I can honestly say I can’t think of many regrets in my life~maybe because I have the mindset of an optimist. Okay, I can say that there are things I wish I’d never started or stopped doing and plenty of those “what in the hell was I thinking” moments. I try not to let myself get too down and look for any positive in any situation.
I guess my major regret in life is losing my strong determination in most things when it comes to myself, letting myself off the hook too easily when it comes to things that need to be done, something that I’ve actually started working on since the school year began last week.
I recall a major turning point the summer break between 8th and 9th grades where I can see a time in life I made a huge step in my life. It was the start of a few year change progression in myself that I’m wanting to adjust to the age I am now, which was oddly exactly 30 years ago. Holy Crap…where have those years gone?
In the few years leading up to that change I’d made a change in friends, the entire type of kids I hung around with at school. Part of me could look at that time as a regret, but years ago I realized it was a teaching tool with my kids. It really has been a positive in their not letting their “friends” treat them in the way I let mine treat me, and to not treat friends that way either.
During 6th grade I took what I thought was the easy way for myself. My elementary school best friends were preppy and athletic, the older we got the more I felt out of place and I began to gravitate towards more plain, less school involved kids. Oh, the others were still friends, but became more people I didn’t feel so in tune with.
My new best friend pretty much was the “boss” of our little group of friends. She would bark and we’d do what she said because she had a hell of a temper. If she was mad at one of us we found ourselves eating alone at lunch and entertaining ourselves alone during recess.
I see 7th grade as a major change, I became weak, she’d bark and I’d jump. I’d spend the night at her house and it could be 1 a.m., she’d wake up pissed off at me and would chew me out and would get more pissed off if I’d try to go back to sleep. I became a nervous wreck and unable to stand up for myself. If mom said no spending the night one night she’d tell me to keep asking, keep asking, getting pissy with me until my mom would get mad and say yes just to shut me up.
The summer between 7th and 8th grade and 8th grade was horrible. I only became worse and worse at standing up for myself against her. There were still good times though. I absolutely adore her parents and there are some good memories that outweigh the ugly times.
I found my strength the start of the summer after 8th grade. Oddly, from my mom and sister, although I’m sure they never realized it. More than once I’d overheard talk of mom and sister not liking the friend, it gave me strength. It was wonderful, other than the dozens of calls from her to want to talk. I stayed strong and told her repeatedly that our friendship was over. It was a weight off my shoulders and it felt good.
Over the summer I started keeping a journal, diary, or whatever you want to call it. It’s something I did on and off for years and still do on occasion when going through hard times.
When the school year started it was tough, all our friends were mutual, and although I was still friends with all my old good friends, it was different, didn’t feel comfortable sitting with them at lunch or hanging out with them before school. We became friends again, but on different terms. Mine. We didn’t go back to hanging out after school 24/7, we were school friends and that was about it.
I continued getting stronger throughout high school~starting taking dance lessons again~started working out~watching what I ate~cut down on my pop addiction and started drinking more water. Stronger!
In time I felt the need for religion in my life, we’d stopped going to church a few years earlier and I felt the need and started praying daily and reading the Bible daily. I began making to do lists each day and accomplishing everything before going to bed. It felt so good to be accomplished and strong.
Fast forward to my mid-20’s. Married, one child, have worked, have stayed home to be mom and worked again for need. We moved to a town where I met some great people who are still my friends today. I recall feeling at that time that I’d never had friends such as there. Had never felt I so belonged before. Didn’t have to change who I was or tip-toe around anyone~I could be me.
During this time I started letting myself get away with letting things go. I started letting life happen. I let myself lost my strength and determination. Have been struggling on and off since that time. Have only gotten worse and worse over time. I hate it~it’s the one real regret I have.
Of course, I’ve begun working at this, I really feel I need the strength~structure and determination back in my life. I know it’s what I’ve been missing for so long. We have one child grown and flown and the other in high school and off and doing with buddies more and more.
Regrets~don’t have many~looking for the positive spin on things seems to be what works best for me.