IntrepidWoman's Journey

Regrets are like leaves on a tree…

Posted on: October 24, 2015

Written in 2012 and just published now, in October 2015.

Regrets are like leaves on a tree. They come and they go. We can try to hang on to them, but they are of little use as they shrivel up. Besides, there are always new ones to replace them if we want to have them.

Many adults have mountains of regrets that go all the way back to childhood. Those who carry them on their backs are ending up with chronic pain and damage to the body and eventually the spirit. To carry them does nothing to change them.

Some of my regrets include: (a) being a workaholic and having no energy left for better family time, (b) trying to pay a mortgage off to the detriment of our daily needs as a single parent family, and (c) using energy to be mad at my ex-husband for not stepping up to the plate more with our kids while they were growing up.

All these years later, I look back on my jobs and that is all they were. They took valuable time away from what was really important. I am renting now, and it is so much easier than juggling mortgage, several utilities and insurances, property taxes, repairs, etc. And finally, if my ex had stepped up to the plate, I probably would not have left him in the first place.

The other side to these things – I hope I made a difference with some of my careers in some people’s lives. I know I learned a lot from students and my teaching years were and always will be very dear to my memories. While raising kids, it felt very secure to pay a mortgage and not worry about landlords giving us notice (and the kids could paint their rooms any colors they wanted). My ex was not all bad, just not really into having the responsibility of a family.

So, now comes the part of giving up the regrets. They have been with me a long time and I have carried them faithfully. (There are far more than previously mentioned, of course.)

I am working on being guilt-free these days. An ‘a-ha’ moment brought this to my attention when I decided that it was time to more actively participate in R.A.O.K.  I did a couple of things anonymously and felt great. Mentioning this to a young man who I admire for his wisdom beyond his years, he asked me if I was doing anything to be kinder to myself. Yikes! What a question!

Of course not. I beat myself up regularly, on a daily basis, just out of habit.

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