It’s All Right To Have A Little Bit Of Regret

I was watching CTV news the other evening and there was some kind of survey conducted comparing people’s happiness. The people considered belonged to two different groups. Optimists and pessimists. And the conclusion was something along the line that a pessimist is more likely to be happier in life (in the long run) than an optimist.

I thought for a moment how can a naysayer, a worrywart, someone who is always gloomy, be happier in life than a romantic idealist?

Being a senseless idealist myself I’ve always hoped and wished for things that not only didn’t happen, but could never happen. I remember early on in my life when the entire country was plunged in civil war, and when at times my friends complained that they couldn’t take it any more. I was always full of hope and optimism. I don’t know, maybe I was too young for hope to be extinguished for very long. Or perhaps I knew and accepted the fact that we were at the mercy of the conditions surrounding us and tried to make the most of it. Or maybe because I was incredibly ignorant and I didn’t realize the real meaning of war at the time.

But then again I have always been ignorant when it comes to real life situations. I have always had my head in the clouds. I have always lived for my books and my dreams and for the future. I’ve always looked beyond the moment and always hoped and wished and believed in better days to come. Only to get disappointed and hurt over and over. Until I faced a major crisis in my life and realized only too sadly that time is so desperately brief, and so immeasurably precious.


Looking back I wish that I had behaved and done differently. I wish I had enjoyed more what I was given at the moment rather than dreamed of the future. A future that might not happen, that may never be. My life, like some of yours out there, hasn’t been perfect, and:

“Not everything’s perfect, especially in the beginning. And it’s all right to have a little bit of regret every once in a while. It’s when you feel it all the time and can’t do anything about it… that’s when you get into trouble.” Sarah Dessen

Right now I know I am in trouble. I feel regret all the time and can’t do anything about it. It’s strange how when we have lost that which is precious to us we realize that we should have behaved and done differently. Up until then we keep dreaming and hoping and wishing only to abruptly realize that nothing is here to stay.

But then again when I look back on my life and see that the greatest part of it was love I feel content and happy. I feel so blessed to have loved and be loved. It’s true that I have been hurt and there were problems, but that was just a tiny part of it. The greatest part was being loved. And as Arthur Miller wrote:

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”


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5 Responses to It’s All Right To Have A Little Bit Of Regret

  1. combs2jc says:

    I have no regrets. Sure, there are things I wish would have turned out differently. But everything has come together to create the man I am today, the good and the bad. Without the bad I would have nothing to judge the good by. I would have no way of knowing just how truly good those good days really are. The loss of one daughter has given me the gift of understanding just how precious my other daughter is. Would I have skipped down the main aisle of a major department store hand-in-hand with my daughter without that appreciation? I do not know, but I doubt it, and I know that is a silly father/daughter moment we will both always remember. My daughter learned that dad can start silly too. That’s a good thing.
    No, my life has not been rosey. But when I look back I look at the blessings, and when my eyes stray to the sadness, they also see the happiness that proceeded the sadness.
    You are going through a rough time. There are times when it will cause you to feel totally lost. But you also had a great relationship with a wonderful man. Not perfect, but a relationship most people are looking for. The good and the bad make up the woman you are today. But sometimes you just need to block out the bad and remember the good times, the silly times, the fun times … without wondering off to the bad times. And when you can’t block out the bad, put it beside the good times and you will see those good times in a whole new light.
    Sometimes when I can’t smile I tell myself “smile, they’ll wonder what you are up too.” Sometimes, that little bit of sarcasim can coach a smile on my lips.
    Take care, praying for you and your’s,

    • chichikir says:

      Thanks Joe. I regret having worked so hard, and sometimes even missing weekends and holidays together. See we (my late husband and I) had this dream of providing the kids with a better education and a better future someplace where there was stability, away from the troubled Middle East where we were born and raised and lived most of our lives. And finally when we were able to do that my husband was diagnosed with cancer and … 😥

      • combs2jc says:

        I understand the regret. But you put family first. Is that a bad thing? I have friends from the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Iran. My Persian friend had to flee Iran during the revolution when he was 17. I was also off the coast (navy ship) of Lebanon when the marine barracks was hit with a truck bomb. A life long friend was a marine in the barracks and woke up in a hospital in Germany. So, though I have not kived in the Middle East, I do have an idea of what you and your husband wanted to do and why. Ya know what? You did it, and look at your children now.
        One other thing. Remember back to the best moments you’ve had as a family and as a husband and wife. Feel how great those moments are and how precious those moments are? If you would have had those moments every day 24/7, they would have become common place. After a while you would have taken them for granted … I’m not attacking you, we all do it, it’s human nature.
        I will bet some of those moments you can remember every detail like it happened yesterday. You can do that because you did not get to have those moments as often as you wanted too. Because they were not as common place as you wanted them to be.
        The time you spent on work away from those moments help you to appreciate just how truly wonderful and amazing those precious moments were.
        Yin and Yang, day and night, good and bad.
        It took me soooo long to learn this, and I did not understand it until I had my second daughter Elizabeth.
        I know this sounds bad, but it is true. I would never have appreciated being Elizabeth’s dad as much as I do without the loss of her older sister.
        I take such great delight in some of the simplest moments, and treasure every “I love you daddy” more than any phrase uttered by a person. It is a true gift to me from Elizabeth’s older sister.
        No regrets.
        There are still things left undone, for you and for your children. Your husband wanted to do those things with you. Now you can do those things for his honor.
        No regrets.
        Your husband would understand your mourning his loss, just as he would have mourned your loss. These things take time and should not be rushed. Take the time you need. It is important and healthy.
        No regrets.
        One day you will smile again, you will laugh again, you will feel joy again … one day. And this your husband would also want for you, because he loved you.
        No regrets.
        I am sorry this is so long. But you are doing great. What you are going through is one of the hardest things anyone can go through and the pain greater, because the love between the two of you was greater.
        You are doing great!
        As always, you and your family are in my prayers,

  2. I don’t think you should worry to much about how you behaved or what you wished for in you past. At times when I think, “If only…” I remind myself of this lovely quote: “Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.”
    ― Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

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