5 Regrets (That I'm Willing to Share on the Internet)

I just finished up Matt Haig's The Midnight Library, which is all about regret and figuring out what we want out of life. This was not a perfectly written book; there were some plot holes, some lackluster attempts to gloss over things that needed more explanations, and also the occasional reliance on clich├ęs. I did find it entertaining and thought-provoking though, and appreciated the conversation it invokes about regret, something that has sort of become a bit of a taboo concept in our culture. These days we're obligated to be so #blessed while writing in our gratitude journals while drinking fair-trade coffee with oat milk in the morning. Regrets? Those are for basic people who don't compost their k-cups and probably push little old ladies into the street.

Maybe I'm exaggerating (definitely rambling). 

But I do think that regretting one's past is frowned on a bit, and if you're a mom you start delving into that sketchy territory where your regrets might eliminate certain family members, which is a big fat no-no. If you imply that you wish you would have done something differently in the past you immediately must add the caveat that you'd want your family to magically remain as is, somehow (see below for mine*).

Why does regret have to be such a bad thing? Why is it wrong to wish you would have done something differently or feel less than happy over something that played out? Isn't that an opportunity for reflection and growth? I thing having regrets and not feeling motivated to change is the real issue, and that's the space where danger exists. 

 There's a book of regrets that the character has, so, I thought I'd share with the world some of my regrets:

1. I would have traveled more (pre child): I love traveling with my son, but I wish I wouldn't have been such a tight-wad and would have gone on more trips before I was a mom. Even more quick (non-Vegas) weekend trips! I also really, really, really wish I would have done a semester abroad in college! 

[How I can fix it: once this #!%&*# pandemic is over I can take trips with friends or even *gasp* alone. Now that Sawyer is older this is more of an option]

2. I would have explored a different career path: I truly love teaching and my position, despite the challenging year we have had. I don't think there's just one career for everyone, though, and if I hadn't been a teacher I probably would have been a doctor, PA, or nurse practitioner. I also really love event planning (logistics make me happy), and I always say if I won the lottery I'd build an awesome venue and help with all the weddings and whatnot. 

[How I can fix it: I don't plan on changing professions, but I can keep learning and growing. I think I might subscribe to MasterClass this summer to broaden my horizons, and I'd still like to write a novel one day]

3. I would have partied harder in college (within reason): I went to UCLA for my undergrad and my boyfriend for three of the four years went to UCI; I went to parties at his campus a lot, but I wish I would have focused more on having a better social life at my own school. Between school itself, working and commuting for two of the years I was stretched really thin (this would become the story of my life, haha).

[How I can fix it: This one is a bit tougher, but I think I've done a good job at cultivating a really great group of friends as an adult that eases the feelings of remorse here]

4. I would have been a crazy-aggressive dog mom when our dog Chomsky was sick- He passed away really quickly, but I wish I would have taken him to the emergency hospital and not our normal vet earlier (or something like that... I honestly don't know what the right steps would have been, but I wish they would have been different so he would have lived).

[How I can fix it: Again, this one is a little permanent, but I can make sure to be the best dog mom to Ellie, even when she is driving me absolutely insane]

5. I would have stood up for myself more- There have been many moments, with lots of people, where I wish I would have advocated more myself and what I think/feel. I have set a precedent in a lot of areas of my life for being agreeable and accommodating, and it has come at my own expense. Going to therapy when I was younger and had more flexibility with my time probably would have helped this. 

[How I can fix it: It's never too late to take change! Life is too short to let others steal your joy... either get on board or step aside]

*We are going to assume that somehow every regret I had would not interfere with my family. I don't want to add that to each one "I regret xyz, but not really, because what if that means I wouldn't have my family." Boring. Let's just pretend for the purpose of this total hypothetical exercise I get my way.  


  1. I am opposite you on #3. I wish I had partied less and appreciated my curriculum, my professors, and my education more. I wish I could do it again and be a better student.

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