Regrets and realisations

Saturday, August 3, 2013 Permalink

I had a lovely email from a former work colleague and friend the other day. We are both on Facebook but she’s less *ahem* effusive in her posting than I so – while my life is usually laid bare – she (like most normal people) doesn’t share her every thought or activity with the world.

She reads my blogs (hello M!) so knows exactly what I’m up to. She said she thought I sounded happy. She also said that she kinda envies the fact that I made a big change in my life (taking the work redundancy, selling, moving and pursuing something different).

Because I have this ridiculous desire to be honest and transparent my response was as open (and analytical) as my blog posts.

“I have no regrets,” I said. “It has been the best decision I’ve made.” 

I did confess to worrying about money. I’ve most-certainly tightened my money-spending belt. Meals / snacks out have decreased. And wanton spending on clothes or beauty treatments etc are a thing of the past. But that’s mostly okay.

I’m usually big on regret. In my Debbish blog I’ve written about the concept of a Do-Over or an ‘Undo’ button. Even now I can probably pinpoint a number of stages in my life where I wish I’d changed course. But… I also know that things happen for a reason and – had my choices been different – the dominos may not have fallen in the way I assumed.

After pondering a little more I told M that, while I don’t rue my decision to finish work and move, I do have a couple of regrets from the past 9-12 months.

My biggest is around my exercise. “I wish I’d kept it up,” I said.

I was gymming 4-5 days a week when working. Zumba, dance, Pump, Circuit and pilates classes. Back then I was worried I’d plateaued and wasn’t pushing myself hard enough.

But then I left work (and the gym). I got quite sick in the two months I had my place on the market, sold, bought and moved.

You may recall that – once better – I attempted to get back into things, but didn’t find a gym and apathy crept into my life. I got sick again and that was all the excuse I needed.

Suddenly I was back where I was 2-3 years before. Unfit and struggling with the basics.

Although I’m trying to get back into Zumba (and yoga) my routine has all-but disappeared while I’ve been staying at my mother’s. I’ve tried to do SOMETHING however, and calculated that I’ve done 7 walks in the last two weeks. Better than nothing. (Or a poke in the eye with a blunt stick… to quote some comedian I cannot now recollect!)

So… here I am. A little worried about money, my weight gain and my fitness. But, the process of reflecting HONESTLY on my past year was indeed useful.

After my email response was sent I decided to head off on a walk. With my latest fave blaring in my ears (Olly Murs’ Dear Darlin’ FYI) I headed on to the nearby pier. My favourite place. And I was again reminded of the beauty around me and how fortunate I am to be here and to be a part of it. I know it will sound wanky but I do believe I’m trying to live intuitively. For the first time ever.

And how can I complain AT ALL about my life when I have this?


And… then all was well in the world.

Have you been happy with the decisions you’ve made, but (at the same time) wished you’d done things a bit differently?


  • Jess
    August 3, 2013

    Yes many things I wish I had done differently. Actually things I’m currently doing that I know need to change. I used to be a dare devil with change but as I get older it feels harder even if in the long term it seems like the better option.

    • Debbish
      August 4, 2013

      I loved your recent post about regret and completely agree that it can be irresponsible to charge ahead without thinking about consequences and knowing we might regret what decisions we make. I like the idea of learning from the stuff that didn’t work and as for the Sliding Doors moments, I have my regrets about some of the bigger decisions BUT know that I might not have had some of the positive experiences in my life if I hadn’t made the choices I did. (If that makes sense!)

  • Lara Darling
    August 3, 2013

    I think we all have wished we have done some things differently, but at the time we didn’t know any better though. As thy say, it’s better to regret the things that you have done rather than regret the things you haven’t done. Great post

    • Debbish
      August 4, 2013

      Oh absolutely Lara! I hate the idea of being on my deathbed and having a million regrets. I know there’ll be one or two but I like to think I can minimise them!

  • Char
    August 3, 2013

    Mostly I’m pretty happy with my decisions. I don’t spend a lot of time mulling over past decisions when I can’t change them. I tend more to look to the future and if I’m not happy with how things are today I try to work out how I can improve things.

    • Debbish
      August 4, 2013

      Love that approach Char. Sadly I think I often wallow rather than move forward, or I get easily overwhelmed and frightened of failure so – although I take risks – they’re often fairly measured. I occasionally think of my seachange as being a bit of an irresponsible decision (I know some people in my life do think it was) but I also sat down and worked out my budget etc beforehand. Plus I’d worked bloody hard for 15-20 years saving money and paying a mortgage that allowed me to take some time off! I don’t know how bad things would have to get for me to regret what I’m doing now but even my lack of fitness etc can’t take away from how contented I’ve been over the last year.

  • Thehungryma
    August 3, 2013

    It’s a tough call Deb. there are times in life when we simply give up the ultimate control we have over our lives and circumstances. And many times we all have our reasons why. When you want to take back the control over your own life you have to ignore the reasons why not to. Someone wise once told me that no one ever F_cked up their life without a good reason. And I think about that sometimes when I come right up against it.

    • Debbish
      August 4, 2013

      I stuck something into the post at the last minute about living intuitively. I know it probably sounded a bit wanky but I recall listening to an interview between Christie Inge (life coach, blogger etc) and Jennifer Polle (hypnosis guru). My recollection is a bit rusty but I think it was about mindful and / or intuitive eating. Jennifer actually talked a lot about intuitive living and decision making. I was listening to the podcast out on my pier walk and again was struck by Jennifer’s words and my own life and the direction I was taking. Essentially she was talking about ‘going with our gut’.

      For much of my life I’ve been overly responsible. Sure I’ve made big choices: leaving full time work to become an overseas volunteer; changing jobs a gazillion times etc. But I’ve always had somewhere to go. As I just commented to Char, I’ve calculated the risk involved and still leapt. A range of things which happened in the last few years have made me ponder of my life and level of contentedness. There were too many regrets and so, when the opportunity arose I took a chance. I went with my gut (or my heart) and not my head. The sanest part of me thought I ‘should’ take the redundancy and get another full time job immediately putting me in a very good financial position. But… life would have continued to be as unfulfilling and disappointing as it was then. That’s not to say I completely ignored my ‘head’. But I like the idea of trusting my heart (gut) more and more!

      PS. Sorry about that ridiculously long response which almost became another blog post!

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    August 6, 2013

    Regrets? Yes, I have a few. One being that I wish I had bought a property when I was a single lady 🙂 It would now be the equivalent of a man-cave 🙂

    • Debbish
      August 7, 2013

      I was pretty lucky on the property front. I didn’t quite get in when the market was at its lowest, but I made a bit on my first sale. I sold my second place (to move here) when the market was fairly unhealthy, but guess it’s okay if you’re buying into that same market. I sometimes wish I’d focussed a bit more on financial stuff – perhaps stayed with the Oz Gov and done another diplomatic posting etc. But then again… it would have meant that I had less time with family and my dad etc (if I was o/s). So… there are always the downsides!

  • Jo Tracey
    August 7, 2013

    I don’t do regrets, not really. My attention span isn’t long enough! I have huge dreams and hopes for the future but also love where I am now. Except for the weight thing- that’s my only regret- that I haven’t looked after my health as well as I could have done.

    • Debbish
      August 7, 2013

      Yes Jo, I’ve occasionally wished I could take myself back to last August / September when I moved and (despite being sick etc) force myself to get straight into exercise – to avoid getting out of a routine and the weight gain. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world though… Those 10 – 15kg I’ve gained since being here and improving my fitness. Doable in just a couple / few months, IF I had the motivation!

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