Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I do self-checks, like regularly scheduled oil changes on a car, but with myself, “What if I die today?” But they also can come unexpectedly, I was just waiting for a client to show. Embedded under the dipstick, all the query desires to know is if I’m living life how I want.

So after shivering off the jolt from death’s chill, I mentally scan my life, and respond to it with a shrug, “Yeah, I’m good.”

A lull in my average caseload this week means ample time without work responsibilities. Since I know myself and the distracted mode I could fall into, I’ll plan my hours ahead like they do at summer camp and make sure my time goes to productive and meaningful things.

Interestingly, a study shows we regret in these areas and (and in this order); education, career, romance, parenting, the self, and leisure. Example: should have stayed in school, studied harder, and gotten another degree. Basically, it occurs when an opportunity is denied.

I don’t have any glaringly apparent regrets. I mean, I do wonder what the long-term effects my drug and alcohol abuse will have. But since I don’t know if there are any yet, I’ll keep chugging like my health will stay that way.

In an unscientific calculation of my life satisfaction, I found a significant chunk comes from the dent I make in the world. From pressure washing surfaces to keeping an organized home, taking care of my ducks and daughter, engaging in my neighborhood preservation committee, and the quality of relationships, I feel pretty successful. That’s impressive to say! Especially considering how far from content I’ve been in the past.

Do you want to get over regret? Another study showed how “People often overestimate that the unchosen path would have had a better outcome, heightening feelings of regret. Revealing the unchosen outcome rationally corrects these misconceptions.”

So, instead of putting the unknown on a pedestal, truly consider what that would have been like.

Basically don’t overestimate. ‘Cause the researchers say that’s a dumb thing to do.

Take care.

Love, Jaclynn

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