Ahhhhh, regret. I think all of us, at one time or another, experiences regret. And I think the instances and severity of regret we feel evolve with our age and personalities. There have been many times in my life where, upon reflection, I have regretted many things.
At one time, I "regretted" not just "sticking it through" a marriage (for the kids' sake) that included a husband who couldn't keep his dick out of other women, and who didn't (and still doesn't to this day, as far as I'm concerned) seem to know the meaning of the word "truth", and wouldn't ever really know it even if he were bitten repeatedly and severely in the ass. But then, I saw past my regret to realize that I had two daughters to raise (at the time), and I did NOT want to raise them thinking that a woman is supposed to accept that kind of behavior or to be a doormat--so I filed for divorce.
At one time, I "regretted" not being able to speak up or put him in his place when my father would beat me and my siblings. But then, as an adult, I realized that by feeling "regret" about that, I was carrying guilt that wasn't mine to carry, and by carrying it, I was STILL giving him and the abuse he inflicted power over me and my life. I am a strong and loving (and non-abusing I might add) woman/mother not because of the abuse he dealt out, but in SPITE of it, and I will be DAMNED if I will ever give him an ounce of me --any "regret" regarding that abuse will be his and his ALONE to carry.
There was a time that I "regretted" not following my dreams and veering off of the original course I set for myself when I was younger. But then, I most definitely would not have the world view I now have. I also loved being a young mother, and love even MORE that I don't "look" old enough to be the mother of a 22 yo ;). But I digress....so I didn't make a career out of the Navy--big deal? If I had, would I have been able to enjoy the childhoods of my older children the way I was able to? Most likely, NO. Besides, veering off-course ultimately led me to "here". And I like "here".
There was a time that I "regretted" not saying "I Love You" (and hugging and holding her) more to my lovely daughter Holly who passed away in 1998 at the age of 7. But then (a long LONG time later), I realized that I DID tell her I loved her all the time, just like I tell the other children. I did hold her just as much as the other children were held. I was far too emotional and far too overwhelmed by the void her loss caused to understand this, so my days were consumed by this "regret". When you lose somebody...ANYBODY... that you love, you realize that you didn't have enough time with them, and begin to fantasize about what you would do with just a little more time with them. It's SO hard to think of your existence in terms of being without them. It's a "process" as they say. But I did learn after many years that to focus on those feelings of regret kept me from appreciating that she DID know she was loved...all of my children have (and ALWAYS will) from the time they were born. While I most definitely didn't have enough time with her, I no longer shoulder what was my initial gut-reaction to her loss. I mourn the fact that she was taken from me too soon, but you know what? I sure revel in the wonderful 7 years that I did have with her shining self ;).
I suppose one "could" say that I now lead my life with no regrets. Why should I "regret" anything? If I send a small gift to somebody who will never express thanks or even appreciate that the gift was even sent, do I regret thinking of them and giving them a gift? NOPE. Let them live with their own air of self importance and condescending nature--Karma takes care of that kind ;). If I say something in conversation that I fail to measure before it comes out of my mouth, do I "regret" it? NOPE--not for one single minute. Do I apologize PROFUSELY if I see I have caused someone hurt by something I have said or done? ABSOLUTELY!! The only way a person can learn humility is to experience the consequences of your actions.
At any rate, thank you for reading my diatribe on personal "regret" :). Stay tuned for tomorrow, where we will recap the month of September!!!!! I'm giddy...GIDDY!!!!!