll as a student at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. As she puts it: "I could go now or spend my life wondering why I didn't. 'Life is not a dress rehearsal,' I whispered to myself."
Good for her, I say, but for me, right now, I need to get on with business. There is no life altering moment around the bend (that I am aware of) but I have no intention of having my epitaph be full of regrets either. I freely chose to be a certain kind of doctor, the compassionate kind who gives up photo ops to be there for her patients. I chose to have kids which means fewer side trips and less freedom to go where I want to while on vacation. But I also choose to go on vacation next week and not be there for my patients for 10 days. And I choose to take an afternoon off of parenting to take photos. Life is full of compromises. So be it.
My epitaph will hopefully be something like, "She lived well, played well, worked hard, indulged in her creative side and really, really cared about people."


A Free Man said...

Regrets are never helpful and you never see an exciting life opportunity coming, nature of the beasts, I reckon.

deb said...

First let me say I am lusting after the building in this picture... loving old and abandoned things as I do, then let me recommend Anne Truitt's books, daybook and turn, if you haven't already read them, you can pick them up on Amazon for less than $5 each, and she writes very movingly of her life as an artist and the debt her work owed to her marriage and family, I found it a relief to read. She is a moving writer, I aspire to write as well about my life, and she deeply loves her family, and her work and talks very honestly about those conflicts. If I don't get a chance to stop by again before the holidays, try to relax and enjoy!!!