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Author Topic: Regrets
Belle
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Do you have any? Are there things you want to do with your life that you know if you never do them, you will regret it?

I definitely regretted quitting college when I was 19. Going back to school over the last year has erased that regret, because I've proven that I could do it, and that one mistake when you're young needn't haunt you the rest of your life. In fact, the knowledge that "Hey, I can do this," is more valuable to me than the piece of paper I'll eventually earn.

The only one lingering over my head now is writing. I know that if I never pursue it again and never even finish a novel and at least try to get it published I'll regret that. I have been published, I've even been paid for my work, so it's not as if I never tried the writing thing at all, but the novel - that's what I always wanted to write and I still haven't done it. I need to work on that, definitely.

Anybody else care to share their own regrets or even success stories of how they came back and erased regrets by accomplishing something?

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ketchupqueen
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I regret drifting apart from my sweet friend Bridget in 5th and 6th grade. We still spoke, but she was wonderful, and I wish I could have known her more. She died the spring I was in 8th grade.

I regret missing my friend Cyrus' birthday this year, after he asked me to call him. I still haven't called him. *hangs head*

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Farmgirl
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*sings*
Regrets, I've had a few,
but then again, too few to mention....


[Smile]
FG

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Jim-Me
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More than I can count...

At the moment I really regret being the kind of person who can't seem to learn when to shut up [Wall Bash]

But overall I think I mostly regret resisting the idea of therapy for 30 years...

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maui babe
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I very much regret my second, very short marriage, but I'm definitely in a better position now than I was before. Who knows where I'd be if I hadn't made that incredible blunder.

I have other regrets, too, but that's the one that's caused me the most heartache recently, I suppose.

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Valentine014
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To name a few:

1. Letting my ex move in.
2. Not kicking him out sooner.
3. Letting him have the dog that I loved.
4. Not finishing college.

I am proud to say that number four is currently being worked on.

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Farmgirl
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Giving my ex (back while I was married to him) my great-grandfather's engraved gold pocketwatch.

Which he promptly hocked at some pawnshop in downtown Omaha.

So now I can't pass it on to my oldest son because I don't have it anymore. [Frown]

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Valentine014
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Not sure how long ago it was, but if you know which shop, perhaps I can help you track who it has gone to.

(*Longshot, I'm sure)

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Rico
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The only regrets I have are the ones I can't go back and fix [Frown]
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Farmgirl
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I've thought of that often, Nikki -- but I'm not even sure which shop. He didn't tell me for months (too late to rescue it) because he didn't want me mad at knowing he had cashed it in.

I think it was his normal pawn shop which I don't remember the name of and I can picture the street but don't remember street names! (It's been over 15 years).

And now that I think more about it -- I think it was actually in Lincoln instead of Omaha (we lived in both cities for a short time)

But thanks for being willing to try that for me. That means a lot to me just that you cared enough to offer.

FG

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katharina
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I have many, none of which I can fix. They are slightly assuaged by me knowing that I really did the best I could at the time. The only ones I truly regret are the ones where I know I wasn´t doing the best I could with what I knew at the time - I was just failing to be a decent human being. I´m so sorry. [Frown] It was nothing from here, and I don´t even know what the consequences were, if there were any. It was still bad, though.
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J T Stryker
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"Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it is only good for wallowing in."
- Someone whom I'm too lazy to google

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Valentine014
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I'll be in Lincoln on October 6. Just for the sake of a longshot....

Go to DexOnline and type in keyword: pawnshop for Lincoln, NE. There about 12 that pop up. Do any of them sound familiar?

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Da_Goat
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JT, it's Katherine Mansfield. And that's a good quote.
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Farmgirl
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I'm pretty sure it was just off West "O" street, just before you go up over railroad tracks??? Like on 8th or 9th or something -- just south of O Street, I think.

I have no idea whether the shop is even still there.

I'm tempted to call my ex right now and ask him if he remembers the name of the shop....

FG

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Valentine014
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There's BB&R Pawn on 17th and O (very close to where I need to be on the 6th).

If you do call him, I would be more than happy to go there and talk (harass the owner, show him some cleavage, etc.) to see where this piece of STOLEN [Wink] merchandise has gone to.

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El JT de Spang
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It's tough, because while there's a lot of things I wish I'd done differently I love the journey and wouldn't want to lose it. I met a lot of people and experienced a lot of things I wouldn't have otherwise, had I followed my initial post-high school plan.

I try not to do things I'll regret, but there are always a few things.

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Lisa
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I have regrets that are so painful that I do my best not to let them come into my head consciously. I've gotten good at that.

Almost all of them are things that, if I could go back and change them, would destroy things of inestimable value to me today.

It'd be classic antinomy, except for the fact that I can't go back and change things.

