I’m seriously guilty of looking back. Where would I be now if I’d done things differently? My regrets are many, as well as second-guessing myself, but I don’t think the outcome would be different unless the circumstances of the environment I grew up in were. If you’ve thought your decisions through, and you knew the right thing to do in a given situation was obvious, then why agonize over it? I can look back on more than one event I would like to do over. That’s part of life. Even Bible heroes made some bad decisions, but I won’t go into that here.
We wander aimlessly if you keep looking back. We need to move forward, even if that path looks difficult—forward in our relationships, our work, and meeting new challenges. Life is a series of different forks in the road. ‘It might have been’ is what regret is about. We are faced with decisions every day: What do I want for breakfast? Which blouse should I wear today? Do I really want to be on a panel at the Left Coast Crime conference?
Someone once told me that when we look back on our lives and the paths we have taken, we don’t generally regret the things we have done but the things we haven’t done.
“May you look back on the past with as much pleasure as you look forward to the future.—Paul Dickson”