Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No regrets

Dooce (like I need to link it) had an interesting post the other day asking readers about their regrets. I didn't post a reply, but it got me started on the notion of what I regret and what I don't.

I generally second-guess myself a lot. It's a weakness, or perhaps part of my Gemini nature, that I can't just DO something and let it go. I've done lots of things I regret, and I really doubt people who say that they live life with none. I think they're either hopelessly self-involved and not concerned with the effect their actions have on others, or they're lying. Or, worse yet, never taken a risk.

However, I have been thinking of things I don't regret, that if given the chance knowing what I know now I'd still do, no matter how it turned out in the end. Here are some:

* Blowing much of what I earned in my high school job on a trip to Europe.

* Fooling around with him. And him, and him. Oh, yeah, and those two guys too.

* Choosing the right major.

* Refraining from telling off my bitchy former boss when I had the chance. Leaving with dignity matters.

* Moving almost everywhere I did. Even this old house, with its questionable roof, teensy kitchen, spiders in the basement and drafty windows.

* Picking up that clawing, squeaky, swaybacked, bowlegged, cross-eyed kitten and saying "Sure, I'll take him."

* Maybe I should have given you my unbidden opinion of what you were about to do and maybe you wouldn't have made the mistake. I didn't, and it means I get to be there for you if I do turn out to be right. And if I turn out to be wrong.

* Responding when you reached out, even if I since haven't been as good about keeping up our rekindled friendship. I missed you, too.

* Actually shutting my enormous cakehole when I realized the only good of what I was about to say would be unburdening myself and taking you down a peg or two. Most people regret the things they don't do more than the things they did, and many of my regrets are that sort. But sometimes, it feels right to take the kindest path even though the other person will never know what you DON'T say.

* Therapy. And Wellbutrin.

* Smoking my last cigarette in July of 2003. Chickening out when I tried to bum one nine months later, because little did I know I was pregnant then.

* Sleep training.

* Getting in your truck to go to that bar even though I barely knew you. Almost ten years, one house, one baby and three pets later, I'm glad I listened to my instinct that you were not in fact a psycho.

* Keeping the friends I've kept.

That's quite a few things, more than I thought. Any of my friendly commenters want to share some of their non-regrets?


tAnYeTTa said...


pnutsmama said...

one regret, but one i forgave myself a long time ago for being in the moment and immature- not going to see my mom for a good long while the afternoon before she died. i was waiting around for some bullshit in the house when i should have just let the little things go and be with her.

three things i don't regret:
trusting my heart when it told me that my husband was then and is now still my one. we had some awful first few years that if i had been my friend i would have been like, "girl, you crazy. lose that dummy and get some respect for yourself." lucky for me i tuned into the one voice inside that pulled me like a magnet to him.

i don't regret telling my sister when i think she is being an idiot, although i will say that i have learned to only tell her my feelings when it is really important and not just to make myself look better- now it's more an advocacy attempt for her and my nephew's well-being. and mostly i keep my opinions to myself. even when i want to shake her head off of her body and scream in her face that she really makes poor decisions, decisions that will oneday soon have irreparable effects.

i don't regret moving back home to live with my uncle. it puts a strain on my marriage at times and this is definitely not where we pictured we'd be at this stage in the game, but mostly we have morphed into this new family that i wouldn't trade for the world. pnut loves her grandpa and he is so awesome with her and even when my patience for an 83 yr old man with parkinsons is slim, i am so glad i am the one here taking care of him and not letting my family ignore him until he went off to an early grave.

finally, i don't regret going back to grad school to learn about and finally own my faith. i know i need to fully let go of the anxiety of caring about what people think of me when i admit i'm a believer- i need to find better ways of assuring people i haven't drank the kool-aid i guess. i am so glad i kissed advertising goodbye and went with my heart instead! i'd rather be poor and happy anyday!

sorry i got a little carried away- this is very therapeutic! thanks!

Theresa said...

Let's see, things I don't regret.

I don't regret not going to the college I thought I had to attend. Although I'm not happy with all that lead up to it, I'm glad that I ended up at UMich since that's where I met Ben and I can't imagine life without him. Of course, without Ben there would have been no Holly and I can't imagine life without her either!

I don't regret keeping my mouth shut when really mean things come into my head when I'm angry.

I don't regret reaching out. :)

I don't regret leaving the message board at mom2momlist. I'm so much happier not being exposed to that kind of racism, homophobia and Bible-thumping hypocrisy.

I don't regret that my ex-boyfriend broke my heart. If he hadn't, I might have made a terrible mistake and not be nearly as happy as I am now.

tripmom827 said...

Intersting post...

1. I don't regret marrying my husband. That turned out to be a pretty good move.

2. I don't regret having any of my children. I especially don't regret giving birth to Jaden instead of terminating despite my fears of raising a disabled child.

3. I don't regret giving God a large space in my life.

4. I also don't regret learning to keep my mouth shut. Or at least learning to pick my battles, especially when it comes to my mother-in-law.