Friday 20 April 2012

R is for Regret

We all know what it is like to have regret in our lives, something we wished we said or something we wish we did or didn't do as the case may be. Regret can keep us locked in the past of never being enough.  

When I think back to when my mother looked after my dad until he died, she was on her own.  I used to come and visit but didn’t understand what it took her to get though those days.  I realise now how hard it was for her. Is it regret that motivates me now?....I sometimes wonder, ashamed of my 26 year old self who could have done more.

Regret can stop you in your tracks as you burden yourself with all the things that you could have done.  When illness strikes do you wish you spent more time at the office working or worrying about who didn't wash the dishes?  You can’t dwell in regret and have to accept you have the choice to either make changes or stay as you are.

As I reflect I allow it to motivate me, knowing that I am enough and I will do what I can while enjoying the processes in between.  It is important to make the most of relationships and even in illness create positive memories to be able to look back on without any regrets.

How has regret impacted on your life?

Words so far....

A is for Alzheimer’s, B is for Behaviour, C is for Carer, D is for Dependant, E is for Enough, F is for Fear, G is for Guilt, H is for Health Professionals, I is forIdentity, J is for Judgement K is for Knowledge, L is for Love,  M is for Motherhood, N is for Neighbourhood, O is for Opportunities P is for Purpose, Q is for Quietness

These posts are part of the A-Z Challenge taking place during the month of April.  I have been sharing about my experience as a carer to a month with Dementia.  If you would like to know more join the Arts in Health Network and also check out my website for information on some of the work I have done with Creativity and Dementia.


  1. Lovely post, Amanda. I embrace regrets. I, like you, allow it to motivate me. I think people who tell themselves "I have no regrets" are denying themselves the chance to fully learn the lessons that life throws at us. We all wish we'd made different decisions in life. But I believe mistakes eventually have a beneficial aftermath, no matter how bad they were at the time, in giving you a better grasp of decision making in future.
    Have a lovely day :)
    Catherine x

  2. Great post, Amanda. Funny--my current novel is based on regret. There's a quote I love from a song in Spanish (by Joaquin Sabina, ever heard of him?) that says, "There's no worse nostalgia than to yearn for what never happened." Oooohh... Ouch. I think it's most often the things we *didn't* do that come back to haunt us the strongest.

    I lost my dad when I was 19. I was a spoiled brat, I lived in a bubble--and I never realized how much he needed me until it was waaay too late. It's taken me years to turn that around into a positive outlook.

    Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

  3. Hi...hopping over from the A to Z Challenge...lovely blog...good luck with the rest of the challenge...

    Donna L Martin

  4. In my opinion, regret is one of the hardest emotions to live with. It nags you and it's painful. No one quite has the same regret as you because they aren't you. I almost did my R post on regret. The important part of regret is to remember that you can't change the past, but you can affect your future.

  5. Catherine, I agree, we should see all mistakes as a chance to learn and move on.

    Guilie, looking forward to hearing more about your book. We can use our learning to be more caring for others.

    Donna, great to meet you will take a look at your blog.

    Krista, we have to focus on the change that we can make and our reponses to change.

  6. Visiting from A/Z. Regret is a friend of mine, LOL. I've had several regrets over the years, more so I guess as I get older. I regretted not going to see my mom before she died five years ago; doctors said she wouldn't last more than a week or so but I was in denial about it at the time. What it did help me to do was to reinforce to my husband when and if he was in a similar situation to go and see his parents, which helped us make the decision to move to be closer to them in their final season of their lives, something that was hard for me to do but was born out of the regrets I had over my mom's passing. I like what the pastor said at my FIL's funeral, "no regrets". I wish I could live like that, but I still have regrets.

    Definitely a thought provoking word indeed!

    good luck with the rest of the challenge!



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