We all have experiences where the important takeaway is valuable life lessons learned.
That happened for me this weekend as I was going through my old baseball cards collection.
See, I was cleaning out my closet in the literal sense when I ended up cleaning out the closet in a metaphorical sense.
I’ve had trouble letting go of the past, particularly the unpleasant parts (not having friends, not being liked/appreciated by girls, etc).
This little event of cleaning out the closet so my parents can downsize homes turned into 3 big life lessons learned.
My Life Lessons from Baseball Cards
1 – My parents loved me dearly
I didn’t always agree with how they raised me. Certainly, looking back, I wish they had done a few things differently. Like, teach me Spanish and piano.
I know I didn’t ask for those things as a kid, and I may have even resented them at the time, but I would’ve been waaaay cooler come adulthood and that would’ve been nice. I lacked foresight at the age of 8. Weird.
Mom and Dad got me all these baseball cards because that’s what I wanted. And I loved them. I remembered all the times I’d sit there and organize them and read the stats for the players. I had fun in a fantasy world.
Those cards let me dream. Escape the world of no friends to a place where I was a pro baseball player and loved life. That was a special gift.
2 – Things don’t always work out the way you plan… and that’s ok.
My parents may have thought at the time that all those cards were an investment. That didn’t pan out.
Not only did the cards not pay for college (fortunately, I earned academic scholarships), they might not even pay for a suit for me now.
Lots of investments don’t take the route we’d prefer. Many events in life do the same. What matters is how we deal with things that don’t go in our favor.
Learning to bounce back and keep fighting is an excellent life lesson.
Of course, not putting as much stock in material possessions, particularly of the fad variety, would help greatly. There are much better ways to spend time and money than on trinkets that will fill our closets and storage units.
3 – Let go of the past, especially unfulfilled hopes and dreams.
This is the most important life lesson learned.
Holding onto events, that happened or didn’t, from a time long gone helps no one.
It also prevents living in the present.
To be more active and engaged with right now, we must let it go! Don’t hold onto things that don’t serve you.
Hopefully, we all have goals for ourselves. Thinking about the past will not get us where we want to be.
We must let go of the brokenness, appreciate the life lessons learned and move on with our lives.
This is the only path to happiness.
Amazing. Maybe the couple thousand dollars my parents spent on those baseball cards were worth the money despite not seeing a cash value today.