My biggest fear is regret.

I fear that in ten years or so I will be mad at myself for not taking a chance I could’ve today.

I fear that I’m not savoring the day enough.

This is something that is so prominently on my mind that at New Year’s this year, I decided some things.

  • I will always smile and say hello to others. I always want to be kind even to just a stranger.
  • I will only go on my phone in public when necessary and find better things to do than scroll aimlessly on my screens at home.
  • I will always take a second to point out three things I love about a current moment.
  • I will always do what’s best for me.

So far, these have been going great. Smiling and greeting strangers has been terrific. It leaves me with a smile on my face, and I hope has the same effect on others.

I do this, especially for homeless people. So often they are ignored, people don’t even acknowledge them. When I smile, I usually get a huge smile back. When I’m 80 I want to remember my younger self as being kind and compassionate. I want to be known as a good person.

This is a small way for me to make sure that happens.

I feel like everywhere I go adults are telling me that kids my age are completely addicted to their phones, which I agree with to some extent. I will admit that last year I was very addicted to my phone.

Now that this year I have decided to pause before picking up my phone for no reason, I have found new passions. I am no longer wasting precious time aimless staring at my screen.

I can always recognize which moments in my life are going to be ones I remember forever. Often when I’m in these moments I will get sad knowing it won’t last, which is stupid because it ruins the moment.

Recognizing that I did this too often, I instead decided to find three things I love about a moment. Taking those seven seconds to identify three things leaves me feeling appreciative and happy. When I’m older I won’t regret having taken those good times for granted, because I know for sure that I didn’t.

The most important of these ideas that I came up with, is always doing what’s best for me. Going out when I should go out. Staying home when I need to. Practicing self-care. Working out.

Recognizing that ‘hey- this is what my body and mind want to do and that’s what I’m going to do’ has improved my happiness. I’m no longer going out because I feel like I have to. I’m no longer staying home when I know it would be better for me to get out. It has helped me to make each moment count for what my body is asking for.

Doing these four things has really helped my fears. Regret is something nobody deserves to live with.

If you find yourself in a wonderful moment, take a second to appreciate it. Doing this is something the future you will thank you for.

Try and smile at a passing stranger some time. It may be a big step outside your comfort zone, but as Neale Donald Walsch said; “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. I promise it will make both of you happy.

I know I sound like those annoying life advice columns, but put the screen down. There is so much potential for living once you turn it off. Maybe my dad has talked about this so much that I’m just speaking his words, but if you find yourself on a bus, an elevator, anywhere really, resist the urge to pull out your device. make conversation with those around you! Who knows, maybe you will meet your soulmate or a new lifelong friend.

Always do what’s best for you. Checking in with yourself and determining what’s best for you will do your mental state wonders. It’s ok to stay in sometimes. Your body will thank you for listening to it.

Regret is something that is always on my mind. I never want to regret what I did or didn’t do. I know I will experience it sometime, but these simple rules have helped me appreciate and love life more.

When I do experience regret, I will forgive myself. I’m allowed to make mistakes.

Living like this helps me make every moment count, and make this short life I have magical.

“Don’t live your life regretting yesterday. Live your life so tomorrow you won’t regret today.” -Catherine Pulsifer



7 thoughts on “regret

  1. Claire – your blog post has completely inspired me. I loved reading your perspective and commitment to action on smiling at strangers, putting the device away, enjoying the moment and doing what is best for you. Thoughtful, reflective, creative and a deep thinker. You are becoming such an amazing young woman who only wants to make a positive impact on the world around her. I love watching you transform from a caterpillar into a beautiful, stunning butterfly. I love you 🙂

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