Monday, April 02, 2012

Je Ne Regrette Rien...

...but Regret itself.

They say you should never regret anything. That a life full of regrets is a wasted life. That all our if only’s stifle all our potential I could’s.

Maybe you have to be Edith Piaf to have no regrets. Or maybe just French. Either way it is impossible for me not to get wistful sometimes and look back on all my life decisions and indecisions with a modicum of chagrin.

I regret not punching the school bully in the face. Just once.
I regret not studying harder at Computer Studies back in the eighties when home computing was in its infancy; I’d be set up for life now.
I regret not getting into acting or music when I was younger. Or archery or karate. Something cool.
I regret not doing volunteer work at the BBC when I left school, when I was living at home and could have afforded to do it. It would have been a foot in the door.
I regret not getting drunk more and being stupid more.
I regret not having the confidence to ask more girls out on dates when I was young and single.
I regret caring so much about what other people thought of me.
I regret that I still do that.
I regret selling all my boyhood Lego when I was a teenager.
I regret not saying no more and yes more at the right times.
I regret settling for the easy path in life because I’m too scared of making life too difficult for myself.

But I think I regret most of all that if I were able to live my life all over again I would still have the exact same regrets...

C'est la vie?

Who knows.

What is your biggest regret in life?



Tim Atkinson said...

I remember the former Poet Laureate John Betjeman stopping an interviewer in his tracks when asked - at a very advanced stage of his life - if he had any regrets.
'Yes', Sir John wheezed, 'just one.'
'Which is?'
'I regret not having lots more sex.'

Nota Bene said...

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

I've lived a life that's full.
I've traveled each and ev'ry highway;
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried.
I've had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
"No, oh no not me,
I did it my way".

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!

John Gray said...

I regret getting drunk and silly too often
I regret not being "able" to come out when I was young
I regret not going to University when I had the chance
I regret saying something "challenging" once to a person who was too fragile to cope with it
I TOO regret nothing.... but I do x

Keith said...

You SOLD your boyhood lego !?!?!?! That is a true regret to carry through life.

As for the rest... Just say sod it and go out and do it all now. (Except maybe the girls bit, seeing as you are married and all )

Hannah Denski said...

Itching to comment… yet no regrets…? Not at this point in my life anyway – life’s ahead of me, right? Am l to regret not having kids one day? Am I to regret choosing easy life of pleasure? Am I to regret not to learn speaking French? Am I to regret my sticking by my man (no matter what) one day? Am I to regret all regrets to come? I guess we’ll have to see. For now I go, with the flow. : )

libby said...

That is such a big question Steve. Your regret list was interesting and is probably peppered with regrets that most people have when they are pondering on their life as it is at the moment. I might 'pinch' this and do a regret list at mine, once I have thought about it? would that be ok? (Now think about your yes/no and right time regrets here)let me know. ps
imagine the joy your lego is bringing to some other kid and be happy for them.

Löst Jimmy said...

Life is nothing without regrets, it is what propels us forward (to the next regret). My biggest regret was May 1994 in that month lay my greatest ever moment and then the regrettable coup de savate, c'est la vie as it were.

Expat mum said...

I always get a little bit annoyed when people say "Oh I don't have regrets". Everyone must have a few surely? I have quite a lot but none big enough to really bother about. Besides, you can't change anything, only learn from things and make the most of what you have now. And if I must name one regret, I regret doing a law degree because I didn't enjoy about two thirds of it and never practised law anyway. I could have studied something far more interesting and ended up at the same place. Oh well.

Kelloggsville said...

Blimey! Black is the new Green :) nice look. I did study hard at Computer studies in the 80's and it got me a desk job in an office doing computer stuff - this side of the fence is pretty shit too mate! Whereas I wish I worked in an art gallery!
I regret not going and doing more when I was young, I stayed local, set up a house and did DIY etc..I wish I'd carried a yurdel around Nepal or something...on the other hand I would still want to be now where I am now and that probably wouldn't be the case if I hadn't chosen my path so I too would choose that path again. I mainly regret forming a conscience - it's a damned hinderance!

London City Mum said...

