Things I regret

I’ve been wistful about how things used to be now that I’m in the “new normal”. I know things have to be this way indefinitely, but I can’t help it.

So here’s a list of things I regret. Also known as things I wish my younger self knew.

I wish I made more of an effort for my friends and family’s milestones.

I moved overseas when I was 24. I accepted that I’d miss a lot of things – weddings, special birthdays, anniversaries, births. People did understand, and I did have legitimate reasons why I couldn’t make it.

I had university. I had work. I didn’t have enough leaves yet, I just started a new job. Australia is so far from everything else – it would’ve taken me over a day to travel one way. I wouldn’t be able to spend more than a few days – surely over a thousand dollars for a few days was a bit much?

But still. I feel like I could’ve made more of an effort. That I could’ve been OK with not saving as much as I did, with taking leave without pay, with missing a few days here and there, with dealing with jetlag.

I am glad though, that I made the effort when my remaining grandparents passed away. I got to see my grandfather one more time. I didn’t get to see my grandmother, but at least I was there to grieve with my family.

I also wish that a few years ago, I attended the juggling convention in Amsterdam along with my juggling group. They’d already booked a house and everything and were encouraging me to join. All I had to do was book a plane ticket! My cousin happened to be living there at that time, so it would’ve been a chance to see him. But I balked at the cost. Now how I wish I’d gone!

I wish I had supported local a lot more.

We’ve started going out more, but it’s locally – and I can’t help but wish that some of my old favourite local places were still around.

There are two local shops I have in mind: a fresh fruit and veg grocer with amazing deli products and an “authentic Italian” pizza place. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think that I (or we) would’ve fully stopped those shops from going out of business.

But still! I wish I’d visited more than I did – I’d taken for granted that they were there.

(What makes me sadder is how the people who worked in those shops would recognise me/us. It really is a nice feeling, being consider a “regular” of someplace.)

I wish I’d taken taken more time off, especially when my friends or family visited from overseas.

I mean, sometimes I would. And sometimes they’d visit during the holiday season when I was off anyway. But a lot of times, I would schedule spending time with them around uni or work. I wish I’d blocked off that time entirely and focused on spending time with them instead.

Outside of entertaining visitors, I think I could’ve taken off more time in general. I find that when I change jobs, I always have a chunk of vacation leave that gets cashed out. Money is great, but I could’ve treated myself to little holidays here and there.

I wish I hadn’t slacked off on group exercise (or juggling!) the last two years.

I used to be quite religious – I’d take dance classes at two studios, go boxing and do Krav Maga. I also juggled every week. In the years leading up to the coronavirus, I lessened some of that, and to be honest stopped juggling entirely years ago.

It wasn’t that I was lazy. Changes in work hours meant it was hard to spend a few hours in the city doing nothing waiting for the next class, and I didn’t want to be sleep deprived the next day. I was travelling interstate every other weekend. Sometimes, weekends were the only time we could have quality time. I also wanted to save a bit more money. Some things had to give.

I’ve been taking online exercise classes (including live dance classes) but the thing is, it’s not the same. There’s something about dancing in a room full of people and feeding off each other’s energy. There’s something training with people better than I am and pushing me to become better.

Exercise classes are technically allowed already. I got a call from one of my dear teachers some time ago telling me he was teaching again, although in limited numbers – but I’m still hesitant given we’re still in a pandemic.

But I hope, I hope, things will get back to normal soon. And I hope it isn’t too late to make amends.

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