Sweet Regrets


My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra

My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are human, you have regrets. Even Frank Sinatra “had a few, but too few to mention.” But today I am talking about sweet regrets—regrets that do not fall in the category of serious missed opportunities, things we want to repent,  or misgivings about what we might have said at a party after one too many. (Not me of course, but I have a friend………..ha ha)

Sweet regrets are those things that we look back on fondly—something we once had, but now only have only the memories–and yes maybe some missed opportunities, but missed opportunities that we can call on and wonder, “what if,….” but in a daydreamy kind of way and not with angst.

My sons are now in their twenties, and I regret that in the busyness of raising them, I may have missed out on really enjoying all the little wonderful things that happened.  The bouquet of dandelions brought to me by my eldest. The way my youngest got off the bus at the corner of our street and ran toward me with arms outstretched for a hug. There is nothing better than being the centre of the universe for your child. In time, it is short—but it is one of the loveliest memories I have.

I was fortunate to be the recipient of some advice given to me quite unsolicited at the grocery store when my oldest son was being somewhat “spirited”. He was two at the time—and I need to say no more—as everyone remembers what “two” is like. An older lady, seeing that I was perhaps a bit challenged walked up to me and said quietly “Enjoy him now, they grow so quickly.” I would on many occasions remind myself of her words—on those days when the third glass of milk had been spilled, or I had cleaned up the Legos and “car cars” one too many times. Her voice steadied me as my kids grew up. I think I can give her all the credit for having fewer regrets and more sweet memories.

My biggest sweet regret is that I cannot have a “do-over”—those days of youthful exuberance have been replaced by grown up boys—nay, men—though my youngest insists on calling himself a “man-boy”. (Just an aside here—aren’t all men man-boys; and all women merely girls with life experience?)

I have other sweet regrets—and while they are mine, they are not mine to share in a public forum. But they are part of me and inform the decisions that I make now.

What sweet regrets do you have that you can share?

Note: This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to notquiteold’s post Do-Over. In response, she said: “Sweet regrets is a perfect description.” Go to her blog to see why.

Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm  Comments (28)  
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28 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ahh, yes, I have very similar regrets as yours (so nice to meet you at Lake Superior Spirit – I wrote you back a comment there, but think I didn’t hit the right reply button). Yes, I also regret that I didn’t breathe more during my children’s childhood, and savor every single precious second. I want to send your post to my daughter now (who has 3 children 5 and under) and my son (who has 3 little boys 4 and under). I know the craziness is hard at times, but it’s also the best time of their lives.

    • it absolutely is, and we do not realize it when we are going through it–unless we have a wise woman come up to us at the grocery store to tell us
      really enjoy your blog–I am a new member!

  2. I so enjoy the men that my sons have become, but I can still recall the feel of their heads as I washed their hair, the smell of the back of their baby necks and their comments, successes and stumbles as they began walking into their lives. This passage of time is bittersweet..

  3. A bouquet of dandelions–that is so sweet. I actually really like dandelions and hate when people kill them. They add color to the sea of green grass.

  4. I was trying to think of regrets that I have and most of them I couldn’t have done differently or didn’t have any control over…so I guess they’re not valid regrets but in some cases a ‘sadness’ that it couldn’t have changed !…. Diane

    • there are so many things we do not have control over — I am sorry about the sadness–but we all suffer from it to some extent

  5. LouAnn, this post really moved me as I remembered all the years with my boys that flashed by in what seemed like minutes. I was always super busy and exhausted but I’m pretty sure that they remember lots of special and fun times – at least I hope they do. I miss those little arms wide open for a hug and the constant requests for snuggles. Daniel now gets irritated when I call him my baby, but I tell him that he will always be my baby!! So, yes, I guess there are some sweet regrets that those days are gone, but I am so very proud of the men they have grown into, and I look forward to seeing what they do with their lives now :).

  6. I’m not one to leave room for regret but I can understand the sentiments behind “sweet” regrets. The closest moment I can think of would probably be leaving my friends and coworkers behind in Taiwan and wishing I had more time to get to know them all better and take more initiative. Luckily with all the technology we have these days, it’s not as hard anymore to keep in touch or stop by just to say hi.

    • life is a series of leaving one thing behind for another–but you are right–staying in touch is so much easier now

  7. Those moments were precious with our kids….now I get to slow down and enjoy similar times with my grand daughter.

  8. I’ve written on regret a number of times myself – it’s a burden of mine, in terms of letting it paralyze me, and making me forsake the present in the name of something in the past. Such a waste.

    • that is not sweet regret — I suffer from that sometimes too and it is a waste but it is very human

  9. I am in that sweet spot with my son…no more legos to clean up, and he’s still definitely all boy, but I can see glimmers of the fact that he is well on his way to becoming a man someday. Neither baby nor teen {tho, some days…grrr} – this is a moment to grab on to tightly, and not a day goes by that I don’t try to remember that! Lovely post, and yes, sweet regrets … I have those too.

    • sometimes we have to be reminded to enjoy those things we are going to miss later

  10. Thank you for the heartfelt reminder. Today I will make sure I have no regrets. xoxo

  11. I love your sweet regrets. The challenge is in recognizing those moments even now that the boys are grown and making their way. Even into our senior years, there are those kinds of moments we will recall with wistful joy. If we could mark them now like bookmarks, we would linger. This is a lovely post.

  12. Beautiful writing my friend! Sweet regrets, I love that. I love the positive spin it puts on the notion of regrets being something to feel good about.
    A warm fuzzy to the heart.

    My sweet regret I will share is that I never learned to play the guitar til today. Somehow that unsatisfied desire to accompany myself with the sound of six strings kept my focus on music on wanting that self-contentedness that drove me always looking for more.
    I never realized until now that is a sweet regret. Thank you!

    • a sweet regret that has come into fruition — now you are making it a sweet reality–that is a success story if I ever heard one

      • Indeed it has been a wonderful journey, one I will treasure always. Thanks for your sweet and positive thoughts that it’s a success story. Had not thought in those terms. 😉

  13. This is so synchronistic. Somebody said the same thing to me in the grocery store–probably about the same time–and I held on to those words forever. I think it’s human that we have sweet regrets. On a larger scale, perhaps everything has happened as it should. Who knows? Lovely post.

    • maybe in about twenty years we will tell someone that–we need the guise of age to protect us

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