June 12, 2011

Yay for Spilt Milk

You know the phrase:
There's no use crying over spilt milk.

I've never understood it.

What's the big deal about spilling milk?
When I was little, I'd pour half a glass of milk down the drain every morning when my mom wasn't looking. And I only cried when she caught me. 

I mean I understand the principle. It means that regretting something that has already happened is useless. But my concern is that it sort of implies that

'you should have thought about the crying before you knocked the glass over. You dimwit'.

My problem is that the milk being spilt is taken as a bad thing.

The impression that something terrible has happened.
But now, nothing can be done.

Suck it up and move on.
It doesn't really help.

I like the amended version better. It's by the American comedian, W.C. Fields:

'Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned.'

This seems to say, don't regret it. Whatever happens, happens for a reason.
A good reason.

AWESOME! Yay for Clumsy Chris!
He saved someone's life today!
Thank heavens for the spilt milk!
Spilt milk rules!

Regret. S-U-C-K-S.

Regret is the kid that rides piggyback on his more sincere friends like grief, heartache and sorrow. The brat that always pushes you in the playground. Who hogs the swings. Who throws sand in your face. He's the bully that belongs in the penalty corner but has made his way into the vocabulary of just about every human being in the world.
Everyone has regrets.

Regret is a waste of six letters.
Yeah. Six letters. 

I think we should change it to just 'Reg'. Or maybe just 'Ret'.
Yeah, Ret is nice, because it sounds like 'Rat'.
At least that way we'll save three letters.

Everyone rets some decision they took in life. Big or small.
They ret the fact that it may have been a wrong one.

No? you're not feeling it?
You prefer the original 'regret'?
Fine, it'll take time for it to catch on.
But it will.
Remember, when it does. You heard it first, right here, at Pious Hippie.

As I was saying, everyone regrets some decision they took in life. Big or small.
They regret the fact that it may have been a wrong one.

Here's a slap on the forehead for ya.
None of the decisions you took were wrong.

Except of course, if you like stabbed someone or something. Or pushed someone off a cliff.
If you did do that, I'm gonna need you to leave.
And never come back.
I'm sorry.
Serial killers give me the heebie-jeebies.

And also, I think you're looking for the word 'repent', NOT 'regret'.
A bit of a difference there.

So where was I?
Ah. The wrong decision.
I know. I know.
That decision is the reason all your plans failed and you're in the infernal abyss that you are.

But there's an old saying,

'If you want to make God laugh, make a plan'

Seriously, for the past couple of years, I've felt like I'm on something like the 'Truman show' with God sitting up on a big white cloud watching me on his 65 inch high definition LED TV screen, with a big bag of popcorn in his lap. He smiles, with his mouth full of popcorn, and says, 'Go on, make a plan. I dare ya!'

And I do.

And then he giggles. And he presses this big red button on the control board embedded in the armrest of his cloud throne.

And 'POOF!' goes my plan.
Like Cinderella's dress and carriage as soon as the clock struck 12.

But, I know now, he was giving me some tough love.

Two years ago, I wanted to go to Berlin to study German. I wanted to stay in youth hostels for a year and work part-time as a waitress.
Don’t ask me why. I just wanted to.
Then, once I'd become fluent, I'd join a bank in Germany.

I imagined the fun I would have had.
The people I would have met.
The career I would have had.

I regretted that I didn't do it.
Even though there's no guarantee that that's what would have happened.

Chances are, with the European economy in the state it is, I would have eaten through my savings and never found a job.

But that's the thing with regret, you always look at the things you maybe, probably lost. It's harder to see the stuff that you actually gained, even though it's all around you.

So, because I didn't go, I'm stuck in a place that translates to 'H-E-L-L' for most people with my background and most people my age.
And it did for me too. For quite some time.

But if I went to Berlin, would I have had the two most amazing, roller coaster years of my life?

Would I have gone to chef school? Would I have dared to try to open my own restaurant? Would I have learnt technical analysis? Would I have known what it's like to travel in a three seat-er auto-rickshaw with ten people stuffed in it? Would I have driven 350 km on the highway in the pouring rain for 6 hours straight? Would I have taken kick-boxing lessons only to realize that I'd like nothing better than to kick the trainer's head off of his body? Would I have known the satisfaction of walking 10 hours everyday for 'market research' and seeing that I've worn out the soles of my shoe? Would I have known what it's like to eat at McDonalds everyday because it's the cheapest food available? 

Would I have met the amazing people that I did? Done the amazing things that I did?

Waitress shmaitress. I did so much more than I could have ever done in Berlin.

Had I gone to Berlin, I might not have made it back home when my grand dad passed away. I wouldn't have been able to help my family out when they needed me. I wouldn't have found the trust in God that I have.

Had I gone to Berlin, I wouldn't have been writing this blog for millions and millions of readers.
And saving lives.
And helping the environment.
Okay, fine. I'm pushing it with the environment thing.

Berlin was the poisoned milk that I accidentally spilt.
And I couldn't be more thankful.

Forget Berlin.
Should I regret that I was stupid enough to want to open a restaurant? Should I regret that it didn't work out? Should I regret that I never got to open my own shop?

Many people who know me think that these were all mistakes. Worthy of regret, (actually, worthy of ridicule). To me though, they were all stepping stones to where I am and where I'll eventually be. I learnt a LOT from these' mistakes'. More than those who laugh at me could ever hope to learn.

If I could, I'd do all of it again. In a heartbeat.

Regretting something in the past, is being thankless for the present.

Write down three things about your present that you really like. Anything.
Like the city that you live in.
Or the friends that you have.
Or the new hobby you discovered over the past few months.

You can only enjoy these things because of the decisions you took in the past.
Even the 'wrong' ones.

Again, NONE of the decisions you take can ever be wrong.
Once more, this does NOT apply to serial killers.
I'll spell it out for ya. It's 'r-e-p-e-n-t'. 
Seriously, you guys really need to leave.

Not all decisions will lead you to a rose garden, though.
Life in a rose garden would be pretty boring.
Yeah, they smell sweet in the beginning. But then the cloying sweet smell will get on your nerves. Trust me.
I don't know why.
Just… trust me.

Some decisions will take you through the scary woods.

The point is, you'll get something out of both kinds of decisions.
Something really good.
Something that'll make up for all the bad stuff.

Just trust your gut and trust that you'll never have to face anything that you can't handle. So you never have to feel bad about what's thrown your way. Know that you will always get something out of it.

We are stronger than we think we are. We have courage that we do not recognize until we need it. We are equal to challenges that we haven't even imagined yet.
                                                     — Peter Buffett
I have been asked by the Global Association of Cows (GAC) to include this Manifesto of Milk Conservation with my post:

The readers of this post should recognize that the quality of life and human health depends to a large extent on the availability of milk in the world. Despite the emotional impact of the above mentioned saying, all efforts should be taken for the proper conservation and elimination of wastage of milk.

Section 5.2 (a) of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Global Conservation of Milk, states that since, once milk is spilt, it is rendered useless, every reader should endeavor to ensure that such accidents are avoided at all costs.

A failure to take concrete steps towards the reduction of spillages in milk can result in long lasting and irreversible repercussions for the human race. It threatens to hamper the production of desserts worldwide.

Every glass of milk that is not spilt will contribute to the production of cakes, ice-creams and frozen yoghurts for decades ahead.

Together we can and we will.

Talk about touchy cows.


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The Pious Hippie by Ms. Pious Hippie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.