On the bus on the way to uni this morning, I found myself listening to a song about regret. It is on my walking playlist and so I listen to this song all the time, but this morning it really affected me. Suddenly, I was overcome by a crashing wave of regret. Not for any one thing in particular, but for so many little things. We were passing the boys' first primary school and I wished things had turned out differently. Then I started to think about all the other things I wish had turned out differently and how I regret so much of my own attitudes and actions that played into how things eventually came to be.
It's funny, it must be an age thing. In my past I've felt strongly that I regretted nothing in my life because my life as it was had led me to the place in time that I was when I was not regretting anything. That last bit hasn't changed much. I am still satisfied with where I am in my life. I have so much of everything I ever wanted - I would not risk losing any of that now.
Still, I think about things I would have liked to not have in my past. Especially things I could have influenced to be different if I had only had more self-awareness.
This is all very vague, I know. The feeling was very vague. My point is, I can see now why talk of regret usually turns to later stages of life, or perhaps it is maturity. I can see why it is older people who say, 'I hope you don't live to regret this.' Living to regret something refers to having the hindsight to see how one's actions, which might seem small at the time, contribute to an overall curve of a person's life. One attitude feeds another, and one action leads to other actions.
I think these feelings stem from watching my sixteen year old dig into the tracks he's already made. He's not happy, and I can see he wants his life to change, but his pride and stubbornness is getting in his way and while he steadfastly holds onto the belief that just being determined reality must bend to his will, will somehow make it so, his options are diminishing every day. It seems inevitable that he will have to move from Templestowe to Doncaster Secondary. He will lose the control he might have had over his education, all because he wouldn't attend classes he chose over the past two years, and with his choices restricted this year (as a result of his previous actions and attitudes) he has dug his heels in and is refusing to attend two of his classes this semester as well.
He keeps saying that he will change his attitude if we just let him do the classes he wants to do, but he cannot see that we did that for two years and his attitude didn't change. He has to accept the consequences of his actions, but he is determined to cut his nose off to spite his face because he wants everything his way, NOW!
I can't decide if I regret sending him to Templestowe, or regret letting him go to school when I had believed homeschooling would suit his temperament better, or what... Certainly, he doesn't believe 'the rules' apply to him, though he is very keen that they should be enforced with everyone else. Maybe he had too much choice at Templestowe and it fed his belief that he should not be expected to do anything he is not wholly inspired by? Maybe a school with fewer options would have been better for him?
Will he regret this when he's more mature?
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