Thursday, August 6, 2009

Regret Management

Often in making decisions Bill and I like to ask ourselves this question, "Is this a choice we'll regret having made 20 years from now?" We try to peer into the future in a attempt to understand the long-term implications of our actions, hoping to think clearly about all aspects of the choices we are making. We call it "Regret Management."

Sometimes it seems like a useful perspective for decision making, sorting the true mountains from the mole hills. Recently, though, I've been noticing that life isn't that tidy. Hindsight isn't really 20/20 because we can never clearly see what might have been on the road not travelled.

Will I ever regret being married to Bill? No. But having the phd in Medieval French Literature and teaching at the college level might have been really cool.

Will I ever regret the 9 month RV trip around the country with my husband? No. But the long-term investment of that large chunk of change we frittered away buy to the rig and support ourselves for that 9 months would come in handy right now.

Will I ever regret having kids? No. But living the free, easy and adventuresome life of a childless couple could have been very fulfilling.

Will I ever regret moving south to a neighborhood that looks more like our family and supports who each of us is? No. But I sure miss the lovely custom remodeled home and the ease of living in it that we left behind.

Will I regret adding a new baby to our family? I can't possibly think so. But life with our almost big kids is getting to be so fun and easy and full of possibility.

I don't know how to choose what's next because I don't think there is a "right" answer. Heck, I'm not even sure there is a best answer. What if just possibly I could live to always long for the life I didn't choose?

Maybe regret isn't something we can ever manage just learn to be friends with.

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