There are people walking around every day who live life totally full of regrets. The 78-year old man thinks about the girl that got away 45 years ago. The gay man wishes that he'd come out to his father while reading the eulogy for his wake. The waitress in a bar across the street from the Met spends every day remembering the day that she quit singing opera.

Every day, people fetter away life with regret. They waste precious moments, tossing them out like candy bar wrappers, while obsessing about mistakes long past.

I will not spend my life like this.

I refuse to spend the majority of days ruminating about things that I have already done. I refuse to obsess any more about mistakes that are in my past (and, God knows, they're there).

I can't regret anymore.

I often do the wrong thing. I have made my share of mistakes. But I can't regret them. I have done what I have done, and my actions, my decisions (the good, the bad, and the ugly) have made me who I am.

I wouldn't change anything, even if I could. There is no room in my life for regret anymore.

I want to live a life free of regrets.

I used this exact phrase once with a group of people and had several people disagree vehemently. They said they liked regret and needed it. Needed it in the sense of an acquired scar or bruise, a reminder of a mistake or a lesson. They wanted that "scab" to be there so they could put their fingers on the person or event that caused pain or touched them deeply (before leaving).

To be "free of regret" to move on with your life without undue remorse or attachment seemed unrealistic to them, and several spoke of the hollowness of a life that ignored events that wound us.

" It's not real, and it's not the way life is... life is full of regret and it helps teach us lessons...I love my regret.. I could not live without it."

Not long after that, I heard these lines from Sheryl Crow:

ain't nothing like regret, to make you feel alive

I disagree with her,

ain't nothing like living for today, that makes you feel alive.

I want to live a life free of aching regrets

I don't mind regretting the roads I didn't take, the things I chose not to do -- as long as I don't regret the choices I did make.

However much we might want to, however hard we try, few, if any, of us can do everything we ever wanted to. We make choices between one good thing and another, or choose the lesser of two evils.

I regret a career path lost when my daughter was born, but I don't regret having the baby. I regret that I didn't make love to a certain man when I had the chance, but I'm very glad of the friendship we've had instead. I'm sorry I hurt a lover by turning down his proposal but I'm very happy I didn't marry him, and make his, and my, life a misery

Perhaps it's possible to live a life totally free of regret. But personally I'm glad that I was offered the choices I was, and would rather suffer a pang for a chance missed or an opportunity not taken, than never to have had that opportunity in the first place.

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