Regrets-I Have a Few 

By Janice Lane Palko 

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!”―John Greenleaf Whittier 

Last month when we were featuring some of our exceptional schools, I started thinking about my school days, and for the most part, they were a positive experience. However, there is one thing I regret and that is not learning to play an instrument. As far as regrets go, I guess that’s pretty mild. I don’t have biggies like regretting robbing a bank, cheating on my husband, or posting an embarrassing video on the internet. I’m naturally cautious and have always looked at things I’ve considered doing through the lens of what will be the consequences of this or how will this turn out in the future? And will I be happy with what could possibly result from a decision or action? 

No matter how thoughtful you are, you will still end up in life with some regret. Acquiring them is unavoidable because, often times, they spring from a decision. For instance, I was a good student in high school but for a variety of reasons including monetary and lack of direction, I didn’t go to college right out of high school, I went to Duff’s Business Institute instead and became an Executive Secretary. I always felt I should have gone to college, but it just wasn’t the right thing at that time.  

Although I had some regrets about that, had I gone to college fresh out of high school, I wouldn’t have met my husband, and as a silver lining, while at Duff’s the exceptional grammar and organizational skills I developed there and while working, laid the foundation for my writing career. I did go back an earned my degree when I was 49 and that leads me to something else. 

According to psychologists, some of the biggest regrets people have at the end of their lives are: 

  1. Not spending enough time with loved ones. 
  1. Not trusting their instincts 
  1. Not taking care of their physical health 
  1. Wasting their life by worrying too much 
  1. Not taking risks.  

Regrets can be paralyzing for some. I’m not a therapist, but here’s my take on regrets. They are useless. Like the past, they can’t be changed. They’re just baggage. If you can’t get over a regret, seek help. If you can correct a regret, like not learning an instrument or acquiring an education, do it. But most important of all, live your life from now on so as not to regret things later.