35 things you will regret when you grow older, change that now!

Time passes faster than you could ever realise. Trust me on this. In my head, I’m still hovering somewhere in my mid twenties, but the calendar does inform me that I’m well into my fifth decade on this planet and time has passed me by. Are there regrets? There will always be regrets, after all what is a life well lived if not peppered with enough regrets, I tell myself. And what is the point of having regrets if one cannot learn from them.

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I regret that I spent too much time thinking I wasn’t good enough, not good looking enough, not thin enough, not intelligent enough, not qualified enough, not posh enough. It has taken me to reach this side of forty to realise that whatever I am, I am enough. Enough and more.  I also regret that I never learnt any life skills and still don’t know how to swim, drive, even cycle. It is rather embarrassing and something that I take completely responsibility for. Cooking I have managed to train myself, and is perhaps the only life skill I have, if you don’t count being able to work on multiple windows simultaneously. There are other regrets, the friendships one has let go, the conflicts one did not revisit or try resolving, the bridges one burnt, the time I spent away from my son when he was little attending useless meetings and conferences that have not done anything to improve my life, the unkind words I said in the heat of the moment which I could never take back, the times I wasn’t there for folks who needed me, the times I put work first and let life lose out, the travel I didn’t do when I was footloose and fancy free. But then, it is never too late, is it. Some I can still reclaim. Some I must wave goodbye from the shores of a time I can never revisit. Some I must wrap in the muslin of If Onlys and pack into the attic of things I must come to terms with.

things i wont regret in lifeThis then, is a list of the most common regrets people have. I’m trying to resolve some of these and whittle my list of regrets down. I can try, after all, can’t have myself regretting that I didn’t even try.

1] Not indulging yourself occasionally

2] Skimping on or not using sunscreen, not sticking to a skin care routine

3] Not travelling as much as you could when you can

4] Staying on in an abusive relationship

5] Staying friends with toxic people and let them mess with your head

6] Not eating healthy and sleeping enough

7] Being too scared to step out of your comfort zone

Things I regret in life but I should not8] Disregarding well meant advice from your parents

9] Getting little or no exercise

10] Trying to live up to other people’s idea of who you are

11] Not pursuing a passion or two

12] Having no work life balance

13] Not saying ‘I love you’ to the ones you love

14] Staying on in a job you hated and dreaded going to every single day

15] Not going after the job you really, really wanted

16] Not spending enough time with your grandparents

17] Not experimenting enough with your appearance when you’re still young enough to get away with it

18] Letting a sexist comment or sexual harassment pass uncountered

19] Not standing up for yourself or someone else who needs your support

20] Putting your dreams on the back burner while supporting your partner to realise theirs

21] Not learning essential life skills—cooking, cycling, swimming, driving

22] Giving up the spiritual path

23] Not learning a foreign language

24] Not learning something new in your field of work every chance you get

25] Not saving every month, however little

26] Letting others manage your finances

27] Doing nothing to give back to society

28] Defining yourself by gender stereotypes

29] Hating how you look

30] Not calling up or meeting friends often enough

31] Ignoring sunrises and sunsets

32] Leaving things half done and unfinished

33] Staying insulated and not broadening your circle of friends and aquaintances

34] Giving up on being curious and filled with wonder at this world

35] Not making that condolence visit