We like to live without regret. We want to avoid doing stupid things, and we like to think the stupid things we did helped us grow and become better people. I know that if I went back and changed one bad decision or avoided one unfortunate situation, and I might not have the life I enjoy today.
But we all have things we regret doing or not doing. Things we wish we didn’t know about or wished we knew sooner. Here are 20 of the things I regret. Some are small. Some are big. All are things I know I can’t have a do-over. As you read them, think about the things you regret and what you’ve learned from them.
- I regret selling my Commodore 64, Amiga 500, and vinyl record collection.
- I regret buying that used 1979 Mazda 626. Boy, that was a dreadful car.
- I regret that I didn’t play organized sports as a child. I would have stunk, but I would have appreciated the experience, the friendships I’d make, and the lessons I’d learn.
- I regret not buying Apple stock in 2001 before the iPod came out.
- I regret that I don’t write more genre-driven books, like sci-fi with scrappy heroes battling an evil galactic empire, YA with quirky teenagers dying of an incurable disease but still manage to make witty remarks and have sex, or erotic fantasies involving billionaire shapeshifting alpha werewolves. It would have made getting published much easier.
- I regret the offensive and hurtful jokes I told in junior high school.
- I regret getting fat after being successful on a diet.
- I regret being embarrassed to wear shorts until I was 26. But men’s shorts were pretty embarrassing back then.
- I regret that I dislike seafood. My family enjoys sushi and poke bowls, and I can’t join them for their favorite dishes.
- I regret knowing that Cheez-It crackers were Jaime Guttenberg’s favorite snack. Now, I can’t pass by them in the store without mourning.
- I regret not talking more to my dad before he died. There was so much I wanted to know from him.
- I regret not being fluent in foreign languages.
- I regret that back in 1989 when we were watching Will Rogers Follies on Broadway and noticed Donald Trump in the audience, I didn’t go up to him and say, “Sir, it looks like you’re having a wonderful time enjoying your wealth. Don’t ruin it by doing something foolish, like running for president.”
- I regret not visiting the World Trade Center before September 11.
- I regret losing a family tree I made when I was in Boy Scouts with the help of older relatives.
- I regret not taking better care of my teeth when I was younger.
- I regret talking Mom out of having a chocolate milkshake the last time we ate with her before she died.
- I regret not getting into Breaking Bad, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Game of Thrones. I just don’t have time to binge watch TV.
- I regret the times I took more than one sample at Costco for food I have no intention of buying.
- I regret all the chances I didn’t take because I was scared or didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings.
What do you regret? What can those things teach you? How can you change? Please let us know in comments.