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No Regrets

Happy Hump Day my dears! We’re almost to the weekend! Or at least we are a lot closer than we were yesterday at this time.

Today I’ve been thinking about choices we make in life. I firmly believe that there is ALWAYS a choice to be made. Now, granted, sometimes the choices you have all suck, but you still have a choice. It’s part of that whole free-will thing we humans have going on.

Often when we make choices we later look back and wish we’d made a different choice. Now, that is something I try not to do. I’ve talked before about how sometimes those bad choices are just growth experiences. OK, I cleaned that up from my original post, but you get the point. I truly try to live my life by a philosophy of No Regrets.

It’s a philosophy that came to me at the ripe old age of 17. Story time!

I was in Phoenix, Arizona for an academic competition (nerd) and met a boy. His name was Britt…not sure I ever knew his last name, but he was positively dreamy to 17-year-old LD. We met in an elevator. I was being a surly, anti-social teen who was not happy at being in the middle of the desert. So I’d left my team mates and wandered off on my own. When I went back to the hotel, there was Britt in the elevator. He was from…heck, I don’t remember where, but another state’s team…he asked me what I was doing for the night and if I wanted to hang out with a group of about a dozen others. I said sure. (Dear Lord the mom in me is positively SCREAMING right now! Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger!)

The night involved poker, Led Zeppelin, a beer run, cigarettes, and culminated with a 2am trip over a fence into a hotel pool where we all passed out. Ugh – quick note to my own mom…if you’re reading…ummm…sorry. I’ve got nothing else to say. The next night, Britt actually arranged a candle-lit dinner in his hotel room for the two of us…where we didn’t have sex. Wait…what? That’s right. Making out? Yes. But there was NO sex. (And unlike today’s kids, my definition of sex is cut and dry…if genitalia is involved, it’s sex!) And the reason why? Britt said he didn’t want me to regret the time we spent together. And I was a virgin. Yeah, there would have been regret there…probably…maybe…eh, who knows!

Anyhoo, he said it during the time we spent together several times – that simple phrase: No Regrets. It inspired a poem at the time and it stuck with me. So much so that X # of years later, it truly is my life’s philosophy. I believe that we should own our actions. If we are doing something that we don’t believe in strongly, that we are not confident in, then we shouldn’t be doing it. And if we DO hold fast to our beliefs, there should never be regret in our actions.

That is not to say we won’t make mistakes. Heck, some of the best things that we do in life come out of some of the hugest mistakes we make. But the key in my world is to look at those mistakes as lessons of what not to do next time. Not kick ourselves for making them. Just to learn and grow. That is crucial. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. I think some of the best ways to avoid that insanity is to constantly take stock of what you are doing in your own life, and learn from that. It’s not necessarily taking examples from someone else’s life. Because their journey is not the same as yours. We are each lucky enough to have our own life to live. Not to say that you can’t make decisions based on other’s mistakes as well. Heck, my older brothers were some of my best examples of what NOT to do. But I needed to learn lessons on my own as well.

None of us is perfect. Screwing up as a teenager, as an adult, as a parent, as a child – these are all completely normal. What you do after you accidentally set fire to the bathroom is what determines if you grow. (Piece of advice, by the way…lighting toilet paper on fire, even in the “safety” of a bathroom sink is a bad idea…it actually floats while burning…and according to the story my brother and I gave, it causes an electrical fire…because we would NEVER play with matches…)

So live your life, live it honestly, live it well. Live without fear holding you back, but with lessons learned never forgotten. And most importantly, live without regret.

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