Not studying that teenie tiny bit harder and getting the extra two points that would have got me in to medicine.
All my posturing and attitude gone to waste. Tsk.

Marginalia said...

Regrets I have a few but then again too few to mention....

Suzanne said...

I think being a scaredy cat for so long...if I had had more confidence in myself when I was younger I would have had more life experiences. I played it safe - a lot.
Having said that though I sort of like who I am today, and maybe that's because my confidence has grown over time.

Steve said...

Tim: Sir John, I'm sure, spoke and speaks for us all.

Nota Bene: if you typed all that freehand without cut and pasting it from Google, I'd be very impressed.

John: now those are proper, grown-up regrets.

Keith: I knew you'd understand. I still desperately hope to see it appear on eBay...

Hannah: I hope the flow takes you somewhere you want to go...

Libby: I don't care about that other kid. I want my Lego back! Waaargh! Yes, feel free to borrow / steal the idea.

Löst Jimmy: hope the kick didn't lay you low for long.

Expat Mum: still not too late to go back to Uni, you know...!

Kelloggsville: forming a conscience? Good point. I'm sure I'd be far happier without mine.

LCM: you can doctor me anyday. Notice I said doctor and not nurse? I'm a new man, I am.

Marginalia: Nota Bene made far more effort.

Suzanne: mine too. I just wish it had grown quicker. And bigger. How often I've uttered that phrase over the years. ;-)

the fly in the web said...

I don't have many regrets....but one in particular was that so intent was I on excluding my mother from my internal life when young that I closed myself off to too many other people too.

What I've missed!

Gorilla Bananas said...

Hah, I can't believe there are people who would buy second-hand Lego! Doesn't it cheer you up to know there are people even geekier than you? Surely it's not too late to punch the school bully or call him a cunt to his face?

Steve said...

The fly in the web: that is the most poignant of all regrets.

Gorilla Bananas: I'm pretty sure I could get into Strangeways to see him; my problem would be getting back out again.

Owen said...

I regret not having infinite time and resources to do everything I want to do while here on this little planet of ours... Our limitations become more apparent as we age....

My goodness, I've been taking a break for a while from the PC and come back to find you've given Bloggertropolis a complete facelift, a new look, sharp and dark and crisp. I'll bet you don't regret that... Hope all is well in the Spa...

Steve said...

Owen: money drove me to it alas - needed more control over advertizing space. Never thought I'd ever say that! Not regretting it so far... though might try and tweak the colour scheme later...

Fluke Piestalk 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679 said...

all the didchyahvooh... deepchairview, erh, wellyerknopes.

and a coupla dodgy techa^vexicks

oar leafin the ditherydoohdah in the boosh and cotton pickinup the jazzsaid gist oopha da loofah joust axe High realeyed oi wash way pussed sheet creak Anne Hover the... What a fall. Free n all.

Wheel...ooze royal nauthen? - oil, sea Yah on the udder side. r - I mean, Aargh.

Steve said...

Dear Mr Piestalk: meep meep!

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

I'm not sure I do regret much. I often wish I'd done more with singing/acting when I was younger but if I had then my life would have gone down a totally different path...and actually I love how it's turned out. Anyway my voice was rubbish when I was younger so it probably wouldn't have happened.

I like the sleek new blog look though personally I find white type on black background makes my eyes sore.

Steve said...

Trish: that's a good point. A different choice and none of us would be where we are now. I'm happy with where I am. So... no regrets after all!

yes, still playing around with the layout and colours. It is all liable to change...

Nana Go-Go said...

...not being on your 'Uncommon People' list... and eating a whole packet of Jaffa Cakes whilst reading this post! I like the new look by the way - classy and stylish. Anyhoo, back to the regrets, I could throw all those old cliches at you like 'life's too short',etc.etc. but where you are in your life right now is exactly where you're supposed to be....and if you're content with your lot in the meantime, so be it.
Also, could you tell Mr. Gorilla Bananas that you may only use the 'c' word if you own one yourself. Thank You and Goodnight.

Steve said...

Nana GoGo: consider yourself an uncommon person and your message to Gorilla Bananas sent. Thank you for your levelheaded wisdom.

Nana Go-Go said...

