Friday, 18 July 2014

Non, je ne regrette rien

Regrets quote

I've been thinking about regrets.  Or a lack of them in my case.

I don't believe in having regrets, it seems to me to be a waste of emotional energy and completely pointless. I know several people who regularly pore over their regrets and wish they'd done things differently, but honestly, what's the point?  It happened, that moment has gone, we can't change it.  Every single experience we have, decision we make or journey we take (physically or metaphorically) is there to teach us something and learning from them is what makes us who we are.

So, I don't regret anything.

I don't regret the fashion disasters (too many to mention), the bad hairstyles (ditto), or the cheap shoes that gave me permanently disfigured heels.

Don't regret the nights when I drank more than was sensible and did stupid, crazy things; or the subsequent painful hangovers, even the one that was so bad I thought I'd have to cancel a holiday because I was too ill to go (the holiday was two months away).

Don't regret the many crushes on boys who didn't feel the same; the unrequited loves (yes, more than one);   or the short-lived but hugely enjoyable escapades with highly unsuitable men. Also can't regret the bad choices I made when it came to relationships (where do I start?) or the time spent with the wrong type of men.

Don't regret turning down a proposal of marriage in my early 20s  from a boyfriend who seemed to be (according to my parents) perfect in every way. Even when they they thought I was crazy (good prospects, good looking, steady) I thought I was too young.

So I definitely don't regret my disastrous less than successful marriage.  How can I when it resulted in my two daughters, who have given my life more purpose than anything else ever has or ever will?

Likewise, I don't regret my parenting fails (plenty of those); or giving up my well-paid job when my girls were little because I worked long hours and hardly saw them. Taking a part-time job on a low wage seemed like madness to a lot of people but I knew it was right for us.  Probably one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Will never regret becoming a single parent. It's not always been a picnic: there have been times when we have skated very close to financial disaster and other times when I've been desperately lonely, but when I weigh up the pros and cons the pros win every time.

Don't regret the things I didn't do that maybe I should have, or the opportunities I missed because I hesitated. Of course I've made more than my fair share of mistakes, but what the hell, it's done, it's finished with. Over. No point wasting more time fretting over it now.

I tell my daughters that no experience, good or bad, is ever wasted if we take responsibility for our actions and learn something from it, and I hope when they're older they'll also have no regrets.

Paolo Coelho quote

What about you? Do you have regrets or, like me, do you think it's a waste of time?