Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Things I'll Regret and the Things I Won't

I ran across an interesting article the other day titled, These Are The Top 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old. It caught my attention because ... well ... I'm getting old. I don't feel old, and I'm a lot less old (both chronologically and mentally) than a lot of people, but I'm getting up there. And so this article seemed like a good excuse to take a look back and think about what I may or may not regret.

Here are two things from the list that I regret ...

#15 - Caring too much about what other people think. Other than my family, who cares? Now that I'm retired and living as a full-time curmudgeon, the number of people who can kiss my backside grows larger every day.

# 22 - Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die. I never knew either of my grandfathers, and both of my grandmothers died many years ago. Sadly, I developed my interest in the family history too late in life to pick their brains, and I'll always regret that I didn't take advantage of their knowledge of the history through which they lived.

And here are a few of the things I don't regret...

#1 - Traveling. Unlike many Americans, I've traveled a lot outside the country ... a military career will do that for you. The world is huge, and there's a lot to see and learn. Most of my fellow citizens could benefit from it.

#2 - Learning another language. One of the best things I ever did was decide in high school to study German ... it got me a bride and made the time I spent living and traveling in Germany far more rewarding. I studied Russian in college, and now have Russian friends* who are politely impressed by my pronunciation, if not my grammar and vocabulary. Now that I'm retired and have more time on my hands, I'm slowly trying to teach myself Spanish, too. Nothing expands your horizons like being able to converse with someone else in their language.

#18 - Holding grudges. In general, I'm a pretty laid back and forgiving person. My mother used to tell us that "little things affect little minds," and I've tried to remember that wisdom when I've been roused to anger. My general philosophy is that you've got to exert some effort to get me pissed off, but if you're willing to go to that much trouble, I'll certainly make it worth your while. That said, there is one person against whom I'm holding a grudge ... and it's a huge grudge, and I'm less holding it than nursing it. NFI.

#24 - Learning how to cook one awesome meal. My parents were amazing cooks, but I never bothered to learn how to cook on my own until I ended up single and unable to afford eating out all the time. Nowadays, I love to cook and - even if I say so myself - I can cook some pretty awesome meals.

#36 - Performing in front of others. I acted on stage in my junior and senior class plays in high school, and am today an experienced public speaker and professional emcee. There's a real rush that comes from standing in front of a crowd, holding their attention, and - perhaps - changing their opinions.

So, those are a few of my regrets and non-regrets. What do you think about your own? Leave a comment.

Have a good day, and live your life so as to minimize the things you'll regret. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Who care not a bit how I vote as long as I keep dancing with them.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Morning Bilbo. I think your 2 regrets are spot on!
I remember when I was a young gal, my mom would say that youth was wasted on the young. I thought it was such a silly expression. I understand it now.

Mike said...

I took Spanish in high school. Squeaked through it with a D. I know more Spanish now from TV shows than I remember from way back then.

allenwoodhaven said...

My mother used to say that one should live without regrets. That's a difficult task but I've mostly done it. I regret some unkind ways I've treated a few people. They can forgive but it's hard to forgive oneself.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I never regret having learned a foreign language, nor doing graduate studies, or getting married.

I regret caring worried too much about what others think, or not being more daring and adventuresome.