Last night I was humming Tom Cochrane’s song, “No Regrets” (I’m amazed that I know that and I knew 40% of the words). Usually when I’m humming a song “out of the blue” like that, something has happened or someone has said or done something to trigger this response. (Hubby and Big Guy take great pride in planting songs in my head…sometimes it’s immediate and sometimes it takes a couple of hours). This time, it was brought about by something our pastor said in the morning (and it was just a statement not particularly key to his thesis)…to paraphrase, he said something like people have mid-life crises because they are looking back over the things they have done in their lives and realizing that their time to make their mark, or make restitution, if they can, has gotten shorter.
Looking back over my life so far, do I have any regrets (besides some of the clothes and hairstyles of the ’70s and ’80s)? Off the top of my head, sure there are, but none of them really relate to the major decisions in my life. For example, in 9th grade I was supposed to meet James P. in the library at lunch and he was going to teach me Spanish. I forgot and went home for lunch – he didn’t believe that I forgot and never spoke to me again. I wouldn’t get my hair butchered trimmed 2 weeks before my wedding at that little place around the corner from my apartment. And I wouldn’t have backed over that bag of milk at the convenience store…the first time I drove the car alone after getting my license.
If I had behaved differently or made different decisions in some of my past relationships, would there have been less teenage angst? Would I be married to someone other than Hubby? If I had gone to university and law school instead of college, would I a big office, a big pay check, better hair? Would my life be better than the one I’m living now? Probably not! Different – yes. Better – no!
I once made a huge life-changing decision and I’ve been asked, do I regret making the decision to have Big Guy or to raise him instead of relinquishing him to be adopted by another family? No. I know without a doubt that I did exactly what God asked me to do, and He gave me the strength to survive it all (and there were times when I wondered if I would survive). I regret that Big Guy has sometimes suffered consequences as a result of my immaturity, my insecurity, and my decisions, but how could I ever regret the butterfly kisses, the laughter, the challenges, or the blessings of seeing this amazing young man grow up? Not to mention seeing how much my family loved and willingly sacrificed for us, and how much I have grown.
Regrets are useless fires – they don’t build, or create, or edify. They only consume and leave hearts a blackened and empty shell! I’m half-way through my life…and time is short! I’m not going to waste it focusing on where I have been, but on where I’m going… I choose to trust God and just sing with Tom Cochrane:
We got no regrets, might have seen better times
But maybe we ain’t been there yet
Remember who you are don’t you forget
Have no regrets.