Extra Credit: Did you ever regret your decision?
There have been times when bailing on something was the right decision – sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on, but sometimes it’s felt good and sometimes it hasn’t. There have also been times when I didn’t do that soon enough – I hung on longer than I should have, trying to fix something broken, only to give up the effort much further down the line. And regrets? Oh, I’ve certainly had more than a few…
I quit my first job out of college after three years, and should have done it at least a year earlier – that’s a case where I regret holding out more than I do leaving. But it’s hard for me to let go of things sometimes, and I felt the need to undo a lot of mistakes. Most of them probably didn’t matter in the long run, and I did learn from the experience; it certainly contributed to some growing up that I needed to do. But if going to work makes you feel frightened and physically sick on an almost daily basis, you and your job – the work environment, if not the work itself – are probably not well-matched.
I am well aware that by some people’s standards, I ultimately quit my first marriage…and to be honest, part of me agrees with them. But another part of me knows that they weren’t there, and they don’t know everything from the inside. There are things I would do differently if I were back there now, but for the most part, I doubt that the person I was then could have tried much harder than I did…and I think that applies to my ex-husband as well. Part of me will always regret that we couldn’t reconcile things. However, a larger part of me doesn’t regret the necessary learning experiences during my single years after the divorce – and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am now, and in a second marriage where we’re much better matched for one another! (And neither would my ex-husband, who re-married before I did.)
Ending my first marriage did lead to the decision to quit a city that still feels like home, and that required me to quit the best job I’ve ever had. I wish both of those things hadn’t been necessary, and I still miss them. Still, seven years later, I remain certain that literally moving on – eighteen hundred miles west – was essential for my future growth, and I don’t regret that at all.
In another Weekend Assignment a few weeks ago, I talked about quitting Weight Watchers meetings. I still don’t really regret that in itself, but I certainly do regret the consequences! But I’m slowly making progress in improving my eating and exercise habits, and getting my body back to a place where I like it better.
I haven’t decided on this for certain, but I’m considering quitting coloring my hair. I wouldn’t mind saving both the money and time involved, but I have an appointment with my stylist today, and I’ll talk to her about it. Chances are that I might regret that decision a lot…or not. Sometimes it’s clear right away that quitting something is a good move, and sometimes it’s hard to know for certain until after you see how it turns out.
Something major, something minor, something smart, something dumb – what’s something that you’ve quit, and how do you feel about it?