1. to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).
Or rather, the feeling you get when you think of all the things you should have done. The choices you could have made. What would have been… A rose-tinted logic that makes us anxious, self-conscious and worst of all, resentful.
I come face-to-face with regret all too often. She usually meets me in the mirror on my birthday or follows the champagne bubbles on New Year’s Eve, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth—a flavor I can never seem to swallow with grace. But she’s there, every year, in sync with the ball drop and the cue of “Auld Lang Syne”.
But this year, I want things to be different. Not only because I dislike the feeling of unrest that Regret so casually leaves in her wake, but because this year, my gratitude sings louder than my regret.
I am a planner by nature and if I could wake up and organize the next 365 days of my life I certainly would. Perhaps I was a girl scout in a past life, because I love being prepared, but despite all my best-laid plans, 2014 completely threw me for a loop. My career, my family, my home, my heart—it all went through the ringer and through the tears, and fears, I survived.
I made difficult decisions. Straight up sucky choices that I wasn’t sure of, and probably never will be. Some options slipped away from me by the limitations of time, or because logic, that canny wench, won out overall. My conscience was torn apart and reborn despite all good intentions and somewhere along the way I made sweet, tiny, and glorious coups. It was, by all standards, chaos.
But that mess and those hard decisions are the salt of life. I spent many years looking back and thinking about what choices I made and how I could have done them different. In the end, I never quite figured out time travel, so the dwelling was for naught. I didn't have a perfect year, and I certainly have some regrets that I’ll never let go of (getting a Bob-cut circa 2007, for example). But the absolute beauty of it is that there is still time to drown Regret in her own poison with the antidote of gratitude. Perhaps the year won’t tie-up nicely in a perfect 2014 package, but as we many may know, time moves to her own beat regardless of our requests to slow down or speed up.
So no bitter bubbly for me, lady Regret. Instead, I'll forgive the fates for their daily tests, and embrace all the deliciously happy moments that "shoulda, coulda, and woulda" tend to drown out and I’ll raise a toast to possibility instead:
Cheers to 2014 a year rich with flavors of every sort, but especially the sweet ones and all the many more to come.