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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
Not sure where this thread will go, but I am wondering how others, particularly those my age or older, deal with regret in their lives? I realize that we have to live in the present, but there are many things, given another opportunity that I would do differently.

Thoughts?
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1438) 11 years ago
Let that regret help you to lock, in stone, a new perspective and new actions that help you to do things better in the future.

The bigger the regret, the more laser-focus you have on doing it right the next time.

/ 2 pennies on table /
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 11 years ago
Alcohol, but most likely that leads to more regret ... so I'm not sure.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
I actually don't really believe in regrets per say. Are there things I wish I had done differently or not have done? Sure. However if I hadn't have made those mistakes I would never've had the chance to learn from them.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17335) 11 years ago
Beer has made me fat, but OTOH, those beers sure did taste good going down, so I dunno.
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Posted by Tracy Walters (+302) 11 years ago
Generally, I try to avoid thinking about things I regret, because when I do, I let it eat at me.

I find that the hardest person to forgive, especially for doing some stupid or offensive thing is myself.

So some unbidden rememberance of something stupid or embarrassing bubbles to the top of my mind, and I want to beat myself up....instead, I try to push it away and think of something else.

Probably not the solution you wanted to hear for positive growth, but it's what happens to me.

And...I should mention that I'm over fifty...just to put it in context of age...much older than Richard, I'm sure.

[This message has been edited by Tracy Walters (7/8/2010)]
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Posted by Bart Freese (+926) 11 years ago
I don't doubt that anyone doesn't have some regret or think they should have or could have done something differently. Nothing wrong with that. The problem is when the "regret" takes on a life of its own. Really, a lot of good time can be wasted on regrets. The old mid-life crisis scenario.

Now, when I hit mid-life, in about 10 to 20 more years, I will look at my regrets, acknowledge them, and then (hopefully) tell them to mind their own business.

I agree with Dan (focus) and Larry (not too much alcohol). Good advice and free of charge.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1671) 11 years ago
Richard, my daughter likes to spend her time asking questions of a philosophical nature. Not too long ago was the dreaded question, "What would you go back and change in your life, if anything?". I told her I would get back to her after I had given the question the time and thought that was warranted. I came to the conclusion that, if you are happy and content with yourself and the ones in your life at present, there should be no reason to change anything in your life. The good, and bad, experiences make you who you are. If you had not lived your life in exactly the same manner, you would not have the life you have today. One seemingly insignificant decision you made 20 years ago, say such as deciding not to go into one particular restaurant that night, where you ended up meeting your spouse, would alter the course of your life completely. Every single step in your life has led you to the here and now. Now, if you are not happy with your life, yourself and the ones in it, that is another story completely. Dan's philosophy comes in quite handy at this point, should this be the case.

I think a quote by Alexander Graham Bell simplifies my thought process much more eloquently. "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."

That being said, if the source of your regret is the hurt you have caused another human being, in my opinion, that cannot simply be let go and chalked up to life experience. Apology is the only noble avenue to pursue, not so much for you, but for those you have aggrieved. In this case, you apologize to do what is right, not necessarily what is easy. If they accept your apology, so much the better for both of you. If not, see the Webmaster's coping mechanism.
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Posted by VictoriaLynn (+282) 11 years ago
I would go back and do things different with my daughters but I have finally learned and had to accept this is the way it is; the dice have been thrown.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10001) 11 years ago
I think in regards to regret, you really have to look at the present, and realize things are the way they are.

If you could go back and change something, perhaps it would make you happy and rich, or perhaps it would make you dead. It's the whole "Butterfly Effect". You have no idea what would happen.

What I do know, is that we're all here, so make the best of it, and if there is not a second time around, let's do good with the only chance we've got.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17335) 11 years ago
If I were Denise, I would have regrets....about having Rick for a brother.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5095) 11 years ago
Richard: The choices you've made in life make you who you are. No reason for regret. Look forward.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
I think that regret can be a positive force in one's life. Don't wallow in it but understanding that regret can help you change your life for the better. My regrets tend to be about the way I've treated others in the past. I may not be able to take it back but I can try to pay it forward. Good luck, Richard.
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Posted by julieinmc (+518) 11 years ago
Wow, Richard, this one really hit home. I am dealing with terminal cancer and have spent a lot of time reflecting on this very thing. I have come to the conclusion the past is just that. I have made some horrible decisions in my life and wasted a lot of good opportunities. Now I know my life is going to be much shorter than I had hoped and have learned to focus on the positive. I have wonderful memories of my childhood and also of the raising of my children. I have awesome co-workers and family who have been incredibly supportive. During my treatment I have made wonderful new friends, people I may never had the pleasure of knowing if not for my "illness."
Count your blessings and live your life with a peaceful mind. And thanks for getting me interested in good beer and learning to try new things. I will be in San Diego next week and hope to check out a few of the breweries in North County, and stop and say hi to the crew at Stone.
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Posted by howdy (+4944) 11 years ago
I try to learn from my mistakes as I make them and hopefully learn to not repeat them...I never have spent much time on regret, per se, as I find it can become an exercise in self pity ...I just generally plug along as best I can and try to do the right thing (whatever that is)...
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1284) 11 years ago
I contend that if you got to go back and do it again, all things being equal at the time, you, me, and everyone I know would do exactly the same thing.

