Regrets and excuses, or memories?

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Whenever I complain about how I look, my mum tells me I should appreciate how beautiful I am right now, because if I were looking back on myself, as I am today, in 20 years time, I’d be thinking “why didn’t I ever appreciate how hot I was?!!”

And she’s right, you know.  Brian, my friend of 24 years (from my uni days) recently came to see me, all the way from San Fran, and he brought a whole load of pictures of us all in our uni days.  The year we met was the year I turned 19, and that was the year 4 of us girls lucked out by living next to 4 American guys, who had the added bonus of central heating in their house, unlike us.  So of course we became firm friends with them.

Anyway I was looking at my 19-year-old self and thinking, “wow, I was so thin and so beautiful!”.  But I remember at that age feeling so insecure and that I wasn’t attractive.  I just never saw it in myself.  So I’ve been looking at a lot of old photos, from various points in my life, and thinking, why did I not wear mini skirts more often??!  Why did I always think I was fat when I was in fact a size 8?  I must have been totally insane. 

And that got me thinking about other things, regrets and things I wished I’d done (besides the mini skirts).  I don’t generally believe in dwelling on regrets, as it’s a pointless and unforgiving task.  I try and focus on just not making the same terrible decisions or bad, bad mistakes.  But I do have regrets.  Like I never went to see Charlotte when she lived in Bermuda.  I didn’t go to Julio’s wedding in Peru.  And I never managed to go see Claudia when she lived in so many amazing places – Tokyo, Jordan, Mexico City.

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And my excuses were always work or money or time related – not having enough annual leave left, not having the money for the ticket.  But surely I could have asked for unpaid leave and begged my parents for money for a ticket that I could easily have paid back (eventually!!).

Why didn’t I choose to have amazing experiences and see my friends who I love?  Why did I prioritise the wrong things?  And these are just a few examples….I could dredge up more, but then I may end up on the floor moaning in a foetal position!

 So shouldn’t we all remember what’s important and make that happen.  Why can’t we create memories not regrets?  And live for today!  As I’m writing this I’m aware that I’m bordering on sounding like those horrendously irritating chain emails that tell you things like “dance like no-one’s watching!”, “wear purple if you want to (not sure why anyone would want to personally…)” or “wear your special underwear every day, instead of that turned grey white underwear from M&S that really should have been in the bin years ago”.
But there’s some truth in there. It’s about living now. And that’s what I’m doing, even if I’ve started a bit late. So f**k you regrets!

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9 comments

  1. Louise Edwards · · Reply

    Another great blog, Lou. Thank you. And I have to say, you still look beautiful. So you must have been very hot when you were young! Revel in that as a fact. I completely agree about not having regrets. Otherwise we would spend our days feeling sad. It was my birthday yesterday, which always makes me spend a few moments thinking about my life. I don’t worry about being another year older, but more about whether I am making the most of everything. Am I doing the right things. Enjoying life and the loves of my life to the full? And of course, the answer is invariably “no” as “life” gets in the way. But, in the same way that your blog has made me set a dinner date to see 2 of my best girlfriends from Uni in a couple of weeks, I am now going to try an prioritise some of the things that really matter in my life. Starting with my 3 gorgeous girls, my family, and then friends and fun. Lxxx

  2. ccframing · · Reply

    Anyone reading this will be nodding in agreement Lou, because we all know this stuff, but don’t necessarily act on it. Beautifully written as always.
    I’ve seen some of your old uni pictures. Yes, you were very beautiful. And yes, Louise is right.
    You still are.

  3. I went to write something, then it asked for my details and I though ach I won’t. But hey, I will. Cos I remembered why I decided to write in the first place. You’re a very classy person who writes stuff that is important. My very best wishes. Take care. x

  4. Lucy Morgan · · Reply

    Lou, I love you! This is so, so true and I’m planning to remember it as much as I possibly can. I may even pin it to the fridge in a horrifically cringe-worthy teenage fashion… xxx

  5. Robert Skey · · Reply

    Hot then. Hot now! All of us 🙂

  6. Flora Henderson · · Reply

    Hi Lou, I love your blog- and love seeing the photos of younger you too! we’re booking ourselves to canada shortly with those thoughts in mind! xo

  7. Gemma Suttie · · Reply

    Lol the last four words made me laugh.

    No regrets, life is for living!! And loving and having fun and sharing it with amazing people. It’s what I do every day!!

    Much love Louise and I love your blogs also!!x x x

  8. Claudia · · Reply

    Dear Lou, we all have a (long) list of things we should have done differently or we simply should have done… But time is too precious to look back and regret our actions. Your time is even more precious than ours (probably, although we never know…), don’t let regrets interfere with the precious moments you live NOW. Enjoy whatever you are doing, do whatever you want and never, ever have regrrets. As you wrote in another blog, friends do not have to write or call all the time. Friends just have to be friends. Friends ARE friends!! And you are mine as much as I am yours, Lou.xxx

  9. So touched to come across your story here in Australia. Thank you for making me and thousands of other strangers stop, think, look around us and appreciate living in the moment.
    Sending you warm thoughts in return and hoping that, in some small way, the knowledge that you are teaching so many people to lead a better life helps on your journey.

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