Regret moments, not years

Day 27 of #Janblogaday: Regret. 

Regret moments, not years | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Image thanks: Pinterest.

I don’t regret anything in my life. I believe that every experience I’ve had, all my mistakes, all my successes have been for a reason. And if nothing else, they’ve helped to guide me and shape me in life and have taught me valuable lessons I wouldn’t want to do over or miss if ever given the chance.

^That’s my Miss America answer for when Perez Hilton asks me what my greatest regret is. Hey, I’m trying to win a title here while I stand around in my bikini and heels. Give a girl a break. 

Reality check: I actually have a lot of regrets. Today, laying on the beach soaking up the sun (ironically, in my bikini but minus the heels) because New Zealand summer is where it’s at, I asked my husband this (to do a little research for this post):

(Me): Do you have any regrets? Like things you wish you could do over?
(Hus): I regret not putting on sunscreen earlier.
(Me): I regret that double scoop of ice cream.
(Hus): I regret totalling two cars.
(Me): I regret you totalling two cars.
(Hus): I regret not meeting you earlier in my life.
(Me): Aaa, thanks babe. I regret taking out student loans.
(Hus): Do you regret hitting your sister’s Jeep?
(Me): Oh my God, yes!

For about three weeks before we moved out of the country, the hus and I lived out of suitcases at my parent’s house. It was convenient because our lease was just up and we wanted to spend our last days in the land of Walmart and Applebees with family anyhow. With five adults under one roof, the parking situation typically looked like this:

(Mom’s car in the garage)
(Driveway) Dad’s truck | My mini | Sister’s Jeep
Colin’s box car parked out front

I was rushing to get to work one morning but kept forgetting something inside the house just as I’d gotten in my car — morning nightmare. It was like I was playing Chinese firedrill all by myself. First I forgot my lunch, back inside for that. Then I forgot my tennis shoes for later, back inside for that. Then I forgot a tampon or something, so back inside for that. By now, I pretty much hate myself. I’m forgetful, I’m late to work. I probably won’t like myself again for another two years.

Just as I always do, I shifted into reverse and stepped on the gas. This is normal “me in my car in the morning” stuff. Except this time… my sister’s Jeep was parked right behind me. God only knows the reason she is parked behind me because I’m telling you, this is not right. The universe is out of whack, and I just hit a parked car… a parked, lifted, black Jeep that must’ve been like Phantom of the Opera because I swear it was not behind me two seconds ago (and for that matter, is never parked behind me!).

I’m still in a hurry. So I get out, assess the damage to her car (none!), assess the damage to my car (a now anorexic trunk with a concaved tummy). Think to myself — I bet I can get that dent out on my own. So I open the trunk, match up dent on the outside with where it might be on the inside, and I punch it as hard as I can. I must have had some serious adrenaline because it only mildly hurt, even if it was cut open and bleeding. Well, this was obviously not going to work.

Attempt to fix quickly #2: Call Colin. “Can I get it fixed today? I don’t want my dad to know.” (20-something years old and I still don’t want my dad to know I hit another car). Text Colin a picture of the anorexic trunk. Text message back: “Yeah, right. No getting that fixed today.”

Awesome sauce… dented trunk, unsupportive husband, my life is crumbling. So you see… I have regrets. I regret being in such a stupid hurry that morning that I missed the huge black Jeep behind me. I regret punching my own car from the inside out. I regret being naive enough to think I could fix it before my dad saw. I regret having to spend $1000 to fix it. I regret the fact that this is the only story my husband can ever actually use against me.

Seriously though, I do feel I’ve learned a thing or two about regrets having made a few huge life-changing decisions in my 20-something odd years. I’ve learned to not carry with me the regrets I have (because they are only small moments or $1000 in the bigger, richer pool of life), the regrets I don’t have, and the regrets I never want to have.

I don’t regret packing up house and moving to the land down under (with no friends, no dog, and none of my pots and pans). I don’t regret spending an obscene amount of money on plane tickets home to surprise family for the holidays. I don’t regret hanging out ’til 3 am the first night I met Colin. I don’t regret buying that Emma Fox handbag or that bag of Sun Chips earlier.

It’s that I believe we can (and maybe should) have lots and lots of regrets. We should live without having to plan every moment and save for every opportunity. We should be able to make decisions on the fly sometimes and not be cosmically punishced forever because we did so. But I also think regrets should only cost us moments or money or immediate happiness; regrets should never cost us years. I know (and I know you know) too many people in our lives who are living in regret-waiting-to-happen. If there is anything to be reminded of in this post, let it be this: never let regrets take years from your life.

Get out of that job you hate now. Don’t stay in that relationship because you think it’s better than nothing. Marry someone you know, without a shadow of a doubt, you’ll love forever. Friends that tear you down are not good friends. Don’t miss out on happiness, good times, or family because you’re unwilling to forgive and let go. Don’t stay silent about the things that matter to you. Give, if you can.

xo Lindsey

Regret moments, not years | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

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January blog a day | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren More from #Janblogaday: Day 1: New… year, new resolution. Day 2: Two… things you should never say to your partner. Day 3: Bucket list… of (some un)realistic wishes. Day 4: Pet peeve… fountains are not the new jungle gym. Day 5: Fear not, even if I am a little crazy. Day 6: Embarrassment: Lindsey – 1, Dad – 4. Day 7: The shoe horoscope. Day 8: A little honesty. Day 9: Made with love: Wintery Instagram jam. Day 10: Grandma took my room, so I took her pajamas. Day 11: A husband confession. Day 12: Haiti changed me. Day 13: Top ten ‘why not’ finds at Walmart. Day 14: Guess that food. Day 15: A hug-free, dent-free left-hand side of the road. Day 16: I’m getting my own tube. Day 17: This is your brain on bacon. Day 18: Dear newly-wed. Day 19: Superpowerful and hungry. Day 20: Beauty to me. Day 21: Happy. Day 22: Lock me up in a kids world. Day 23: Social media in desserts. Day 24: Teacherhood of a dirty chalkboard. Day 25: el.oh.vee.ee. Day 26: 8 reasons you need New Zealand summer in your life. Tomorrow day 28: A surprise (post from Ben Teoh!).

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  • Alyssa

    Ah sister, I can’t help but get teary eyed & laugh when I read this. I remember this day as if it were yesterday, I needed to get a good smile today, thank you for putting life into perspective for me. So well written, love you!

  • Colin and I were just trying to figure out last night when I was writing this where you were that morning. Were you home? Or was your car there by itself?

    I miss you lots. Smile tons and tons because we are thinking of you and all day yesterday we planned out how you and Tory might come here to visit. I love you so much and miss you every day!

  • Pingback: Ben’s surprise post: Starting a social media sing-along » lindsey talerico.()