Mother used to read Harlequin romance novels. As a curious lad I would sometimes take one down and have a look-see to discover what was the allure of these penny-dreadfuls. What I recall (besides they were boring and badly written) they all had young ladies romanced by roués and cads offering them food and wine and in the end these gals would ‘prove their love’ and afterwards regret doing so.* The settings varied  but the regret was always there.  In contrast Edith Piaf proudly preens she had no regrets at all about anything.**

There are lots things in my life I regret doing. I remember being bedazzled by a boyfriend who convinced me to invest 500$ in a pyramid scheme. Oh the pain. 1988-1989 was twelve months of near constant regret; I often subtract one year from my age as I choose not to count as part of my life the year of my internship.

Most of my regrets are not about things done but things I did not do. This list is a long one. Sometimes at night when I think on them I go right to sleep.

People think daydreaming is a waste of time but ruminating on regret is worse. At least in daydreaming one may develop some new and brilliant idea or get in touch with The Collective Unconscious (jolly good fun!). Regrets have no value but to repeat the errors best left behind.

Perhaps folks in the Edith Piaf school of ‘no regrets’ are actually about moving on from regrettable actions. Bungles and mistakes are awful if all they are is painful.  When I catch my hummingbird brain flitting about a regrettable memory I stop myself and take a deep breath in, call my energies back from the past into the present,  remember the lesson, and continue onward.

The five hundred clams gave me the lesson on how to spot a sham and to be mindful of quick-rich schemes. I also learned how to smell a rat in dating folks – a good lesson indeed! I would like the $500 back thank you but this regret is no longer of any lasting hurt.

Regrets make good blog entries; it is hard to have regrets when each comes with “I can blog about this!” attached to it.



*What exactly ‘proving their love’ entails was regularly expunged from what was otherwise wordy and detailed prose.

**Her story is far more interesting.