Like most people, I dream of one day sitting with the woman of my dreams and looking back at our lives together. Laughing at its highs and quietly avoiding the lows.
As the immortal Sinatra once sung: “Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.”
Regrets are a part of life, and here are a handful that have been shared by people who’ve “been there and done that.”
State Library of Queensland, Australia/Wikipedia
Not being more careful when choosing a partner for life
One elderly person said that people seem to rush into a relationship in the form of a “last chance leap at love.”
Another elderly lady spoke from her experiences and said “It’s better not to marry than to marry the wrong person.”
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikipedia
Settling down because it was “the thing to do.”
Nowadays, people are choosing to opt out of settling down. One lady shared that: “I wanted to have kids. I was raised to think you needed a husband for that. So, I found one and ignored all of his faults.”
Not settling a family argument or grievance
Any family argument is a bad one, especially if everyone keeps it as a grudge for the remainder of their years. When speaking of an argument with one of his children that had poisoned their relationship, this elderly man said:
“The kinds of things that seemed worth saying ‘My way or the highway’ when you were 40 and they were 18 usually never seem worth it at 80,”
“I used to hang on to a grudge as if it was a badge of honor. I didn’t realize that all the negativity was only hurting me.” Said another man.
Caring too much about what others think.
The truth is, if you’re living your life solely to impress others, you’re doing it wrong.
“Wasting time worrying about what other people think of me.” Said one lady about the subject of caring too much.
“Stop trying so hard, and to just be me. Wish I did that a long time ago.”
Not putting yourself out there.
This isn’t just to do with relationships, it’s about life, man. Going out and living it while you can. One elderly person said:
“Letting fear hold me back. Not taking enough risks or acting on chances. The best things in my life have come from insane impulse.”
Not sharing what’s on your mind.
Now more than ever, people are encouraging everyone to speak their mind. Keeping your feelings to yourself can not only harm you mentally, it can leave you with regrets. This isn’t just based on sad thoughts, either. Expressing your love to those around you is highly encouraged.
“Unless you believe in séances, you can’t go back and ask for forgiveness, apologize, express gratitude, or even get information from somebody who has died,” One man said.
Not travelling enough
Travel is rewarding. That’s the end of the story. While you’re still able, get up and move, go to another country, experience another culture. You’d be surprised what good it does for you. In an interview with elderly people on their life regrets, Karl Pillemer said:
“Even people who had done a lot of globetrotting would finish their interview with him by leaning forward and wistfully saying something like, ‘But I never got to Japan.’”
So, what’re you waiting for? Get out there and do something memorable.