<sigh>

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pfresh85
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I regret large portions of my early and mid-teen years. Bad mistakes there. Oh well, no way to change it, and it's better not to live in the past.
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pooka
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I used to regret marrying my husband, but now I don't. I'd attribute that mainly to 12 step work on my anxiety and codependency.

Everything else is on the order of getting sold something. I bought one of those vacation packages to Florida that was supposed to be free for $300 back in 1996 and I bought some tight fitting shirts earlier this year because I thought I was going to lose more weight.

I look back of the pattern of many things I have at one time regretted and I just see texture, the ups and downs are the warp and woof of life as it has unfolded.

Oh yeah, in 2000 I had gone back to work and I was temping at a call center and I got a call from the court system for an interview. I didn't take it because I was in a training period and couldn't have any absences. I wound up quitting the call center job about a month later, because it was horrible and I got very depressed. But even that one... I think if I had a career as a court clerk I probably wouldn't have taken an breaks to be at home with my middle child. And now that he is a middle child, he seems lost a lot of the time.

I mean, I wish I could go back and not have anxiety disorder after I had my youngest that caused my middle child to seem lost. But I'm grateful it happened before my kids were mostly grown or it might never have happened.

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Telperion the Silver
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I regret leaving college at 21.
I regret unrequited love and abandoned love that might have worked.
I regret not doing more for Mom before she died.

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katharina
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*hugs Telpy* I regret the last one for me, too. If this helps at all, and if not, ignore it, I think our mothers loved us and understood us enough that it is okay.
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James Tiberius Kirk
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"I regret nothing; for I have lived like few men dare to dream...!"

But in all seriousness, I regret not taking preengineering and physics... I regret taking that SAT prep class that proved to be useless... Part of me regrets leaving my elementary school for the two years that are (supposedly) fairly important for "bonding" with other students throughout middle and high school... I regret being too shy when my dad offered to introduce me to a guy who worked at Goddard Spaceflight... and I regret putting off homework until the last minute and posting about it here rather than doing it. [Smile]

--j_k

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blacwolve
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I regret talking myself into the insecurity which overshadows every aspect of my life now.

I regret never teaching myself to talk to new people.

I regret attending Purdue instead of IU (although who knows how different my life would be now if I had)

In some ways I regret meeting my boyfriend when I did. I love him, and I'm very glad I'm with him, but having a serious relationship really affects your options for your future.

Right now, I have to make several decisions about my life. It's hard to know which I'll regret and which I won't.

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pH
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I regret letting the ex that I thought I was going to marry live with me for three months.

I regret some things I did recently that may have permanently destroyed a friendship with someone who meant something to me.

I regret not spending more time on my studies this summer instead of allowing my then-boyfriend to drag me out to clubs and bars all night.

Bah! The friendship thing bothers me the most, I think. [Frown]

-pH

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Amanecer
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I've lived a lot of my life full of regret. And I've certainly done plenty of things that are regrettable, but regret only brings more pain. When I start going into the downward spiral of despair that is regret, I try and think that life is like the Butterfly Effect. Sure, there may be horrible things that resulted from the action but there could also be plenty of beautiful changes in who I am and what my life is that result from learning whatever I learned from screwing up. Even if I'm not aware of learning anything, that doesn't mean I didn't. Without every action that I've taken in my life, I would not be me. Sure, there are things I'd like to change about myself, but you don't get to pick which part of yourself events change. There's plenty of things that I do like about myself and many of them developed at least partially from having lived the events that I regret the most.

I don't know if this way of thinking will work for anybody else, but it helps keep me sane. [Smile]

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Joldo
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There's been too many times when I had an opportunity that could have led to something I'd probably love, but I was too scared to take it.
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pooka
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I never really thought that way back when I was in regret. I just sort of kept wishing things I couldn't change would change, whilst not doing anything that I could do that would matter.
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Valentine014
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This thread is depressing. The list of regrets in my head is getting longer by the second.
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erosomniac
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quote:
I very much regret my second, very short marriage, but I'm definitely in a better position now than I was before. Who knows where I'd be if I hadn't made that incredible blunder.
This is how I tend to think of most of my regrettable decisions.

I could regret dropping out of college and moving to Seattle for a relationship that didn't pan out. But if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have met some of the greatest people in my life right now, nor would I have started the business that allowed me to become truly financially independent and pay off my existing student loans.

I could regret cheating on an ex, but if it hadn't happened, it would have eventually (since I was, to put it politely, a huge douche), and it allowed me to start that much sooner on getting my life, morality and principles reorganized. I regret that I happened to choose the one ex who deserved it least, but we're amazingly good friends now, and I'm not sure what our relationship would look like without all those crazy quirks from the past.

Along those lines, I could regret every serious relationship I've had that didn't pan out, but each time I've learned something about how to deal with relationships, and feel like I've gained a better understanding of who I am in those relationships.

