New research shows that "the most common regret among American adults involves a lost romantic opportunity." The next most common regret deals with "family issues" (such as a family feud). This article What's Your Biggest Regret? reveals interesting tidbits of information that emerged from this recent study.
After I read the article, I thought and thought about what "my biggest regret" is. (I think I take after my dad because it was hard to think of one - one of his many mottoes is: "No regrets.") Finally, after lengthy searching, I decided it would be the backpack I used for two years during high school. I was on the swim team, water polo team and soccer team. For my "backpack" I used a sports bag with a long shoulder strap to lug my textbooks, (all of them - why should I waste time at my locker?), notebooks and pencils; fresh, healthy snacks (I was constantly on the verge of starvation apparently - due to swimming three hours a day?); random clothes, goggles and shoes; well, really everything and anything I could ever possibly have needed to survive alone on an island for a period of at least two months. It was a really heavy bag. I slung it over my head, diagonally across my body with its entire weight on one shoulder - the same shoulder - every single day. My mom tried to get me to use a normal backpack, but I just looked so cool. I guess. Anyways, it completely disarranged the perfect alignment of my spine. It has impacted my life greatly: pregnancy, carrying kids, sleeping every night, exercising, etc. Yes, it is a big regret.
But, the more I think about it while I am writing this post, the other regret I would list is that I did not study nursing in college. I don't know how I could have accomplished it because I cannot even in a small way handle the bodily fluids of other people, but I would love now to have a nursing degree to combine with my public health education and future goals. But, since it didn't come to my mind right away, it must not be that big of a regret.
The article states that regret can have a negative impact in one's life "when a person fixates or ruminates on the missed opportunity" but it can also be positive when it leads to "the potential to refocus attention and improve decision making." That is so beautiful to read, but so difficult to put into practice, don't you think?