The subject of “Regrets” came up the other day. My wife and I were talking about previous, err, relationships (read: “marriage”) and a word which I don’t hear very often from Naomi came up: “Regret”.
Naomi’s an unsentimental Aires, always looking forward to the next project. I’m a sentimental Taurus, and have been known to wallow in self-pity once in a while (read: “too often”). So to hear her mention a life’s regret took me aback. My wife’s also a bit proud, so when she mentioned a previous “immature” stage, well I was floored.
But enough about my wife (she’s my editor, after all…)
This conversation led me to start seriously thinking about my own life’s regrets and was pleased that I could think of only one.
I have, for the longest time, regretted the fact that I never left Montreal to get my undergraduate degree out of town. I’m sorry that I didn’t push my parents to allow me to apply to a university in the States or Ontario or Nova Scotia.
I’m not even sure it entered my mind at the time; I have no idea if my parents had the savings to fund this education; I would like to think, that had I had the desire, they would have supported me.
But I took a safe and predictable route going to McGill University where I obtained my Bachelor of Education degree (with a 3.65 GPA) in 1976.
Somehow, because this was a very difficult period in my life, I’m of the belief that had I gotten my undergraduate education out-of-province I would be a very different person today. I say “somehow” because one never knows. Would I have developed into a more outgoing, confident and successful person being thrown into a very new situation? Or would I have remained the depressed and inward-looking person that I was at that time of my life?
Today, I came upon two other regrets (which I’d like to think are not that many in a life lived 61 years).
The second came when I saw an Internet video of a British lady who is still breastfeeding her son of two years old and her daughter of five years old. She believes quite strongly in what she is doing (she’s a scientist) and is actually quite convincing in her faith that, while not necessary nutritionally, the five-year-old is benefitting psychologically from breastfeeding at this late age.
Err, you know where this is going.
As a baby-boomer, I was never breastfed and think that I would have benefitted greatly from having done so. I see myself breastfeeding at age five and think, “Right on!”
Does that make me weird?
The last came a few minutes ago. As I’ve already written, Decarie Square, where I work, has a pediatric office and the mall is filled with mothers and fathers taking their babies to see the doctors there.
(The visual cues are so poor and the third floor is such a maze, that I’m always giving directions to parents how to get to Club Tiny Tots.)
Anyway, on my way back to the office following lunch today, I found myself walking behind a dad tenderly holding onto his infant. He was doing it with so much love that I instantly regretted not having had a dad like that. My father was rather distant, more caught up in his work than his family. He was passable in the very early years but by the time I reached the age of four, I would say that he was fairly inaccessible.
I also regret not having had any brothers, particularly an older one, who could have somehow prevented my mother from hitting me and shouting at me as she did so much during my formative years.
I guess that makes four regrets.