This post is based on a Daily Post prompt on regrets:
What’s your biggest regret?
How would your life be different if you’d made another decision?
I started working on this post and found the best way to answer this was in a list form. I allowed myself to put down a list of ten regrets. I was surprised about one thing. Let’s see if you notice it….
1) My Ed. D– I wish I had gotten my doctorate. I had finished my Master’s and just had nothing else to do so I went ahead and took the coursework for the doctorate. It was another 30 hours or something like that. It wasn’t too hard. About that time, I was hired as a school principal and you know how that went. I had no time to write my dissertation. I never even figured out a topic that I might like. About 4 years ago, I looked into getting it, but I was told that the coursework was invalid after ten years. I don’t know what good it would have done me anyway. My other two degrees are sitting in the guest room collecting dust.
2) Yelling at Danny– I regret that I yelled so much at Danny during his school years. It was just so stressful to get one call or note after another telling me he had done something wrong. I felt like such a bad mother. I don’t regret being firm and having follow through with him, because that is how he graduated, but I do regret the yelling and losing my temper. But we have a really good relationship now, so I hope most of that is forgiven.
3) Allowing myself to gain so much weight– I weighed 125 when I got married. When I was nine months pregnant with my first child two years later, I weighed 190. I put all of that weight on during the pregnancy. I lost a lot of it, but not all, and got pregnant again. This repeated. After my kids I weighed 160. Then I started psych drugs. More pounds. Fortunately, because of my diet doctor I am holding my own and not gaining more. I am trying to exercise for health and just to maintain. I don’t know about ever losing.
4) Not spending more time with the kids: Now I was a stay-at-home mom until Danny was in high school so I spent a lot of time with them. (Please don’t think I am knocking working moms!) This situation allowed me to be depressed and/or manic and stay home to deal with it. I always took care of them fine except when I was hospitalized. (My mother-in-law stepped in.) I just wish I had blown more bubbles, made more homemade play-doh, taught my daughter to cook, you know, that sort of thing. I spent a LOT of time with my daughter and her baton and ballet activities and my husband spent a lot of time with Boy Scouts. But the years went fast.
5) Not getting to know my niece and nephews who live down the street: I never liked their mother but that is no excuse. I should have taken that niece with my daughter to the ballet and taken the boys on hikes and stuff with my kids. Maybe a camp out. Or had them over at Christmas to make cookies. I should have been a favorite aunt. They don’t have many others. The oldest has had cancer and I have gotten closer to him. I’ve also talked to the youngest. My niece is going through a real snotty stage. (I’ll have to leave her for later.)
6) Not keeping up with the few relatives I had: I had a small family as I barely knew my bio dad. But his mother would write to me and I quit writing back. I was young and just didn’t care, I guess. I had a great aunt Clara I stopped writing to also. I now have one aunt I am close to and a few cousins. I am scared to call the cousins as I am afraid they will sort of reject me. That’s a little dumb, I know. They don’t know anything about the bipolar. I also loved my stepgrandfather but didn’t spend the time I should have with him. He did so much for me. More on that later….
7) Having no relationship with my bio dad: I found him at age 27. He was friendly at first, but thought I should be MORE than a stay-at-home mom. He never wanted to see my kids. He was a very emotionally unavailable person. He was a professor at a state university and had a fairly high opinion of himself. He died at 57 and we never reconciled. It was sad.
8) Staying with abusive stepfather: My grandparents offered many times to let me move with them to Ohio. That would have gotten me out of the misery of my home life. But the only good thing in my life at that point was high school. I did not want to change schools and have to make new friends. If I knew then…I would have moved. Home life in high school was a living hell.
9) Not waiting on my husband and being loving enough: He does everything for me when I am sick and a lot when I am not. I do cook dinner and handle some things but not enough. I need to say nicer things and do more activities that he would like to do. Like that rock show (remember that?).
10) Be less jealous of husband’s friends : I like most of his friends, but some of them are obnoxious. He’s known one of these for 50 years so this guy is not going to disappear. Another is a former co-worker. I can’t stand these two and hate it when the one comes to town. Kill me now. I should get over it and not act pissy.
Have you noticed a common thread through most of this? It is to be nicer and kinder and more loving to the people in my life. To reach out more. It’s really a good goal.