Tag Archives: regrets

Regrets, Kierkegaard Had a Few

Do you regret reading this post, 3.5 readers?

That’s OK. I already regret writing it.

And there’s the rub, for the great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard warns us that it is inevitable for us to regret literally everything we do:

“If you marry, you will regret it; if you do not marry, you will also regret it; if you marry or do not marry, you will regret both; Laugh at the world’s follies, you will regret it, weep over them, you will also regret that; laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both; whether you laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it, believe her not, you will also regret that; believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both; whether you believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both. Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will also regret that; hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the sum and substance of all philosophy.”

I have come to find that Soren and I are a couple of morose mother-effers who act like someone just pooped in our cereal (classic Jay and Silent Bob reference.)

But it’s true, isn’t it? Middle-aged, people, you know what I’m talking about.

If you get married, you will regret not staying single a year or two or three more and maybe you could have found that sex crazed nympho that was willing to cater to all your whims.

If you don’t get married, you will regret being alone and come to realize that the nice, normal person who wasn’t a sex nympho and was not going to cater to all your whims would have been at least good company who would have given you some nookie once in awhile.

If you are mean you will feel bad about the people you could have helped but didn’t. If you are nice, you will regret letting people walk all over you.

Soren loses me on the suicide part of the quote. That’s too far for me. If anything, my big regret is not doing everything possible to ensure that I’ll live to be over 100. Frankly, my big regret is that I did not become a health crazed, kale chomping, 5K running strong man at an early age…so I do regret that my blood type is rocky road now. I don’t think I would have regretted getting healthy and staying that way from the beginning.

The Sore-meister famously dumped the love of his life out of fear that he’d regret marrying her only to regret doing so. I hate to admit that in my youth I chased after dum dums and pushed away smart smarts (is that the opposite of dum dums?).  I guess you could call me a junior Soren in that regard.

Maybe I am Soren reincarnated.

Anyway, we only get one life and we must make choices. Unfortunately, many of those big choices are made when we are young and have heads full of mush. When we are older and get all the spoilers of how our choices worked out, I suppose it is only natural to regret mistakes made, now that we have more information.

Note though we can’t be sure that we made mistakes even if it feels like we did. We wish we had snagged that special someone but maybe that special someone would have turned out to be a jerkface. We wish we would have snagged that special job but maybe it would not have worked out. Maybe we would have made decisions that got us the perfect life only to be run over by a bus in a freak accident.

Let’s try to recognize that Soren is right in that regret is inevitable, but perhaps we do need to forgive ourselves lest we regret being consumed by our regrets.

Remember, Soren also said, “Don’t forget to love yourself” so he must have realized we need our own personal hugs in the midst of all this regret.

Soren actually invented the term “angst” and noted that “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” In other words, we have so many choices in front of us that it is normal to feel sick over the possibility that we might eff those choices up.

Finally, the Sore-a-nator said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren didn’t know the term “spoiler alert” but he was right. You don’t figure out what you did wrong until the wrong is already done. As you get older, you can’t help but do an autopsy of your life and analyze what you should and should not have done.

It’s too bad we don’t get to live to 200 so we could screw up the first 100 years then really knock the ball out of the park in the second hundred.

Thanks for the thoughts, Kierkegaard and cheer up, wherever you are.

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Writing Regrets

I’m old.

This will probably be hard to explain due to a lack of exact dates and keeping things anonymous but I’ll try.

When I was young I really wanted to be a writer.  I got internships in that both summers and then in my last semester I had a really big internship where I spent a semester in a big city working as an intern for a big organization.  Honestly, I was basically a coffee fetcher, but it was fun and I fetched coffee for some big names.

After college, I returend to Podunk and got a small writing job locally.  There was a part of me that wanted to go back to the back city and pursue a life there as a writer.  It didn’t seem far fetched.  As a young person in my early 20s, I’d already gotten a lot of experience.  The rents wanted me to pursue something more practical and while I don’t want to throw them under the bus for doing what parents do and I realize it was up to me follow through with what I wanted, I ultimately chose the practical.

Do I blame them?  A bit.  Do I blame myself the most?  Of course.  There comes a time in adult life where you have to realize your parents don’t know everything and you will have to defy and disappoint them.  Don’t worry though because either way it will work out great for them.  If you defy them and do what you want and it fails, they can say I told you so forever.  If you defy them and do what you want and it succeeds, they’ll say they were behind you all along and it was their idea.  Also, fun fact, if you obey them and do what they want and it fails, they’ll say well you should have been your own man and what do they know.

Anyway, I blame myself entirely.  It is a week man who blames others for their failings.

I told myself I’d do the practical for a while and then after I’ve made some money I’ll do what I actually want.  (Kids, FYI this doesn’t happen.  Don’t buy that shit if someone tells you it does.)

Long story short, the practical thing didn’t work out.  At that point I thought maybe I should go back to my true love of writing.

But I was a wuss.  So I did another practical thing.  This practical thing actually worked out.

I do feel like I cheated myself though.  The writing world had accepted me early and I ended up worrying that I’d end up 30 and failed because I wasn’t being paid much at 20.  Now I realize that yeah, that just happens.  You have to pay your dues but good for you, your foot is in the door.  Your feet are on the first rung of the ladder, so keep climbing.

At this point now, I’m 40.  I’m self sufficient.  I suffered a lot though and to be honest, a lack of stability made relationships difficult.  I had to come to grips this year with the fact that it’s too late to have children.  Technically, I can have them forever but all the women in my age bracket are closed down for baby business.

