As I sit at my desk writing today’s blog, I cannot help but think back over my life and realize too late that I have some regrets.  This does not mean that I would change where and what I am today, but we all have regrets and think about what might have been different in our lives…if we had just responded differently.

The following are some of those regrets:

 

Not going after the hot girl

I think back to the many times that I sat in a bar, too scared to approach some attractive gal, while some dipstick left the bar with her later in the evening.  If you try your ass off to win over the girl of your dreams, the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t, which leaves you in exactly the same position as if you never tried at all.  If you don’t even try, the worst-case scenario is that you spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been if you’d just manned up and gone for it.  For those wondering, my wife is one of those hot girls.

 

Not sleeping with all willing parties

Just how many times do we not go for the possibility of sleeping with someone?  Now I am not talking about when you are married.  I am talking about that period of single adult interaction with single adult, willing females.  Whether it was due to fear, or the wrong timing, or that you just did not try hard enough, you are still stuck with the question of…what if?  Not taking advantage of opportunities when they are presented is always a major regret later because you will never know where it could have gone.  We all had friends who were major stud machines, they may not have ended up any happier than us, but they do not have regrets like the rest of us.

 

Not staying in touch with friends

Outside of school and work, you’re unlikely to be in situations where making friends is common place, where everyone is more or less forced to get to know one another and form friendships.  Of course, you’re not guaranteed to make friends in either situation, which is why it’s so important to retain the ones you have.  Neglecting friendships is easy — everyone’s busy and everyone loses touch from time to time — but trying to revisit friendships after years has passed, rarely works out.

 

Not splurging on a badass car

It becomes progressively harder to justify having an impractical, flashy, impressive ride as you get older — there’s a point after which having a family and creating a career will no longer tolerate your tooling around on an explosively loud Corvette.  Even if you do hit a midlife crisis and decide you need a cherry-red convertible to call your own, it won’t be the same because you’ll no longer be the young, carefree guy you’re picturing — you’ll be the old guy who sought escape from a midlife crisis with a cherry-red convertible.  Do you know why you see so many old farts driving hot sports cars?  The answer is because they can afford them.

 

Getting married too soon

Around half of the marriages in the United States (including my first) end in divorce, and one of the most common reasons for divorce is that both parties had a different view of how the relationship would turn out down the line.  Some spur-of-the-moment relationships work with no planning at all, but they’re not the norm; you need to be fully prepared for married life because emotion alone isn’t going to be enough.  Winding up in an unhappy relationship, especially with kids involved, is guaranteed to influence the rest of your life.

 

Devoting too much time to work

Nobody is arguing that work is bad or that your career isn’t important, but you shouldn’t feel compelled to spend every waking moment slaving away at your job while forgoing those experiences that make life worth living.  There are many things you can only do when you’re young, and work is not one of them.  Someday you’re going to wish you’d gone skydiving or had a staggering amount of sex, and it’s comparatively unlikely that you’ll ever wish you’d worked more weekends.

Ignoring your health

Smoking, drinking, and everything else you shrug off because you’re young will catch up to you later.  It doesn’t matter how physically fit you are; that junk food diet that you are on will catch up to you.  Remember that what you look like in the mirror doesn’t necessarily reflect your actual health at all.  Those invisible effects of a poor diet and a lack of exercise; along with poor personal choices are insidious — instead of gradually noticing that you’re getting fat and deciding to change, you may just be told one day that your liver is broken or that you have stage 4 cancer, and by that time; whatever change you do make is going to be too little, too late.

 

Not spending enough time with dad

Regardless of your relationship with your father, he’s still your father, and you probably don’t have too many extra fathers sitting around in case you neglect your relationship with this one.  Remember, for better or worse: he tried his best to be the best father that he could.  He’s been a unique influence on your life, whether you realize it or not, and he’s not going to be here forever.  Make the best of the time you do have, lest you find yourself crying mournfully into your beer every time you hear “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

Advertisements