The website Nego Sentro posted a list of 37 things I’ll regret when I’m old. I’m not old yet, but as a person who doesn’t believe in regrets, I still wanted to know just how right or wrong these people are.
As it turns out, I am still a person who doesn’t believe in regret and these people are full of shit.
1. Not traveling when you had the chance.
I am travelling at least once a year. In the past three years I’ve been to Belgium, Holland, France and Italy. In the past, I’ve been to Poland, Switzerland and several places in the States and Canada, and will soon go to Germany. Further potential destinations include Scandinavia and China.
2. Not learning another language.
I already know three languages, Hebrew, French and English, and am currently in the process of learning German.
3. Staying in a bad relationship.
I can’t say I’ve ever been in a bad relationship. And right now, I’m in a great one. So yeah.
4. Forgoing sunscreen.
5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.
There are many bands/artists who performed when they were not yet my favorite. Once they became my favorite, they either died or stopped performing. Many, i.e. not all. I have seen Arch Enemy a few times, King Diamond once and will see him again, Ozzy once, and I go to European metal fests whenever good bands are on the bill. Next up is Wacken where I am looking forward to Amon Amarth and Carcass among others.
6. Being scared to do things.
Things? What like skydiving and bungee jumping? It’s not only because I’m scared but also because I have no interest in extreme sports. Watch horror movies and riding rollercoasters? Been there. Tattoos and body piercings? Done that. Be a little more specific and I’ll decide if I’ll regret it or not.
7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.
Integral Tai Chi is my weekly thing. And it’s good shit. And even when you’re old, you can do yoga or martial arts or whatever you want. Age is not an issue when it comes to fitness. You ever seen those wrinkly old men who go jogging in the mornings?
8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.
You’re talking to a feminist. Try again.
9. Not quitting a terrible job.
I did that three times in my life, and am now pretty damn happy with my job.
10. Not trying harder in school.
I never had to try too hard to get good grades. I was smart.
11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.
That’s actually true. In my teens, I kept complaining about bad hair days and unmanageable messy curly hair. Today, I miss that head of hair and keep wishing I would get back my curls. However, today I appreciate my looks more than before. I especially love my belly and my chest. I got a good body, and I take care of it.
12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”
I did and still do say it. I was not afraid of it.
13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.
I’m mostly a good girl. If I don’t take my parents’ advice on one thing or another it’s because I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I took my mom’s advice to eat red meat and spent the rest of the day on the toilet as a result. I know what my body needs. No more red meat for this girl.
14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.
I don’t think that is something to regret. I think it was a necessity. In my teens, I knew I was cold and selfish. I admitted it to myself and my family, and I was happy about it. Today, I don’t regret it because I see it as a necessary part of my psychological development. I saw it as a means of self-preservation, and it was super important to me at that stage in my life.
15. Caring too much about what other people think.
Actually, I never cared about it when I was younger. The older I get, the more I start to care, for other people, not for myself. But yeah. Most of the time, I don’t give a shit.
16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.
What? Oh, maybe it’s for people who have kids and don’t support them when they pursue their dreams and shit. I’m not there yet.
17. Not moving on fast enough.
Physically? These people really need to get their shit together and start making more sense or being more specific… I think that these days, things are moving way too fucking fast. I like to stop and take my time and live in the moment. It reduces my level of stress and improves the quality of my life. I just don’t see how I’ll regret that.
18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.
I rarely hold grudges. And with those I love, they tend to fade away pretty quickly.
19. Not standing up for yourself.
Sometimes, standing up for myself involves getting into a fight. So if not standing up for myself means avoiding a fight, I go for the cleaner of the two. And I never regret thwarting a fight.
20. Not volunteering enough.
I volunteer in my own way. I contribute my time and efforts to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in several ways. I volunteer as a freelance reporter sometimes. I volunteered at the JSPCA once. I think I’ve done enough.
21. Neglecting your teeth.
I removed my labret to keep my teeth healthy. That was a major sacrifice, dude. And yes, I do brush, I do floss, and I go for yearly cleaning. My teeth will fall out eventually. No matter how much I take care of them, they will end up in a cup of water by the end of the day. This is part of being old.
22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.
Done that. And what the people who compiled this list are forgetting is that grandparents will probably talk your ears off about their life and about “the good old days” without you asking them anything.
23. Working too much.
Ha! Not. I got lots of hobbies and I have a rich social life. I work when I’m at work and I’m very good at the skill of taking a break, taking a nap, take the time to cook and eat and meditate. No regrets there.
24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.
I know how to cook several awesome meals. So y’all can eat it. No regrets yet again.
25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.
See number 17. Consistency, people!
26. Failing to finish what you start.
I can’t think of a single thing that I started and didn’t finish… I started learning German in university and didn’t take any further lessons until just recently. But I am committed to it now and I will finish it. Duolingo helps a lot.
27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.
I’m not much of a party person. So party tricks are not my thing. I rather go to a live show and headbang till my neck gets sore.
28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.
I don’t. Although in my culture, people love to tell me how to run my life, how to talk, how to dress, what to eat, when to marry, how many kids to have – none of that has any effect on me. I don’t know how these people never get tired of bugging the hell out of me with no results to show for it.
29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.
Done that more times than I can count.
30. Not playing with your kids enough.
Not there yet.
31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).
A big risk? Depends what you consider to be a big risk. If dating someone I met online is a big risk, then I took it. Twice. If having unprotected sex is a big risk, I also took it. Three times.
32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.
“Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young.” It still seems like a bunch of crap. And I’m doing pretty good for myself. So there.
33. Worrying too much.
Nope. I take it easy.
34. Getting caught up in needless drama.
See previous question.
35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.
I live with two loved ones – my boyfriend and my dog. And I visit other loved ones (parents and family) every other weekend. That’s pretty good considering other people who see their loved ones once a month or only on holidays or never.
36. Never performing in front of others.
I did that a couple of times! Haha!
37. Not being grateful sooner.
I think that every time I overcome another hurdle, I become more and more grateful. Quitting my awful job, going through therapy, finding a great boyfriend and lover, getting a dog, living in Jerusalem, travelling, being happy… I’m grateful for all that. After I was diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, and later after I broke my elbow I started appreciating my body more. Being grateful that I can still walk, talk, move without much effort, function perfectly fine in my daily life, and do so much more than other people in my condition could only wish to do. Also, during my weekly Tai Chi exercises, the final part is meditation and it involves the “stage of appreciation,” where you need to think of two good things that happened in the last 24 hours, no matter how small. The instructor says “a grateful heart is a happy heart.” And I’m pretty damn happy.
Regrets are a waste of time. Appreciate the past, live in the moment and believe in the future.
Peace, love and a bunch of other zen shit.