It's who you where that made the decisions not who you've become. So don't worry about the past only the future.

And remember drink lots of water in this heat, my mother says it's very important and she knows her stuff.
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Posted by Joe Smity (+114) 11 years ago
Regret and melancholy is a waste of time and energy.

I know that sound harsh, but really, what can you do about the past other than learn from it? Spend some time in reflection, but don't dwell on the mistakes or the bad times. You can't change the past, it is what it is and it is part of the fabric of who you are now.

What you CAN do is do better today and improve on it for tomorrow. Time spent dwelling on the past is time wasted on seizing the opportunities that present themselves now.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
"Remorse.-- Never yield to remorse, but at once tell yourself: remorse would simply mean adding to the first act of stupidity a second."

- Friedrich Nietzsche
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Posted by Judd (+52) 11 years ago
Regrets are easy just let them go. Its in the past and that can not be changed. Well unless its a choice that you are still living with then deal with it, fix it even if it is painful. Pain = growth.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+981) 11 years ago
It is easy to say 'forget they, put them behind you, they serve no use ignore them' but it is not easily done. The best I can do is use them as a learning experience. If you regret time not spent with someone who has passed, spend time with those still here, if you regret past actions to others, strive to be better now and in the future, if you regret money miss-spent change how you spend it now. Striving to be better may or may not help one deal with regrets but it will keep you from adding to the list.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago


So you were born (So you were born), and that was a good day
Someday you'll die (Someday you'll die), and that is a shame
But somewhere in the between was a life of which we all dream
And nothing and no one will ever take that away
You had a love and that love had you
And nothing mattered, you were fine
And some will complain, they're just bitter, what a shame
They know that loving and losing is better than nothing at all
Maybe the times we had, they weren't that bad
And everything else was part of our path
We sang: "I don't know where we go from here"
This is the anthem, the slogan, the summary of events
And we all just idealize the past
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Posted by Tracy Walters (+302) 11 years ago
Kinda freaky....I work in the First Interstate Tower in Billings, and went to 'Java Downunder' (the coffee shop in the lower level) for a refill. It's a great place to have a mid morning bull session...and today, everyone was talking about 'Regret'

Something must be in the air.
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Posted by Barb Holcomb (+406) 11 years ago
Technically, I'm not your age or older, so I'm not really qualified to give an opinion ( ), but everyone has regrets of some nature. Without them, I don't think you learn to really appreciate what's important and meaningful. You also have to consider how many regrets are results of things you actually had control over. When faced with a certain set of circumstances, you make choices; sometimes you have to pick something from of a bunch of poor choices. You do the best with the information/resources you have at the time and learn from the results of those choices. As you learn from each experience, you use that information to make different choices the next time, although you'll probably never be faced with the same exact circumstances again. You enjoy the rewards of the good choices and let go of the "what if's, if only's and woulda, shoulda, coulda's" . . . and keep saying the Serenity Prayer, if you're a praying sort of person.
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Posted by athome (+365) 11 years ago
Dwelling on the past is easy to do. Everyone feels they could have done better, no matter the outcome. Mistakes of the past are simply "tools" for our present and future.

Regret is anti-productive and does not serve to lend encouragement to the now.

If you regret now, in the future you'll be in the position to regret regretting your regrets.
Who wants that.

Enjoy who you are and embrace the never-ending learning curve of life. There are
no real mistakes, just lessons. Learn from them and become a more enlightened you.

Cheers
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Posted by urcrackinmeup (+134) 11 years ago
I love the Nietzsche quote, Levi!
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Posted by C.Kee (+376) 11 years ago
Thanks for your post "Athome."
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Posted by Cheryl Gaer-Barlow (+474) 11 years ago
Levi, I loved your quote! My life has been a conundrum of vicissitudes! I shall stop beating myself up for my errors!
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Posted by Bill Freese (+479) 11 years ago
I have been regretting a few things lately. I find it helps to remember that no matter what stupid mistake I have made, so long as I am still breathing, there is yet time to do something even stupider. ...No, wait.... That didn't make me feel any better.
Never mind. I vote for Steve's answer.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+586) 11 years ago
If you have no regrets then you have lost the opportunity to learn from your past. No regrets? Perhaps no conscience? Just a thought...
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
Thanks to one and all for your input.
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Posted by snickers (+820) 11 years ago
I agree with Bruce
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17335) 11 years ago
All of you who did not go to the final year of the National Folk Festival in Butte should have serious regret right about now.
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