I’ve never minded the aging process. In fact, I actually welcome each birthday because, as my father used to say, “It beats the alternative!”
I’ll be looking 63 in the face in a couple of months and, as I’ve done ever since turning 60, find myself with a bunch of regrets. My regrets focus more on the things I’ve done and now wish I’d done differently rather than on things I haven’t done and wish I had.
You know, like the things I said and wish I’d kept your mouth shut about. The decisions I made when I was younger and that, from the perspective of chronological and [hopefully] emotional wisdom, should have been made after conducting more research and/or asking more questions. The times I hurt my children, parents, and loved ones for any number of reasons.
I was talking to my friend Ginny yesterday and shared that during the past few years, I’m plagued by regrets. She was surprised because she views me as being so positive and upbeat. Then she told me regrets were actually a good thing, and said the kindest words I’ve heard in a long time. They gave me a great deal of comfort and I paraphrase them here for you.
If we didn’t have regrets, we wouldn’t be learning lessons. Because we’re imperfect human beings, we’re always going to make mistakes. Which means that even if we could undo the mistakes we made in the past, we wouldn’t be able to prevent the other, different mistakes we would have made instead. Mistakes we’d still regret…
Feel free to share Ginny’s wisdom. We all need more kindness in our lives. And we especially need to be kinder to ourselves.