As I am sitting here working on a business card for a client, dog by my side, coffee getting cold, the word “REGRET” flashes in my mind. Not that I am regretting anything right now. I mean, I am in my house, newly decorated office (although there are a few things to change) with everything I need. Plus a lot of stuff I don’t need… but I sure like it and have no intention of getting rid of it. So why that word? Why was it in all-caps and bold?

Almost automatically, I think no – as in “no regrets”. Although, is that the right thing to do? And again, why did it creep into my thoughts? Sure, I have regrets. We all have regrets. Why did I wear that to work? Why didn’t I put on better shoes? Why didn’t I make that font size one point smaller?

Those regrets are normal. It helps us grow and figure our style and our limits. It’s part of being human. But what about the bigger regrets? A bad marriage? A cross word to a loved one? Not saying what you really want and feel? Not taking that one chance?

When do we (or should we) take those regrettable moments in our life and turn it around for the better? So I didn’t start my business twenty years ago. Was I ready? Probably not. There may have been obstacles out there that I never knew. I could be bankrupt, working at a fast-food joint if I would’ve tried back then. (Doubtful but the thought helps.) Am I ready now? Hopefully. And I guess that’s the thing – we don’t know. We don’t have all the answers nor can we see into the future. If we did, I think we would all be pretty bored. There would be no fun, no excitement, no “is he going to kiss me now” butterflies. And yuck – I know I wouldn’t want to live without those feelings.

Regrets. I don’t think we should never look back… just do so with caution. Don’t get trapped in the “if only” thoughts in your head; they can be haunting. Learn from the past. Remember how that person or that job or that pair of shoes made you feel. And if you didn’t like it, then don’t put yourself in that same situation (or pair of shoes). Move forward. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t let the regrets take over.

Enjoy life. Be kind. Be cautious of those that aren’t. Take a chance. Believe in yourself. Take a deep breathe. But most of all… learn. Not regret.

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