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“REGRETS NO REGRETS”

BY BELINDA WILSON

I had a look at a recent survey carried out to gather the opinions of people in their twilight years asking what lessons they had learnt and what they might do differently in hindsight. Here are some of the comments made :

To say no to things I don’t want to do.

That I am capable of success. I spent so long doubting myself and not doing things because I didn't think I could.

That other people don't care what you think. They're more worried about themselves, and you aren't the first thing on their priority list.

To save money. Now I'm always broke and I never have enough money for a back up plan.

That the 'someday' you are waiting for, (you know, the one when your real life will start to happen) is happening right now.

If you let people take advantage of you they will.

Never lend out money that you can't afford to lose.

Almost no one will put your needs first. It's your job to make sure that happens.

Strike the balance between being nice without being a doormat. Too many people will take advantage if given half the chance. That's a tough one to learn.

I've found that, instead of assuming malice, stupidity or ignorance is usually the truth. Very few people are actively terrible but a shocking amount of them are unaware of how their attitude and actions affect others.

Similarly, don't apologize for things you know you didn't do wrong.Edit: to clarify, I don't mean you should never back down when you think you're right about something - I mean when you're 100% certain that something is not your fault or that you did not hurt anyone, it doesn't usually help to take responsibility for it.

Never buy a house with a wet basement - one that's subject to flooding.

Should have stayed in shape.

Isolating yourself is terribly unhealthy.

I decided to re-learn what foods I really like and what foods I eat because they’re just there. I discovered I don't have a sweet tooth (thank god!) and prefer more savoury stuff. It’s all about experimenting with your diet and figuring out what you can do without and what you really enjoy.

How to set boundaries

Not setting these allows anyone and everyone to trample over you whenever they feel obliged.

You can't change people. No matter how hard you try, support, love, whatever... in the end people can only change themselves if they are willing to

That I really should have brushed my teeth in the morning and just before going to bed as a kid. Now I have yellowish teeth, a bunch of fillings..

Letting go of anger. You'll have fights with your family, friends, and coworkers. You'll get angry at politicians or ideologies. But in the end it's all useless. Anger doesn't accomplish anything.

Growing and learning take time - give yourself that time. Life is not made of snapshots and big moments, it's made of a continuous stream of experience

How to enjoy physical activity and stick with it. I've never been "slim" but I definitely have been on the chubbier side for the last 16 or so years.

No matter how nice you are to as many people as possible, there will always be that one guy who's mission itis to make your life hell.

Confidence goes a LONG damn way. With women, with jobs, with negotiation.

Grow a backbone and your life will be leaps and bounds better.

Being a compulsive liar and braggart is very distasteful. It won't help you be accepted or liked, and will in fact have the opposite effect

That the Disneyesque happy ending never happens in real life. Very, VERY few people get to the point where everything falls into place "and they lived happily ever after."

Don't hold a grudge personally, but keep it in the back of your mind to remind you to never underestimate how evil someone can be.

Forgive and forget? Haha no no no, resent and remember.

Guitar. Started teaching myself two months ago and find it to be very relaxing, rewarding and I look forward to playing everyday.

This is my life. I need to live it right now. Don't wait till you've finished school. Don't wait till something else has happened. Live life today.