Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There's Just No Room for Regrets

How many times have you uttered the words "I wish I hadn't....", and then spent minutes, hours, days, or even months regretting whatever it was you put in that blank?

How many times have you thought "I wish I could go back and change...."?

Ever said the words "If I could just go back and do that over again, I'd do [this] differently"?

I think everybody has at some point in their lives. 

When something bad happens, or things just don't go according to plan - the first step for most people (me included) is to want to change the outcome, do things differently, or live with the horrible feeling of regret.

In reality, the chance to do things over rarely comes.  There are no time machines.  There are no "do-over" cards.  There are just actions and consequences.....sometimes things go the way you plan, sometimes they don't.

Have you ever really taken a second to think about what would happen if you found a genie or a time machine that would grant you the opportunity to do things over?  What would happen if you could go back and change everything that didn't work out right for you?

I have...and here's what would happen...

If I could go back and not be the naughty adolescent who thought I knew everything, and thought I was in love, who broke all of my parent's rules and had sex when I was a teenager.....I wouldn't have my daughter.

If I could go back and never meet the man that would mentally and physically abuse me, tear down my self-esteem, and put me in to a world of depression..... I would not have my son.

If I could go back and never leave the great job I had 5 years ago that supported my family and never left me worrying about how bills were going to be paid.....I wouldn't have my college degree or have met my two closest friends.

If I had just applied at the public schools, and never even considered applying anywhere else - because the public schools is where I wanted to be.....I would be unemployed right now and worrying how I was going to pay bills and help support my family.

If I had just stayed at 297lbs and never considered losing weight because all it's done is stress me out over and over again.....I would never have had the opportunity to say that I've completed four 5K races that helped charities, or completed a Boot Camp that made me test every being of my endurance and strength.

If I had stayed on plan and never strayed away from exercising and eating healthy and ending up gaining 20lbs in two months..... I wouldn't have spent as much time with my kids as I did this summer, and may have found a much more devastating way to cope with the stress that I went through finding a job. - OK, maybe this one is over reaching a little.... but it's still something to think about.

Look at what would have happened if I had the power to change the events that I have somehow regretted in my life.  I know that if those things had been changed, then other events would never have happened.  I would have never met Hubby.  I wouldn't have Jelly.  Heck, I could even go back to my first ever BIG regret - the time I wish my parents had never brought me to this country.

What would my life look like if that hadn't of happened?  If I was able to persuade them back in 7th grade how miserable I was and how much I hated living in America and how much I missed my life and friends back in England, and they had decided to go back. 

OK, so I have had a far from perfect life.  I have made bad decisions.  I have done things I am not proud of.  I have had my share of regrets.  But the truth is if I changed just one of those things, or if just one of those things wouldn't have happened - would I have the life I have today?

Would I have the man that is always by my side, that loves me for everything I am, that provides for his family, that is an amazing father to three children - even if two of them don't share the same blood?

Would I have my three incredible children that continue to amaze me each day with how smart and caring and loving they are?

Would I have followed my career dreams and succeeded in getting a college degree and a job working with children?

NO.  NO. And probably not.

The smallest of changes or the slightest difference to an outcome can have devastating effects.

So, this post is mostly for me - to remind me every time I doubt or regret or wish things were different - but it's also for you.  Take a second every time things don't go the way you want, or you think you're plagued with bad luck to think about what would happen if things were different.  Take a second to make a list, as I did (and my list is much longer than what I posted here) and think about the things you took away from bad situations.  Think about what would be different if you could really take back all of those bad times or bad decisions.  You may be very surprised at how different your life would be - and what you'd be missing out on - if you got your wish.

There really just isn't any room for regrets.  The good comes with bad.  Sometimes the bad is needed for the good.  Everything happens for a reason.

Till next time. ;)
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