I could regret not applying myself more in highschool, but again, my life would have taken a completely different route, and I don't know if it would have been better or worse.

Basically, it seems pointless to me to dwell overmuch on the could-have-beens, when it's just as easy to rationalize your past decisions with implicit benefits. If my victories made me strong, my mistakes made me stronger.

Or, given my lack of religion, this could be my manifestation of faith.

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Paul Goldner
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My biggest regret is not sticking with baseball a bit more seriously. I'd love to have as part of my life experience a few years on a bus traveling from town to town playing minor league ball. Plus, who knows? I may have been able to get good enough to make it to The Show.

There are others, but baseball is one that isn't about my mental health, which isn't a regret so much as "I wish I were a slightly different person."

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TomDavidson
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If I hadn't done any of the things I otherwise regret, I would almost certainly never have met and married the woman who is now my wife. So I wouldn't change a single thing.
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KarlEd
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Tom, that's the single biggest reason I don't let my regrets turn into actual wishes I could have a do-over.

I think everyone has regrets, but if you like yourself now, or if you like your life now, you probably don't dwell on the regrets. Regret becomes a problem when you don't like your life and instead of spending energy learning to improve it going forward, you waste your time and energy pining about the past.

But in my secret heart of hearts, I often dream about being able to go back and start over. I'd do the whole thing over if I could go back to the beginning but retain all the knowledge and experience I have now. But wouldn't I be a frightening 5 year old knowing more about the world and being more experienced than my 20-something parents? There's probably a really interesting novel in there somewhere. [Big Grin]

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BADPLMR1
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I regret not standing up for myself sooner than I did in too many situations.Not wanting to be viewed as mean or an a**hole just ended up making things that much worse when I finally did put a stop to the things that were happening. If you wait too long to make someone stop treating you badly they already believe it is their right to do so.Then they resent it when you do stand up for yourself.
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Farmgirl
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As Tom Davidson said so well -- I personally can only regret small things (like the watch I mentioned) but not the big ones, like the failed relationships, big bad choices -- because if I hadn't made any of those bad choices, my life would have taken a different direction, and I wouldn't be at the point I am today, and I'm happy with how my life is today.
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ClaudiaTherese
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I'm not regretting so much any more, just remembering. I've forgiven myself a lot.

Forgive and remember, and try my best now. That's pretty much where I am.

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Szymon
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I'm too young to regret but I do.

I regret hurting people
(I'm not a killer;)

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BADPLMR1
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I regret poor choices I have made and the resulting pain that they caused others. I don't regret the violence I have done or even the lives I have taken as these things were done to protect myself and my comrades in arms at the time.Regret should be reserved for the innocents we hurt or the chances we have wasted,the things said or unsaid to the people we love. Don't wait too long to tell your family that you love them. That chance may never come again.
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Amanecer
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quote:
I'd do the whole thing over if I could go back to the beginning but retain all the knowledge and experience I have now.
I can't imagine who wouldn't. [Smile] That would be like extending your life a good number of years. You've already learned the lessons from the life you've lived, so it'd be time to choose a new life and learn new lessons from that. Certainly sounds worthwhile.
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Bob the Lawyer
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There are many cases where I wish I had handled myself differently, but if I were to do them over again I don't think I'd be able to change them anyway. It's who I was at the time, live with it, learn from it.
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pooka
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quote:
I can't imagine who wouldn't.
Oh, no way! Because if I had free will on the second go round, so would everyone else. You don't know how close my husband came to not marrying me. And, I don't know if I could endure my childhood again.
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Theaca
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I regret, to some extent, focusing so hard on schoolwork in high school and college. That allowed me to go to medical school, sure, but basically I lost my 20s. Now I'm 34 but socially I'm years behind. Would I do it over or go an entirely different path? Partly I focused on school grades because it was the one thing I was good at. I'm not sure I could have coped with life without that to focus on. So maybe I would do it all over again. But I can still sit here and wish I could have balanced my teens and 20s better. All work and no play does have its downsides.

This is a bit off the subject, but I used to imagine being pregnant with a clone. I had a biology teacher who thought that some babies born are actually clones, and that concept really fascinated me. If I had a cloned Theca-baby, I would know what things that child would like and dislike, and what she would find fun. OTOH, I could use that information to mold her into the child I wish I had been, with more self esteem, more socialized, less geeky. Would I withhold books, hoping she'd find something more normal to do? Would I try to push her into avenues I refused to go? I think I'd really screw up a child's life if I tried to raise a clone, and knew it.

Oh, and I regret LOTS of things like behaviors, social interactions, decisions... but I can't allow myself to actually think about them or write them down because then I get too upset. Not remembering them is much safer.

[ September 22, 2005, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: Theaca ]

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imogen
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I'm with CT.

