Monday, May 26, 2008

Regrets

With my 50th birthday quickly approaching, I can’t help but look back and analyze where I’ve been so far and part of that analysis must be a look at regrets. While I don’t have many regrets, I do have a few and the one that comes most quickly to my mind is a situation when I was in high school and I lied to my dad. No physical harm came from the lie and I don’t think he ever knew that I had lied, but, in a roundabout way, the lie hurt his feelings and that I truly regret. My kids read this blog so I’m not going to go into the specifics of the lie, but I will say that it was born out of self-indulgence and I learned then that a lie, even one that gets me what I want, simply isn’t worth the possible emotional harm it can cause.

That lie is really my only regret that involves another person. My other, few, regrets revolve around actions I did or did not take for myself. For instance, I regret that I didn’t push myself to write earlier, though I can rationalize that with the idea that I wasn’t yet ready for the exercise. That’s an okay rationalization with probably some truth to it, but I fear that it’s probably more accurate to say that I was too lazy (not normally a quality I associate with myself) to do the work. I also regret that I’ve spent so much time and energy dealing with the weight issue. I don’t regret the result, because I’ve been able to keep myself at a fairly healthy weight against the odds of genetics and environment, but I just wish I could have gotten a better handle on the issue early-on; just think of what else I might have had the energy for!

While this isn’t a complete list of my regrets, it’s all I care to go into. Thinking about regrets is pretty much a negative exercise and I’m not interested in expending much in the way of negative energy. I know there are people who have a long list of regrets and I feel fortunate that my list, even if it were complete, is short, but the good thing about a regret is that it’s an indication of growth: we did or did not do something and we’re now able to see that truth, allowing us to move forward and become a better person, acting in ways that, hopefully, spur gratitude, not regret.

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