A Cautionary Tale – Oh, regrets. We all seem to have a few. Looking back on my life there are many things I would have done differently had I been more aware of living in the present, and making changes soon enough so that my regrets in life remained minimal.
When we live in the present we are aware of the importance of self-expression and taking the time to really explore our interests and the world around us. Blessed are the people who screech into the grave, having lived their lives to the fullest all the while learning, loving, building, creating, taking risks, growing and enjoying most of their life journey. It could be that there are a few apologies along the way, but kudos go to people who live presently enough to understand what is truly important to their own happiness. People that follow their own path (especially when it requires making difficult changes or decisions), tend to live with very few regrets.
Regrets in life are such sad, mournful things. A heavy bucket of them can pin a person down. The good news is we can tweak what isn’t working in our lives, and hone what is before it’s too late. We can indeed lighten the weight of our buckets if we are open to suggestions.
As human beings, we seem to only learn from our own mistakes. Despite that, I have revealed a few regrets of my life here as a cautionary tale.
1. Cleaning instead of playing with my children
For some reason, I could never do anything at all, ever, unless I was organized and my house was squeaky clean. I wouldn’t leave, go outside, or to the store. It was difficult for me to even play with my kids. I had this picture in my mind about what my house needed to look and feel like in order for me to function as a happy mom.
I had to project perfection in order to actually enjoy play time. My poor kids. Now I look back and regret not savoring their childhoods more. In my heart, I don’t think being a slob is okay, but I know that most of the cleaning and organizing fed my need for perfection. Children grow up fast. The house can wait. Trust me when I tell you that you will have years and years of a clean, quiet house when your kids leave the nest.
2. Worrying about reactions to my opinion
I always had a problem “speaking up” in my life. I was afraid of offending someone or getting into an argument. I learned to keep my opinion to myself. This basically comes off as having an empty and uninteresting personality. What I have learned is that the more I know, the more confident I am speaking my mind. I have learned to respectfully express myself, and it’s empowering. I regret not speaking up in given situations along the way for fear of “rocking the boat”. The expression is a healer. When we don’t express ourselves and our opinions, we harbor resentment and anger. These feelings turn into regrets in life over time.
3. Blaming my mother
So often, when we are riddled with problems, (as was the case with my unhappiness and my eating disorder), we look to place blame somewhere, on someone. I went through many years of blaming my mother for everything about myself that I didn’t like or couldn’t control. I never asked for help or took ownership of my own behaviors. I simply sat back and rested on the crutch of playing the blame game. Kids do not come with instructions.
My beautiful, generous mother did a fine job raising me. She wasn’t perfect, but she loved me and she tried her best. She didn’t deserve my wrath, my anger, or my pointed finger. We all dance in the shadow of our own upbringing and it affects the way we raise our own kids. But my mother is not at fault for the way I chose to live or mask my pain, and I regret making her feel guilty.