I’m currently working on the fourth book of my “Sunset Series”. The title is No Regrets, so naturally, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the whole business of looking back at life and wondering if we could have and should have done things differently.
I want to know your opinions on the subject.
One of the first times I ever considered regrets came from hearing a country song. It was “I’d Rather Be Sorry” by Ray Price. Please, take a moment to listen.
The words that jumped out at me as most meaningful were these: I’d rather be sorry for something I’ve done than for something that I didn’t do.”
I was much younger then, and when I heard the song and listened to those words, I didn’t agree. I hated doing the wrong thing and later regretting it. It seemed so much easier to cope with those “wishy-washy” regrets that were more like forgotten wishes. “Oh, I wish I’d gone skating with my friends…sounds like they had a great time.”
Here’s how I saw it. If I regretted something I’d done, I had to face up to the fact that I’d made a mistake. I had committed an error or infraction. Something I hadn’t done, on the other hand, wasn’t a mistake so much as a simple oversight. Well, I should have realized how much fun skating would be…hey, maybe next time.
Mistakes — those things I regretted doing — caused harm. Little oversights and missed opportunities, not so much.
Now that I’m older and a little wiser, I can see it a bit differently. We shouldn’t live our lives being afraid of making mistakes and having regrets. Life should be about taking chances, daring to live our dreams, and doing things we love — even if we sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes, we even fail.
I see, too, that life really is all about choices. Letting an opportunity pass us by is a mistake, and afterward, we have only ourselves to blame. As we get older and look back over the years, what hurts most aren’t the things we did wrong but the things we neglected to do, the times we allowed our fears hold us back, the times we chose not to get involved.
Writing No Regrets has given me an opportunity to explore what “being sorry” means in our relationships with others — and in our relationship with ourselves. Through listening to my characters and sharing their stories, I’ve come to understand and fully embrace the need to be who we are, to follow our dreams, and above all, to dare to live passionately.