Late-doers and Regrets

An acquaintance made an enormous improvement in her life. Despite her achievement, she has feelings of regret about it taking her so long.

I commiserated. I was a late-bloomer as a child, and a late-doer in many respects as an adult.

I didn’t tell her that I’m working on stories I started in childhood. Or that I became a teacher Quality-Control Inspector at a young human factory after working for almost a decade in the field I thought I loved. I also didn’t tell her about my beloved grandfather who, many years after retiring from the mining industry, became a stained-glass artist.

I gave her this advice, which I’m posting to remind myself whenever Regret comes to call:

Look at the past you as a person who wasn’t taught how to [do this thing you’re doing]. You wouldn’t say, “It’s about time” to an adult who returned to school to earn a high school diploma. You wouldn’t berate a person with unhealthy habits who finally mastered the tools to live a healthy life. Congratulate yourself and be happy you don’t have to spend another minute in the past.

4 thoughts on “Late-doers and Regrets

  1. It’s a paradox, really.

    I’ve met people who have NO regrets – and not because they were well-intentioned people who planned carefully. One in particular was a human wrecking-ball who epitomized “failing upwards.”

    The polar opposite are people who regret every misstep, whether deliberate or accidental.

    It would be nice if there could be an emotional or ethical transfusion from the latter to the former!

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