Regret. It should be a four-letter word. Here it is, the wee hours of the morning, and my mind has wandered to regrets.
I would love to say I’ve lived a regret-free life, but this just isn’t the case. Like so many, I have things I’d change if I could do them over again. Those things include:
...working too much. I've allowed my life to be out of balance for years--this is time I won’t get back.
...going years without cleaning/organizing my house on a regular basis. (Weekly? Daily?) No wonder I’m currently in the cluttered state I’m in.
...spending the majority of my life thinking I was F-A-T when I actually had a cute little figure for many years that went unappreciated.
...not smooching Brent Lingwall that night in the hammock. We were in jr high. I was young and shy, but I still should have planted one on him and let him know how I felt about him at that age. Did he ever know?
...not blogging more. I have so many projects and ideas to share, but I never find the time/energy to share them. Goes back to that work/life balance thing, I suppose.
...losing track of Brandi Skinner. She was one of my dearest friends growing up. We ended up on different paths in life and I don’t know what happened to her after high school. I miss her and hope she’s well.
...following all of the rules. Yes, I was and still am an avid rule follower. There are times when this is good, but there are also times when it’s nice to let lose a little.
...the years I spent allowing doctors to tell me I was fine when I knew I wasn’t. Oh, how the quality of my life could have improved if I had only demanded more answers.
...checking out for much of my twenties. The later half of this decade proved extra difficult, and I checked out a bit in order to cope. What did I miss out on in that time?
...not sending out birthday cards. So many special days come and go and I don’t get cards made and sent. A text message is NOT equivalent to a card.
...dating the same boy for almost my entire high school life. Don’t get me wrong; he was a wonderful boy and I’m glad we dated, but no high schooler should limit their full three-year experience in this way. It wasn’t the best thing for either one of us.
...not spending enough time with my family. Sure, I see them on special occasions, but I want to see them on the not-so-special ones as well. More game nights. More trips for ice cream. That sort of thing.
...thinking I could tan as a kid. I spent far too many hours laying out, only to burn my whiter-than-white skin to a crisp. Sun spots and wrinkles are starting to appear now. I hope they’re the worst of the damage that will come from this stupidity.
...worrying too much. I spend a great deal of time worrying about things beyond my control. I can't help it and I know it does me no good, but I don't know how to turn it off.
...being awake and writing this post at 4:00 AM when I should be keeping an appointment with the sandman. I KNOW I’ll regret this in a few hours when I’m struggling to keep my eyes open at work.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I have regrets.
What’s my point? Well, I wonder if we shouldn’t learn to respect our regrets. Appreciate what they have to offer us by way of living a better life going forward. I’m 31. If I learn from this list, perhaps my list at 61 will only grow by half. I’m realistic enough to know I’ll never live an entirely regret-free life, but I can minimize the list by paying attention to what’s already on it and working to avoid the same pitfalls in the future.
I’ll conclude this odd rambling session with what led me to this thought process to begin with. I was lying in the dark, a bit uncomfortable and unable to sleep, with one hand wrapped around Cory’s and the other wrapped around my protruding belly. In that quiet moment, I was blissfully happy. The two loves of my life in my hands. That got me to thinking about the things that got me to this point. Naturally, the regrets and poor decisions, both big and small, were part of that journey to this moment.
I suppose this only further supports my thinking that regrets aren’t all bad. If they helped get me to this quiet, peaceful point of existence, then I’ll take every last one of them.