Regrets – An Ode To Youth Lost Too Soon


Regrets – An Ode To Youth Lost Too Soon



I think as one grows older, the heart grows sadder as it recalls the many ways it had failed to lead its owner on a certain path.   Regrets are for fools, people say, yet those regrets still linger as the only companion that has remained faithful to many throughout the years.

Don’t look back with regrets, but move on with hope.

Looking back, I can see that my own personal stumbling block was fear.  Fear of the unknown, of what others might think or say, of being judged, of making the wrong decision.  Sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves; we feel as if we have to get everything just right the first time or why bother at all?  I didn’t realize that there was a lesson carved indelibly for me regardless of the path I took.

The irony is that out of all the choices that lay before me, I chose to play it safe and took care to never stray from my perceived path and to risk coloring outside the lines.  As a result, I struggle to identify moments of personal greatness or achievement as a young woman.

 Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. – from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

After getting momentarily sidetracked in my life and career,  I think that I coasted through life for decades, wandering, existing and contributing very little substance to the world beyond my self-imposed inner circle.  Life was monotonous, uninteresting and absolutely without challenge.  Until I realized that living was a state of being – freely chosen by the one living it.  So, if life sucked, it had a lot to do with the choices I’d been making.

There’s a saying, “Youth is only wasted on the young” for a reason.  We imagine ourselves immortal, untouchable until we notice the fine creases in our once-taut skin, graying temples and the realization that middle age spread isn’t an old wives’ tale.  We wonder how time could betray us when it is us who didn’t respect time.  The clock will continue to tick regardless of the decisions that we make so why not make each one count for something?

Spend the time that you have wisely.  Seek out the things that bring pleasure to you and through your good works, pleasure to others.  We all have something valuable to contribute and it can be done at any age.  I’m amused at how casually people declare that they will put off doing something off in the often too distant future as if it is a given that their breath would survive those dreams.  The only certainty in life is the present; the here and now and even that is subject to change in the very next second.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

The beauty of making plans for the future is in knowing that those same desires can be achieved right now in the present.   Dreams needn’t be relegated to some unknown or arbitrary time-frame.  Once we put things on the back-burner, it becomes obscured by time and indifference until it is way out of sight and mind and all too soon, forgotten.

I am not going to pretend that getting to that point where goals are realized will always be easy, but there is one thing I can promise, there will be a great source of pride and accomplishment in its completion.  To know that your success was forged by your own vision; your own hands – is its own reward and you are never too young to seek it.  If you have the idea, the moment to implement it is now.  Robert Frost’s classic poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, resonates the urgency of why we must not wait to pursue our dreams:

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

What have you been putting off that you know you shouldn’t?



Renee King
  • Austin
    Posted at 02:47h, 01 April Reply

    Hey Renee nice post !! Love the quotes specially ” Don’t look back with regrets and move with Hope ”

    Your Present makes you future, so work good now for your excellent future … and time gone it never comes back.

    • Renee
      Posted at 10:58h, 02 April Reply

      Amen, Austin…..there’s no TRUE way to do things over….just doing better and moving forward.

  • Kate
    Posted at 10:30h, 02 April Reply

    Hi Renee – What a touching and inspirational post. It’s so easy to get caught up in fear. I tend to do that in phases – sometimes I am grabbing my dreams left and right and sometimes I hide from them. Thanks for the reminder to seize the day!
    Kate recently posted…I’d rather be traveling! What to do when you want to travel but can’t.My Profile

    • Renee
      Posted at 10:56h, 02 April Reply

      Thanks, Kate. I think we are all guilty of it at one time or another….the victory is in recognizing it and moving past it.

  • Michaela
    Posted at 14:14h, 03 April Reply

    This is a great post. I’m always thankful for reminders to stop and re-evaluate the path that I’m on. Living is a gift that should be cherished. Too bad that it’s take so long to truely embrace that fact.

    I’ve always played it pretty safe myself. Usually, I only step outside my box when there are outside influences, including crazy friends or moderate amounts of liquor. But, I have to admit that those instances make the best memories!
    Michaela recently posted…Fairy Dust Intoxication at Disney’s Magic KingdomMy Profile

  • Cathy Sweeney
    Posted at 14:29h, 03 April Reply

    Very thoughtful and inspirational post. Couldn’t agree with you more. I remember my parents’ generation using that saying “Youth is only wasted on the young” and of course, now I know what they meant.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted…When It Rains, We PourMy Profile

  • Scott - Quirky Travel Guy
    Posted at 17:49h, 03 April Reply

    Life does go by really fast, as I’m learning more and more. I try not to put anything off now, because you never know how much time you have left!
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted…Photo Essay: Chicago in 100 ImagesMy Profile

  • Maria
    Posted at 08:51h, 04 April Reply

    The statement “why we must not wait to pursue our dreams” got me really motivated. I am making an effort to enhance my optimism. There are times when I often think negatively, which is often the reason of delay of my plans. Thank you for the inspiring post.
    Maria recently posted…DTS HomeMy Profile

  • Frank Latimore
    Posted at 05:37h, 11 May Reply

    inspirational post. Love the quotes specially”Don’t look back with regrets ,but move on with hope”thanks !

    • Renee
      Posted at 19:16h, 18 May Reply

      No, thank YOU, Frank!

  • cathrin
    Posted at 13:58h, 20 June Reply

    Awesome article. Specially love the one by- Dr. Suess.
    cathrin recently posted…Learn from mistakesMy Profile

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