Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done, but for the things we haven’t done.~ Chad Michael Murray
I have always said when I am old and probably in a care home, sitting in my chair and looking out the window, I don’t want to look back on my life and think of the things I wanted to do, but didn’t. I don’t want to have regrets.
No life is without regrets
As I grow older, I have come to learn no life is without regrets.
Or maybe we shouldn’t call it regrets.
Life takes us on many twists and turns. Sometimes the things we dream of, those things we would love to do, just don’t fit in with the path life has put you on.
Should you the regret that you have never done it, or should you be grateful for the things you have learned on that unexpected path, despite not being able to follow your dreams?
Maybe sometimes dreams are meant to be just that: dreams.
Mom had dreams, but no regrets
One thing my mom had always dreamed about was to make a train trip on the Trans-Siberian Express. She never got to do it. In those last six months of her life, she mentioned it once, not saying she was sorry she couldn’t take the trip, but that she was grateful for all the trips she had made.
She won three trips at the casino — a weekend trip to England, a 10-day trip to Thailand and a 5-day Christmas shopping trip to New York. She took her grandchildren to England with her, my oldest to Thailand and me to New York. Other than that she drove to England to visit family, went to Paris with her oldest sister, took her other sister to England to see the Night of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and also on a bus trip to Italy, and she flew to South Africa many times to visit family.
There might have been only one regret she had: never marrying the love of her life. And you know, maybe she never regretted that either, because of all the twists and turns life had sent her on, the things she had experienced, and the other loves she had.
Another regret, but something we never talked about, simply because I have only known since November 2020, are the lies around the birth of my daughter. One day I will be brave enough to write about
Things in my life that could be regrets
I can regret the fact I had a child when I was sixteen, but that would be like wishing my daughter away.
There are two divorces I can regret, but those marriages had taught me valuable lessons about myself.
I can regret only learning valuable lessons about myself in this stage of my life, but I know only now I was ready for those.
One thing I will never regret is leaving my country of birth to immigrate to The Netherlands. That was one of the best decisions of my life.
Are there things I regret? Yes, of course there are. No big things, but incidents I wish hadn’t happened. I don’t dwell on those, but prefer to see the positive in them, to take with me the lessons I have learned.
I look back on the quote above, and hope that when I sit there in that care home, I will be like my mom: grateful for the things I have done, and not regret the things I haven’t.
Always the optimist…
© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay