Maybe I shouldn't, but I do

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'll admit it.

I get a lot of inspiration for writing from other people's blogs. I don't think this is cheating by any means. It just that people have ideas that get my mind going light speed, and then I need to write.

I read in several blogs lately about regrets.

Mostly, about how people were claiming that they didn't have any.

Not that they thought their lives were perfect or mistake free. But that they couldn't regret anything because it had made them the person they were today.

What's wrong with me?

I've finally gotten to a place in my life where I'm pretty happy with nearly everything.

But I still have regrets.

I've made it through medical school, and I think that I finally have stopped regretting going in the first place. But I will always regret how difficult I made the process for my family. I spent so much of medical school being completely miserable. And it didn't make it so I had to work less, or that people were nicer to me at work. All it did was make it difficult for my family.

I have a wonderful relationship with my boys. But I regret every time that I've lost my patience with them. There is never really a good excuse for it. And I know it didn't ever make me a better person.

I regret losing so many friends along the way. I could have done a better job keeping in touch, trying to be there for people, or just showing up.

I regret nearly every doughnut I have eaten on call nights and morning rounds. I might not have to work so hard to have something to report on Wednesdays if I had just eaten a few less of those glazed temptations.

I regret being so hard with myself when I was "younger." (It feels stranger to say younger when I'm only 27 and already young, but yeah, you know what I mean.) I beat myself up over how much I studied, about what I looked like, about how much I could get done in a single day. If I had just learned to relax and accept me for me, I would have not lost so much time being unhappy.

Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe none of these things are worth regretting. Maybe I need to work on letting go of these regrets and accepting that they have made me the person I am now.

But I don't think that any of those things benefited me. Just made me and those around me miserable.

And the regrets keep my eyes open to how to prevent those mistakes in the future.

Like my goal for residency.

My goal is to just suck it up. Yes it will be horrible. It will be much more miserable than third year or my fourth year sub-I could ever be. Will I want to quit? Yes. Will I probably cry? Yes (no probably about it.)

But I'm going to try to not be miserable. Because I have to do it. And being miserable won't make it so I have to work less, or my senior residents be nicer to me. And it won't make the process easier for my family.

I guess this is just a reiteration of my thoughts on guilt.

I don't dwell on my regrets. But I don't deny that they are there.


Karen said...

Very interesting. It's fascinating how people define "regret" in different ways. I used to say that I had no regrets, but the fact is that I do. I think we become the people we are not only by what we've accomplished, but by what we haven't as well.

I don't think regret is necessarily a bad thing. Thanks for reminding me of that!

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean. i definitely have regrets myself, but i don't let them cripple me.

Bonnie said...

I agree and relate to what you have said.
I have finally reached a time and place where the close of every day does not also always hold a regret. SOME days I sleep contented. If this were my last day, I am secure with what I have put in it. These pin points of light keep hope alive.
I have wondered myself in circles trying to understand why we learn to do or not to do things but can't start over with that knowlegd to re-create a sane life for ourselves and those we love. Our shildren do not really benefit, since each one is determined and needs to do their own space exploration of the untried days of their future. My experience is soley mine.
Truth be told, I consider those woth no regrets either conscience-less or out of touch with reality. Maybe people you have read about are naming the days or things they ARE comfortable with.
I appreciate your insite so very much!