Regrets is the theme of Sunday Scribblings this week.
I don't think about regrets very often. Why? There is no point to carrying around regrets unless there is something to be done with them. Sure, there are plenty of things I wish I hadn't done: I wish I hadn't made a bad marriage at an early age, I wish I hadn't embarked on some of the other relationships I've had. But, there they are; I can't change any of it. I might regret that I had my children so late in life, but if I hadn't waited for my husband, how would I have had them at all? I might regret things left unsaid to people who have gone, but... they are gone. I might regret lost friendships, but there is usually a reason for that loss.
But when I think of the word "regret" three rather inconsequential things come to mind:
I regret that I didn't go away to college. I went to a local school for 2 years, dropped out, then finally returned as a working adult. I graduated when I was 35, I think, or thereabouts. I loved college and I think I would have loved it more if I'd done it "right." However, I never regret the time I spent finishing, even though it was one of the hardest and loneliest times of my life.
I regret buying a pouffy princess-y wedding gown. I should have picked the elegant tea-length number I saw first. But no. I allowed myself to be talked into the princess gown. 'Cause every bride is a princess, right?
And, I never learned to swim well enough to be comfortable in the water.
So, what can I do with those regrets? That is one of the great things about having children: turning regrets into opportunities for them. I can...
... encourage them to go away to college, if that is their dream.
... teach my daughter how to withstand the wedding gown consultant sales pitch, and raise my son to choose a bride who can and will do this too.
... get them swimming lessons.
They may have their own regrets, but they don't need mine.