August On Display Collaboration


August 24, 1999

Regret is a funny thing. To me, the very essence of regret is wishing something hadn't happened. And for all the bad, good, or otherwise things in my life that have happened, most every single one of them has left me with something. A memory, a lesson, something.

So, I don't suppose I have regrets per se. There are, however, some things I wish were different:

1. I wish I was 20 pounds lighter.

2. I wish I had better self-discipline when it comes to things like diet and exercise. (This directly correlates to #1 because if I were good at #2, #1 wouldn't be an issue.)

3. I wish I didn't have so much gray hair.

4. I wish I had a better relationship with my family.

5. I wish I were better about saving and planning for my retirement.

6. I wish I'd started having children at a younger age. . Being nearly 40 with a 3 year old is trying, at best, at times.

7. I wish I had more time for my family. I work full time and then come home to my second full time job--wife and mother. It can be enormously draining and often leaves little time for myself.

Then there are the other things in my life which have caused me absolutely not one moment of regret or wishing for a different situation:

1. I don't regret one second of the decision to quit my job in 1989, sublet my apartment and move to Spain. I didn't speak the language. I only knew one person in the place I was moving to. It was absolutely, without a doubt, the best year of my life.

2. I don't regret having waited so long to get married and start a family (see #6 above). This one falls into both categories. I love my husband more than any man I've ever been with in my entire life (and that's a lot). And without the magical concoction of timing and kismet that brought us our daughter I would have ended up with a completely different child and I absolutely could not imagine life without her. Also, having waited so long to get married and have a child, I have more of an inner peace and more patience then I had in my youth that lets me be a better wife and mother then I ever could have been earlier.

3. I don't regret starting my journal. While some days I just don't feel like sitting down and writing, its a good exercise. It takes me out of myself. It brings me into myself. It makes me laugh. It makes me want to cry.

OK, it seems the "I wishes" outnumber the "I don't regrets" but I think it's always easier to dwell on the things you wish were otherwise. The things that you're happy about you just accept.

Until next time. . .