Squeeee!You've made an old woman very happy!!!!!Goodnight My Friend...have a good week.

Steve said...

Nana GoGo: next week will be better... I'm on holiday. ;-)

lunarossa said...

Hallo Steve, I'm still alive! ;) I regret not having read your blog in the last few weeks, but I will catch up soon so the regret will be void, won't it? All the best. Ciao. A.xx

Steve said...

Lunarossa: the best regret to have of all - one you can remedy! ;-)

Katriina said...

Like many others, most of my regrets involve stuff that was the result of immaturity, being impetuous, lacking the confidence to stand up for something I believed in, or all of the above. I still lie awake at night sometimes thinking about that dark stuff, but have to admit that regret does force you to change things about yourself for the better.

One real regret I have concerns a party I was at when I was about 23. A drunk and lecherous older guy felt me up, in front of his wife and my boyfriend. I was embarrassed and fled, but I SO regret not having unleashed my inner Kim Catrall, slapped him across the face and yelled "you drunk, lecherous bastard" for all to hear. Truly a wasted opportunity.

Steve said...

Katriina: I wish I had an inner Kim Catrall or, more accurately, an inner Gene Hunt. The lech deserved a slap... let's hope karma gave him a good kicking on your behalf!

Rol said...

I regret not going away to university, but enrolling at the hometown one instead so that I could carry on working in radio at the same time.

Plus, I regret most of the things you regret too. (Though with me, it was my Star Wars figures, not Lego.)

Steve said...

Rol: I feel a new kinship with you, my brother.

Suburbia said...

You are asking for just 1?!

Not enjoying my children's early days more and wishing our time away...

Great post and like your new ' look '!

Steve said...

Suburbia: thank you - I'm still tinkering!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Great new look. Love the white on black ;-)
I regret everything and nothing:
Like not making the most of an almost free University education. I regret believing people who said that there was no future in Classics and walking away from it, only to bump into class mates teaching at Oxford years on, and returning to NZ to find that Canterbury had established a curatorship for their antiquities collection which would suit me down to the ground if only I had a degree. But my lazy University years were also thinking years and then I got to study horticulture and be a good student and work in a man's world (at the time). Without a career, I was free of obligations and to bum around on narrowboats and hang out in Oxford - just not its common rooms - and dance around England and journey overland through exotic places. I was free to raise our children myself and spend more hands-on-time on their schooling than most parents can afford.
Some dreams have fallen by the wayside and others have come to fruition. A recent regret is not being tolerant of my husband in his last few months of life.
Steve, like some other folk have said, it's not too late to go to University. You and I both would make far better students at this stage of our life.

Clippy Mat said...

"Never look back unless you're planning on going that way."

A quote from someone wiser than me.

you could do worse than making it into a lego sculpture and displaying in a prominent place.

Steve said...

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: I have indeed been to University - I completed a part time degree in English a few years back and got a 2:1 which I was very pleased with. One day I shall do a Masters too! I think as long as every decision you make results in some kind of positive then you can never truly regret it.

Clippy Mat: love the quote and the Lego idea... my wife is less enamoured by the Lego idea...

Anonymous said...

Great post Steve, in fact your last half a dozen have been very entertaining.

Steve said...

Dicky: thanks... it's the 840 previous to that which worry me.

Being Me said...

I really like the beginnings of your blog space makeover. Good on you for taking the plunge and freshening up! Careful, though.... it's hard not to keep tinkering and tweaking once you start (and get every reader's unsolicited feedback and pro's/con's lists!).

Regrets? I've had a few, sure. Like Trish has already "said". I regret using my real name on that IVF forum where I was mercilessly stalked by people I knew in real life - I might still have a sister who talks to me now. I regret choosing the bridal party we had - of them all, we are only in contact with one of them. Gutting for someone like me who is angst-ridden and loses sleep over the slightest discord.

And I regret not taking Pepper for more walks in her later years. I struggled with that a lot (even before she died).

Yeh. That'd be about it, though, actually. Not bad for 37 years, surely!

Steve said...

Being Me: pretty good for 37 years actually! And the type of regret that does you credit... if you see what I mean? ;-)