By PAT TRUAX, LIFELINE COMMUNICATIONS OUTREACH MANAGER, WCA HOSPITAL
"Think of regret as like looking in the rear view mirror when you are driving. To drive forward well, we often use the rear view mirror; we do need to look backwards. That doesn’t mean that we only look in the rear view mirror. Regret works the same way. It’s useful in moving us forward.” Janet Landman, PhD.
This quote really spoke to me personally. Regret is fundamentally human. I think if you would ask people about their regrets, it might resemble the Christmas list some children give Santa. You know what I mean, the type you see on TV that when Santa asks for the Christmas list; it looks like a roll of paper with tons of items written down. Or perhaps the “honey do” list other commercials illustrate.
Never-the-less regret serves many purposes, warning, instruction, mobilization, and behavior. We will have more problems in the long run by ignoring regret rather than trying to figure out what lesson it can tell us. Regret is similar to grief in that it can transform us by working through it emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
Regret can involve any of the following experiences:
Education: The single most common regret is not getting more schooling. That is one regret that I have, however, I have used my rear view mirror to urge my three children to get as much education as they possibly can. I am proud to say that all three of my children have followed that advice!
Work: Many wish they had chosen a different occupation. Unfortunately, some occupations are chosen because of the monetary bottom line instead of the personal satisfaction of pursuing your passion. I am thankful I have been able to work in a position that I really do love; and that is serving the senior citizens of our community. Additionally, the people that I do network with also do share that passion.
Marriage: Regrets range from wishing one had married a different person, later, or not at all. I married very young, and wish I had gone to school and then married. My brother Peter wanted me to do this, but I did not follow his suggestion. Once again, a rear view mirror moment.
Family: If they had to do over, people would say they would get along better with their parents, siblings and children. For this category, I think some are looking in the rear view mirror and there is still something in sight. Why not change that view? If you have been holding a grudge or haven’t spoken with family for whatever reason, change lanes!!!
Getting older: I think this category should be called rear view mirror tunnel vision. We keep looking in that rear view mirror, but there is still something ahead for us. Learn from the past, but use that to enrich your future. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. So adjust your mirrors and get on with the ride: its called life.
WCA Lifeline personal emergency system services over one thousand clients in Chautauqua and Cattaragus Counties. WCA Lifeline has been in operation over twenty years. The Lifeline service enables subscribers to live at home with the security that help is available with the touch of a button. Pat has been the manager for the past ten years and welcomes any calls regarding the service at 664-8410 Monday through Friday.