Could I adopt a little Chinese kid?  Sure.  Do I fear they’ll send me a faulty one on purpose and refuse to take it back?  All the big ticket purchases I’ve made in recent years where I open the box only to find that the item is missing a part such that someone at the factory was asleep at the switch tells me yes.  (Was this meant as a joke?  Partially.)

There’s nothing I can do about it now, but the regret is palpable.  I had my foot in the door in what I wanted at an early age.  Then I talked myself out of it.  Then when that failed I was free to go back to what I wanted but I chickened out again.  Ergo, had I just stuck like ten straight years in what I wanted, I probably would have gotten to be where I wanted.

Although sometimes now I think maybe it worked out because I guess I’ll never know for sure writing would have worked out.

I guess we never know how things work until we do them.  When they don’t work, we are certain the opposite course would have been a success.

Question – How do I cope with this regret?

My answer – Keep writing self published books and hope  one of them hits.

Feel free to offer your answers in the comments.

 

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – I May Have Screwed Up My Life

You know 3.5 readers, the one thing I realize as I get older is I regret not doing a lot of shit – shit I didn’t do when I was younger and now if I do it when I’m older, it just seems lame, like giving a participation ribbon to the kid who finished the race five hours after everyone else went home.

Is it possible to pack in a lot of stuff to overcome a regrettable life or is it too late and time to wallow in self-pity and remorse?

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Stop Sucking with Vinny Baggadouchio – Coping with Sucky Regrets

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World Renowned Motivational Speaker/Anti-Suck Expert Vinny Baggadouchio

I’m Vinny Baggadouchio and when it comes to karate chopping suckyness, I’m a black belt.  Perhaps you have read one of my fine anti-suck books:

Who Needs to Suck When You Don’t Have To?

I Can’t Stand This Sucky Feeling

Suck Ways to Saturday

The Suckback of Notre Dame

Suck Out the Suck

Set the Suck Aside

Kiss My Suck and Call It Ice Cream

A Brief History of Sucky Times

All Aboard the Anti-Suck Train

Make America Not Suck Again

Build a Wall Around the Suck and Make the Suck Pay For It

Who Let the Suck Out?

3.5 suckers, I’ve been busy spreading my suck free message across the world, consulting with the rich, famous and powerful and teaching them how to not suck.  And when I’m not busy sucking the suck out of celebrities, I make plenty of time to help poor suckers come to grips with their sucking.

Why, just last week I held the “Tenth Annual Gala to Bring An End to All the Things that Make Poor People’s Lives Suck.”  It was a rousing success and I’m happy to report that I helped a grand total of 10,000 sucky poor people get started on the path to a suck free life.

But enough about me.  Here’s today’s question:

Dear Vinny B,

I’m getting older.  Forty is just around the corner and when I look back on my life, I realize that it really sucked.  Seriously.  It sucked so bad.  All the sucky things in life happened to me and none of the non-sucky things happened to me.

Even worse, I made decisions that sucked.  I didn’t realize at the time how I was sucking up my life.  It didn’t dawn on me until I was able to look back on all the sucky behavior in hindsight.

I regret my sucky past but now I face an even suckier dilemma.  Is it too late to stop sucking?  I feel like everyone judges me based on my sucky decisions.  I’ve woken up and smelled the non-suck, but try as I might, I’m trapped in a suck cycle.  I want to not suck but the weight of all my past sucks weighs me down.

Am I doomed to always suck?

Sincerely,

Once a Sucker, Always a Sucker

Wow.  Sorry to hear about all that suck, Sucker.  That really sucks.

Let’s face the sucky truth.  Life has a tendency to suck.  Even worse, when we are young, we are trained to think that it won’t suck.  All the adults tells us positive things and treat us like mush brained dummies when we are young.  It keeps young people from making plans to combat a sucky life.

So, you made some sucky decisions.  You did some sucky things and you had sucky things happen to you.  You can’t let suck define you.  You can’t let suck bog you down.

Yes, we all wish we could take the knowledge we have learned about how not to suck, travel back in time, and give it to our younger selves, only to then find ourselves in a suck free present.  Alas, the state of time travel technology really sucks, so we aren’t there yet.

Still, you are alive and you have time to not suck.  Sure, you don’t have as much time as you wish you had to not suck, but there’s still time to not suck.  Only a sucker doesn’t use all of his time to not suck, no matter how much or how little time is left.  Be your least sucky self, always and no matter what.

You regret how much your past forty years sucked?  That sucks.  Don’t get to sixty and regret not taking steps in the past twenty years to not suck.  You had an excuse to suck when you were young.  You were young and you didn’t know any better.

Now you are older and wiser.  You’ve been knocked around by the sucky world.  You know the ins and outs of suck-dom.  You know how to curtail your sucky behaviors.  You know the suckyness that happens if you don’t.  Sorry pal, but you’re all out of excuses to keep sucking, so grab that anti-suck bull by the horns and ride it for the rest of your life.

“Regrets, I’ve had a few,” Frank Sinatra used to sing.  So, you have a few, or even a lot.  It’s time to wipe the suck slate.

You can’t change your sucky past, but the story of your future has yet to be written.  Will you write it with a sucky pen or will you vow to put an end to all your sucky ways for good?

The choice is yours, Sucker.  Choose to not suck, always and no matter what.  It’s never to late to not suck.

By the way, you can buy my new anti-suck book, It’s Never Too Late to Not Suck at a book store near you that doesn’t suck.

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