“Be wise today so you don’t cry tomorrow.” E.A. Bucchianeri
Many people will note that they do not have any regrets. They purport to live life to the fullest and recognizing that you only live once. Yeah, we have all heard someone say that we ourselves might have said we have no regrets. We are often told that we need to learn how to live your life with no regrets in order to be fulfilled. I just do not believe that. Nor do I believe that there are people that have absolutely no regrets. Sure we want to act as if we are always in control of our lives and that we are living each day purposefully. Not so.
Guess what. There are days where we get up, brush our teeth, look at out the window and instead of heading out to work, we decide to stay on the couch. We pull out the bag of chips, drink three cups of coffee and watch Dirty Dancing for the 100th time. There are days where we can not fathom trying to live life to the fullest and that is ok. We may come to regret not having done what needed to be finished that day but in that moment, we had nothing to feel because we didn’t want to feel.
Then there are days where we ruminate about a decision we should have made. Or ruminate about a decision we didn’t make. No one has zero-free bad decision-days. Me, I have had a few decisions I regret. Admittedly, not many. Sure, I may have regretted for several years in a row eating curry chicken from a buffet. Those emergency room late night visits are no fun, especially on New Years Day. Oh, and boy did I see people that surely were going to have big moments of regret that day after New Year’s ER visit. But big regrets? No, I do not have many.
I have been pretty purposeful in life. And when I haven’t I have learned to make the best of the situation. I think that is a part that is forgotten about when considering what it means to live with no regrets. Living with no regrets doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything right in that moment (however one defines right). It also means making things work thereafter.
I do have one situation in which I made the wrong decision. I do have one situation that I couldn’t make the best of thereafter. I should have not taking a “no” from my mother several years ago. I should have made my mother do what needed to be done to take care of her health. At the end I didn’t because she was my mother and I had to respect her wishes. She was a grown woman and I couldn’t necessarily force her to do something; particularly when she was a 1,000 miles away. I have always been so independent because that is how my mother raised me to be. She was independent. I had felt that I needed to honor that aspect of her being. I now know I should have done differently. Hindsight, what a load of ….. That hindsight should have been present in the here and now in that moment. When will Google develop a search engine or an app for that? I wonder as my son turns a year older this week, what his regrets will be and I how I can hope to mitigate those?