Regret is an evil beast with a life of its own. Its one desire is to hijack an otherwise healthy, happy life, spoiling it like a finely growing web of mold on a once delicious slice of bread.
I used to say that I had no regrets, that even wrong decisions had merit and had brought me to a certain stage in life. Maybe it’s easier to wrestle with regret when you are the only one in the picture. Now I have a family, and while I still embrace the difficulties and mistakes in life as they relate to me, I have a harder time doing so with the people I love.
What if we had moved to a different town? Would my kids have access to a better education?
What if I hadn’t influenced my husband’s career choice? Would he own his own business now?
What if I had not tied the dog up that fateful night?
The truth is that having choices involves dealing with regrets. There is a quote that goes around the internet and makes a pass every now and again to remind me that “in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” I don’t know how true it is. Thankfully, I’m not yet at the end. It does kind of gel with my other newly adopted mantra, one that is meant to spur me to action. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
It gets harder with age, but I’m still resisting big ticket regret. There’s too much of life left to live to let it start to spoil now.
Smaller things however? Well, I regret that second cookie. And I should have gone to bed much earlier last night.
Oh well. Live and learn, right?