Dealing with Regret
How do we deal with regret when the decisions we make in life prove wrong?
I’m going through that time of my life where I think to much about what I could have done differently, and should have done. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
What happens as we get older and we suddenly realise we should have been a writer; a musician; a lawyer. We should have married differently or invested that money or not invested and travelled the world. What are the decisions you regret and how do you deal with them?
WE’RE off to have high tea at the exclusive Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, a privilege for which one must book weeks in advance.
It’s my partner’s birthday and we’re due for the 1pm sitting. We’ve left ourselves two hours so we can meet friends for a drink first. The lights go red. We have a choice to make. The GPS tells us to go straight down St Kilda road. I say Kings Way, which is my preferred route into town.
It’s one of those moments. In movies, the plot moves forward based on the decisions characters make. If you turn right, gold; if you turn left, an accident. How to choose, why do we choose? And how do we deal with regret if the decisions we make in life prove wrong?
In virtual reality, bad decisions don’t matter. I’m studying film editing. If you make a mistake you press Command Z until your edits are erased and you can start over. “Wish I could Command Z my ex,” I heard someone quip.
We could walk at a quicker pace but there’s nowhere to stop and park. I’m flushed and anxious. My partner isn’t. “Don’t worry babe, it’ll be OK,” he smiles, his blue eyes gentle and calm. He’s the exact opposite to me in temperament.
From a side street we can see Kings Way; as I suspected, it’s clear of traffic. I’m determined to join it. “Here,” I yell, “turn left now,” and wonder why no one is following. Because suddenly we’re in a dark tunnel. “Oh my God! We’re heading out to Gippsland!” I scream. He’s laughing at the adventure.
Finally, a turn-off. It’s to Richmond. I know this street will take us into town. We’re late but they’ve kept our seat.
We skol Champagne to unwind. I’m frazzled. He’s calm. I can’t settle; he’s soothed. He says: “We could’ve taken Kings Way and had an accident. How do we know?”
It’s true. As we get older we regret our mistakes, opportunities not taken, loves lost, wrong turns. Because we always presume the other path would have been better. Not my man. I toast his health, and I make another decision. To follow him on the road less travelled: the road of acceptance.
Please Comment and share your stories