Looking back (as oldsters often do), my first major mistake in life was marrying the wrong guy straight out of high school. Back then, this was the fastest way to get out of a household where I was being physically and sexually abused. At the age of 18, what did I know about the frying pan-to-fire concept? Even after 7 years of marital misery, however, I have to say I’d do it over again if I had to, in order to end up with the two sons he gave up but I held onto. I’d simply do it differently. I would have ended the marriage sooner.
Later, at one point during my college years, I realized no matter how much I learned I’d never know it all, or even know enough (by my own standards), so I dropped out. Truth be told, I was too busy living life to actually learn more about it. On second thought, however, I did learn… from “the best teacher of all - experience.” I eventually got back on the academic track and was more receptive and responsive due to the respite.
After my first baby was born I was told any future births should be by c-section. I was able to avoid that the second time around, by spending my 8th month in bed and having labor induced a week early to keep the baby’s size down. At that point, the doctor told me I should not have more children period. I totally forgot his advice when, many years later, Frank and I had been married five months and we decided to have a baby together (his only child). She was an emergency c-section, which happened so suddenly the anesthesia hadn’t even taken effect. They say we forget pain, but I remember that one all too clearly. Would I do it over gain? Of course! There are worse things in life than having your belly sliced side to side in order to bring new life into the world. :-)
There were two junctures where I made difficult judgment calls I do deeply regret, and would “do over,” were I given the chance. They are too personal too divulge in detail, but suffice it to say I will carry the guilt as a constant reminder that circumstances can sometimes be too weighty during our younger years, to allow wisdom to prevail. I pay that price justifiably, and therapeutically. Meaning lessons learned… even if the hard way.
In my late forties I made a career choice I also regret. I was so happy at home -- keeping house, fixing meals, baking pies from scratch, and packing lunches for my husband and teens (including some who had nowhere else to live, so we took them in). But I was lured back into the workplace for all the wrong reasons. Mainly money -- a large law firm made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I was out of my element and, although I was good at doing my job, I was lousy at playing the game (office politics). Under the influence of too many beers, one of the attorneys once told my husband, “The trouble with Ginny is she sees through our bullshit.” I did, and I paid the price for that. But then so did they because I left of my own accord, hitting them right where it hurt -- in their pocketbook. If I had it to do over again, however, I would have turned down the job at the onset. It wasn’t worth it.
So, to quote Sinatra, Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. Except that mention them I did, lol. Regrets are a part of life. My theory is that anyone who doesn’t have some tucked away in their psyche, hasn’t lived life fully enough. Thankfully, no one who knows me will ever accuse me of that!