Pandora's Jewels  

rm_aWench4U 61M/61F
210 posts
7/26/2006 3:59 pm

Last Read:
8/5/2006 11:47 pm

Pandora's Jewels

I was reading the Blogs recently, and I got today's idea from AngelofMercy5's post Spiritual Prison. (I'm trying the tip VAT gave me, and hope the link thing works!) Anyway, I started to respond to her post, and realized this was WAY too long for a response, so I'd just post it here. Thanks, Angel, for the inspiration!

I have a shoebox on my closet shelf, the lid and the box are wrapped separately in pretty paper, and it's all tied together with a beautiful bow. The box is full of index cards, with "If Only. . ." written on the first line on each card. The pretty wrapping and ribbon around it serve as a reminder that pretty things are not always what they seem. I call it my Pandora's Box. I know that every time I open it up to rehash what was written on the cards, I'm just looking for trouble, because I'll end up either upset or depressed, neither of which is healthy or productive.

Next to that box I have another one, with no pretty paper or ribbon on it, just a slot cut in the lid. This box one is my Jewel Box. It too is filled with index cards, but the first line on each of these cards reads either “I learned” or "Next time..." This is where I write the lessons I've learned during my time enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks. This is where I go when I need some really good advice, and I know better than to call my friends at two in the morning. (And if after reading the cards I still don’t know what to do, I write an email!)

The economics concept of Opportunity Cost comes to mind: For every choice we make to use a resource (time, money, education, job, auto, etc., etc.) we forfeit the opportunity to use that resource for anything else. If I choose to use my time between the ages of 18 and 22 to go to school at Tulane, I can’t use those years to go to Harvard. If I choose to buy a condo on Maui, I can’t use the same money to buy a beach house in Malibu. If I decide to get married at 21, I give up the right to continue dating. (Well, ok, some will debate that–work with me here!) If I choose to have a child at age 23, I give up going to clubs, backpacking around Europe, and other things my girlfriends are still doing.

Now go back with me to those boxes on my closet shelf. Some of the choices I made as a kid looked very attractive at the time. It wasn't until later, in hindsight, that I realized how ugly some of them were, and that there might have been a reason mom and dad told us to stay away from whatever. Not that I listened! No, I had to make my own mistakes and learn my own lessons. Some of the lessons I do regret having to learn, or at least when and how I learned them. Yes, I know that every experience played a role in who I am today, and I'm pretty terrific, if I do say so. But I wonder if I might have turned out even more terrifically if I would have had the opportunity to take "the other road" that the choice I made caused me to forfeit.

Remember the past but do not dwell there.
Face the future where all our hopes stand.


Juliet610 51F

7/27/2006 8:45 pm


I know what you mean about the "boxes." Sometimes I find myself digging thru the "If Only" box, and you're absolutely right! It does no good to go there, I end up in the worst mood. Thanks for putting this in a very visual way--it helps me to see it more clearly. I think I'm going to start a "Gratitude" box!

Love, Julz

P.S. Thanks SO MUCH for the cookies, even tho Jason ate most of them!

VATraveler1948 68M

7/31/2006 3:43 am

Good post! That If Only box does contain only regrets and there is nothing that you can retrieve from there.

The link back to Angelofmercy5's blog is Spiritual Prison. To make the links work you type (post 44200 but you would use the square brackets instead of the open and close parenthesis.

VATraveler1948 68M

7/31/2006 3:48 am

Dang... this silly web site won't even allow me to type in the parenthesis without doing some of the silly smiley's.

fantasylover_05 62M

7/31/2006 8:03 am


Looking back we should not see the regrets or lost opportunities... we should see the ways that those experiences did indeed mould us into who we are today....

You question IF we could have been better... isn't also therefore possible we could have made WORSE choices?

I can honestly say.. I can look back on virtually all the hardships and choices I made and yes perhaps I wonder if I could have done things differently.. but I also know that they did make me who I am and I can see good which came from each and everyone... directly or indirectly... and I find great solace in that knowledge

We make choices everyday... to have learned from past choices we can hopefully make better choices in teh future...

Perhaps those weren't opportunity "costs"... but instead opportunity INVESTMENTS??

I like Julz's "gratitude box"!!

Thank you for this thought provoting post!

ps... any friend of Julz is a friend of mine!!

Weclome to the blogs! This place is every bit as supporting and loving as Julz has described and more!

LustyTaurus 48M  
21253 posts
8/3/2006 9:36 pm

It's weird that you mention opportunity cost and reflect about what life may have been like with different choices. I have met folks whose path seemed to be a mirror image of mine...everything opposite, and tney wonder too...go figure....

Good post btw.

AstirRelicLatah 64M
1993 posts
8/5/2006 7:29 am

Really nice post....I think we all make decisions we believe are the best for us at the time we make them....Some are good, most are OK and some are just terrible....For me the terrible ones were fun while doing them, but cause a lot of pain....also, a lot of learning and probably add to making me the "interesting" *grin* person I am today. I just doesn't make sense to beat oneself up about the past, learn from it and go forward.

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