Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.
–My Way/written by Paul Anka
Where do regrets get us, really?
After my divorce from my first husband, I thought, “this was the one that should have worked.” And it’s true: we had a lot of things in our favor and one thing that wasn’t: our youth. Not to mention the stupidity characteristic of youth.
I know plenty of people who hang on to “that shouldn’t have happened” and let it direct the remainder of their lives. For some reason, though, that didn’t occur to me. I picked myself up, dusted off and went on with my life. Had my own set of adventures. A life I wouldn’t have had if I’d remained married.
Sure, I felt regret. And then? I moved on. It took a while, but I managed.
Now, I look back at all of the things I did, the things that went well and the things that didn’t and I appreciate every one of them. The disastrous rebound marriage that showed me I could recover from a painful blow and then make my own hard decision. The time in relationship with my best friend, who showed me the world and possibilities I hadn’t considered. And so much more.
Regret was something I’ve felt and then moved past, because there is so much more to see and do on this journey called life.
The irony is that 27 years later my first husband was back and yes, it DID work out. Although not in the time frame I expected. Most people say we seem well-suited to each other and we are: NOW.
It’s also true that the life I had after our first divorce prepared me to be a better partner to him this time around. While some might say that divorce indicated a failure I turned it into a positive–taking time to explore the world in a way I wouldn’t have been able to, otherwise.
He didn’t have to return to my life for me to live well. Life can deal us a difficult hand and what matters is what we do with it.
So yes: Regrets? I’ve had a few.
But then again, too few to mention.
(By the way, today is the 11th anniversary of our remarriage and the 48h anniversary of our first marriage. Life sure can be strange.)