I've done some dumb stuff - but I wouldn't "do-ver" any of it. Some of it (mostly sexual) I wouldn't do now, but I wouldn't be me if I hadn't have done it.

And I have forgiven myself for it. I know I won't ever do it again, but I know why I did it when I did it, and I forgive me then for doing it.

And - it's cliched - but I wouldn't be who I am now without it. And I like and treasure who I am.

quote:
I definitely regretted quitting college when I was 19.
Belle, I was somewhat surprised to read this from you - just because I have also read elsewhere on the forum how happy you are you had your kids while you were young. Do you sort-of (in a obviously hypothetical way) regret that too, or do you think you could have worked being a mother and going to college in at the same time?
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Farmgirl
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I won't answer for Belle, but I want to comment too because my life is some ways parallels hers...

I had a full scholarship ride to college right upon graduating from high school -- but refused to take it. (in 1979) Then in 1981, I enrolled in college, but that was the year my dad was killed, and I wasn't really in any shape to be going to college (emotionally) so when I came back for the trial and all, I also dropped out of college about 3/4 the way through my first semester.

Tried again in 1983-- attending college for the entire 83-84 year, and the 84-85 year, but two weeks or so before my finals in the spring of 85, I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and it unnerved me so much (I was so scared) that I quit college, again. I at least wish I had finished up that last month and not lost all those credits.

Now, I don't regret any of my children. Not ever. I can't imagine my life without them.

But I understand that nagging feeling you get when you don't finish something that was important to you. You feel like a quitter. Everyone else in my family had a college degree except me. You feel like you could be so much more than you are.

So when I went back to school, and finally finished up my degree just before I turned 40 -- well, I understand how Belle feels. Like taking something undone from the past and finishing it. That sense of accomplishment. That sense of power that you've overcome whatever kept you from believing before that you could do it.

In hindsight now, I realize I could have been pregnant with my first child and CONTINUED in college and possibly finished up back then in the 80s. But that didn't happen. While I wish it had, I also realize, again, that would have taken me on a different life path.

So I grew up a lot between my first two years and my last two years of college. Which I think made me appreciate more how special it was to be given the opportunity to finish the task.

Farmgirl

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pfresh85
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In regards to the idea of do over, I'd say if given the chance I might do somethings over in a different manner. Most of these though are instances where I ruined something (friendship, relationship, whatever) because I had a conflicted personality. I won't elaborate more, but it's something I regret and something I wish I could change about every single day.
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imogen
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I can understand that, Farmgirl.

And actually, reading that I think I can understand exactly what Belle means - not actual regret so much, but as you put it, a nagging feeling.

Because, I *know* Belle doesn't regret having her kids. That is clear in everything she posts. Which is just why I wondered, reading her first post.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

If I had a cloned Theca-baby, I would know what things that child would like and dislike, and what she would find fun.

Only if those things are genetic.
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Amanecer
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quote:
Oh, no way! Because if I had free will on the second go round, so would everyone else. You don't know how close my husband came to not marrying me.
Hmmm, that does put a different light on the topic. I was operating under the assumption that I would retain all of the knowledge and experiences of this life, but everybody else wouldn't. They would still have free will, they just wouldn't know everything that had gone on in your other life. Personally, I think the way you're saying it would be even better than what I was initially thinking. If your husband is happy now, with that knowledge surely he'd make the decision to marry you again regardless of what he almost did or did not do before. Everybody would get to redo things but hopefully with a little more wisdom. This sounds like a Star Trek alternate time line. :-P Eh, it's fun to ponder on, but not obsess about.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by KarlEd:
Tom, that's the single biggest reason I don't let my regrets turn into actual wishes I could have a do-over.

<bitterly> If I thought wishes would do it, I'd spend my days wishing it.

I got so insanely desperate to turn back the clock a few months ago that I started posting to newsgroups asking anyone if they had any knowledge of any one who had actually experienced a do-over or who knew how it could be done.

Of course I got plenty of responses telling me what an imbecile I was, which is probably right on the mark. But I'd still do anything for the chance.

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Belle
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Farmgirl answered it well. No, I don't regret having my children early, and I guess I wish I could have had it both ways.

I will be honest and say there was a time in my life when I did regret having my oldest so early. I believed that had we not had children so young I could have finished college and we would have been in better financial standing, etc.

Later, though, when I tried to have more children and couldn't, I began to realize that putting children off would have only worsened my fertility and chances were fairly good that waiting until I was in my late 20's and early 30's as I originally planned could have easily meant us not having children at all.

Now, I don't regret that unplanned pregnancy with Natalie when I was 20 - I celebrate it and thank God for it. So it took some perspective for me to begin seeing the early start to our child rearing days as a good thing, originally I didn't see it that way.

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