Regretfully Yours

Every time I fly alone with the baby, I resolve not to do it again. (It’s tough–but it’s always worth it–I get to extend a stay in warm weather or with loved ones while my husband must return to work.) And every time my husband and I spend a long while apart, we say, “Let’s not do this again.” (Though I know a couple couples where the wife goes to Israel for a month or the husband goes to France for a month–and sometimes the sojourn sounds as romantic as staying glued together.)

And every time I eat dessert at 10 o’clock I say I shouldn’t have while rubbing my aching belly. And every time I bite my cuticles to the quick I say I’ve got to break this habit. And every time I let a thoughtless gesture get my goat I strive to wear a thicker skin.

I have minor yet nagging regrets, habits I can’t seem to shed, and resolutions that become like mantras (which they shouldn’t–a resolution, in theory, should only be uttered once). Picture Bart Simpson writing on the school chalkboard–he may promise a hundred times not to give Milhouse a wedgie, but he just can’t show restraint.

The few major regrets I have are not taking a class in Latin; leaving Nicaragua early, before seeing my students put on the play we rehearsed; not attending my great aunt Ruth’s funeral (our daughter is named after her); and others not meant for the public eye…

Is there a mistake you keep on making? A voice inside telling you to stop (or start), that you’re disobeying? An intuition you’re ignoring?

Why aren’t we better masters of self?

I know we can be better. I’d like to try. I find that taking a retreat, like the one I experienced at Kripalu, helps me focus and initiate positive change, with lasting results.

When my daughter weans, I hope to experience another meaningful retreat (AND a fun weekend with girlfriends).

I’d love to hear what ways you’re polishing your act. Maybe you’ll inspire me, or maybe we can just commiserate for a moment before getting back to the work.

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
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5 Responses to Regretfully Yours

  1. Say says:

    read a book once by Richard Bach, he described life as a block of Granite rock and every decision made or path taken was our way of chipping away part of that rock and we sculpt part of our lives.

    regrets are those paths never taken, regrets are those pieces of rock that you did not need then and you clearly don´t need them now.

    i too think about regrets, but i have none. life is not perfect and i know it will never be but i try to live life to the fullest. look forward not back.

    just my 2 colones worth


  2. oliarights says:

    I have regrets but I want to think about regrets as clues. If you regret it, you must want to do it. You will do it. Life is long.

  3. Lee Kottner says:

    I think regrets are inevitable, but it’s the kind of regrets you have that are important. Do you regret a missed opportunity, or regret something nasty you did? Being a good person requires effort and foresight and sometimes there is no good choice or foresight fails or there are unintended consequences. For instance, being more creative requires alone time, which many people see as selfish. Who’s right? What’s more important? This is one I struggle with all the time. I love my friends, but I have a lot of them and I can’t give all of them the attention they’d like and still have juice left for me.

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