Deadman's picture

    Regrets? Yeah, I got a few ...

    i remember when I was a teenager reading and quite enjoying 'Life's Little Instruction Book', a short guide full of pithy sayings and reminders on the best way to live a meaningful and happy life.

    One of the rules that stuck with me was 'Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets.' On the surface, it's hard to argue with that one, but the more I age, the more I realize how preposterous the idea is. Regrets are a healthy part of the examined life, and the only real goal one should have is to decrease the number of regrets you accumulate as you get older (and hopefully wiser).

    I have a ton of regrets, most of which stem from childhood. I wish I would have learned how to skate and play ice hockey. I wish I would have learned more than one foreign language. I wish I would have lost my virginity at an earlier age (not sure that was as much of a choice as I'd like to think it was, though).

    Perhaps my biggest regret is not keeping a diary. I always equated diary-keeping with, well, being a chick. But the fact of the matter is, I think memories are some of the most precious things in the world, and reading about a specific past event can provide the quickest path to recall. I normally have trouble remembering what I had for dinner yesterday, but when I reread ancient clips from my journalism days, sights and sounds from the past come flooding back to me.

    I believe all the things we've ever done are stored up there somewhere in our brain; we just need powerful enough triggers to extract them. Old pictures can help (and I do love me some old pictures), but they don't do the trick like words can.

    I could start keeping a diary now, and I suppose this blog will act as that on some noteworthy occasions, but it's my childhood and young adult days - with all of the associated experiences and constant changes which made me who I am today - that I'd most like to remember in more detail.

    Alas, sans diary, I'll have to be OK with most of my childhood being just a pleasant blur that grows a bit fuzzier by the year. On the positive side, I'm sure total recall would dredge up some memories I'd prefer to keep repressed. After all, I've already got enough regrets.


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