I ™ve often heard it said that in life you never regret what you did; you regret those things you didn't do. Hmm. Are you sure? Just one look at my old photo albums and I can see plenty of things I regret.
Photos from grad-school parties show a serious lack of fashion sense, which of course I regret. I ™ll cut myself some slack here since I was poor. I will say that my sequined high-top tennis shoes (my creation) added some flair to my otherwise bland wardrobe of jeans and tops. And my hair! I may have actually been close to a mullet. Let's just hope I needed a haircut and hadn't made it to the salon.
Looking back at my career, there was the time I turned down an opportunity to interview with a small start-up. Happy with my job despite the low pay, I didn't even try to talk to the start-up even though one of my best friends worked there. In my mind, it couldn't possibly be as interesting or fulfilling as my current job. I ™ll never know how an interview may have turned out or if I would have liked working there. One thing I do know: I regret not interviewing and potentially getting in on the ground floor, including stock options that later would prove to be so lucrative that I could be writing this from my winter home in Tahiti.
Over the years I ™ve seen the error of my thinking. Of not trying something new. Now I ™m much more willing to at least investigate opportunities “ both professional and personal “ rather than simply declaring my life fine as-is .
Hubby and I have applied this line of thinking to our travel, taking advantage of opportunities that we never before dreamed of, not wanting to look back with regret at not going, doing, seeing. Hard to regret riding a camel by the great pyramids at Giza. I do regret my screaming while the giant camel stood up with me in the saddle; that was embarrassing. Who knew that a scream would echo around the pyramids?
When the lay-off hit, my mantra became no regrets . This stroke of bad luck was really good luck in disguise, giving me the opportunity to do whatever I wanted. If I wanted to try something, I was going to try it, as long as it was legal and didn't break the bank. Any fear I had was pushed aside by the bigger concern that I might rush into a new job too fast and find myself once again stuck in the rat race without at least considering a new venture.
So I pressed on, past any naysayers and concerns from well-meaning friends; past my own self-doubt. I wrote my thoughts and dreams and strategies on a large grease board with NO REGRETS emblazoned at the top. And guess what? I ™ve actually been able to check a few things off the list.
Living a regret-less life is not easy and I ™m not going to pretend that I do it well. Many times Hubby has to give me a pep-talk before I worry myself out of something without giving it a try. I find that it takes more courage and determination to try something new vs. staying with something familiar. Worries flood in as I venture out of my comfort zone to try new things. What if questions are always top of mind.
I ™m not sure where some of my regret-less ventures are going to take me. But one thing's for sure: I ™ll look back someday with a smile, knowing at least I tried.
© Tami Cannizzaro 2012 All Rights Reserved