A lot of the pleasure that we get in the final 15% of our lives will be based on whether we have judged our actions or events during that period as successes or failures. Everyone has certain criteria that they use to make that judgment. But I think some of us would benefit from making an adjustment to those criteria. I have a story to tell that will explain why I feel that way.
I was talking to my husband Bill last night about an event from our past that I considered to be a wonderful adventure and therefore a great success. I was surprised to hear from him that he remembered it as a failure. I was having great pleasure just thinking about the event while he was experiencing a sense of loss thinking about the exact same event. It was a complex event in our life that contained many hopes and aspirations as well as actions and incidents that could each be judged a success or failure. I rated the overall event is a tremendous success because we had some amazing new experiences, many extremely enjoyable moments, some wonderful recognition for hard work done and, in my opinion, just one failure. Bill remembered only the failure.
The incident I am going to describe was based upon one of my husband’s amazing talents. Bill, in my opinion and the opinion of many other people, is a mechanical genius. On every project he’s ever worked on around the house or in the garage, he has ended up inventing some new tool or way of doing the action required. I didn’t always appreciate that talent when it resulted in the project taking much longer than I had anticipated but I could always appreciate the intelligence and thought behind the end result. Over the course of our youth, it never occurred to us to try to patent any of these amazing inventions or to try to profit from them financially. I think it never occurred to me that not everyone’s husband invented new tools regularly. What a shame. If I had one “do over” in life, I would be wiser about recognizing that my husband’s inventive talents might have been marketable. Continue reading