Thoughts on regret

It has been said that there is no point to regret, because it doesn’t change the past.

I understand the concept there, but regret can be a useful tool in correcting one’s course. If you make a choice and regret it, there is always time to change.

Except that this is assuming a sort of binary system of reality — as if you had only two choices, and one choice is somehow quantifiably better than the other. The theory of self-help appears to be focused on either “If you’re not happy, change things,” or “If there is nothing you can do to change things, accept them.” Again, I get both ideas, but I feel like there’s important truth missing from both.

Sometimes the choice is binary, but the results aren’t realistically quantifiable.

For example, I chose to move to Indiana. I’m very happy about that. I love living this close to Ann’s family — a family that is incredibly tight-knit. I love my local ComedySportz family. I love Indianapolis. I love the Colts and minor-league baseball. I love the local restaurants and brewpubs. I love the weather… at least comparatively, when I think back on other places I’ve lived.

But Sage is growing up without much contact with my family.

I’m the one who moved, and ultimately I do not regret my choice.

But I would be lying if I said I didn’t regret her missing that contact.

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