What’s the One Thing In Your Life You Don’t Regret?

In all the journaling prompts I’ve seen on social media, the ones about your biggest regrets in life are ubiquitous. I’ve always wondered why the flip side of that — what don’t you regret — isn’t a topic to pursue, primarily because I am an optimist and find that talking about regret is emotionally draining. Who doesn’t have a few regrets anyway? That’s the natural result of the passage of time combined with hindsight and maturity. We can only do what we think is best as we live in the moment, so I choose to reflect on what I don’t regret instead. My biggest non-regret is not going to law school like I thought I would when I was younger. I’ve been fascinated by the law since my high school government class successfully argued a mock trial before the state supreme court. I can’t really say why I love the law like I do, except that I find it fascinating how civilization could not exist without the rule of law. I took a pre-law track of courses in college and even went so far as to interview with the dean of the law school at the University of Memphis when I lived in Tennessee. There were a few other opportunities which didn’t pan out over the years, but in that time, my perspectives have completely changed. My first job in the legal field was working for a divorce attorney and it gave me my first eye-opening look at what attorneys deal with on a daily basis. The level of anger and abject cruelty I had to deal with was overwhelming at times – it didn’t help that the attorney I worked for was an abject asshole, though I think some of our clients magnified that part of his personality. I knew almost right away that I didn’t want to be a divorce lawyer; I’m pretty sure if I had been, I’d have been held in contempt for telling someone off in court or disbarred for slapping a client. Over time, I had other legal jobs, and as the years passed, I realized the spark I had felt when considering a legal degree in my younger days wasn’t there. I still love reading about cases and legal issues, but I just couldn’t envision myself as an attorney, spending my life in general practice dealing with drunks, bitter divorcees and petty criminals. I realized, too, that if I had been an attorney, my life would have been ruled by billable hours, and I didn’t want my life revolving around 70 to 80 hour workweeks, especially since my husband’s job requires the same time commitment two-thirds of the year. If we both worked batcrap crazy hours, our marriage would have greatly suffered. My relationship with Bill comes first above all things, and for that reason alone, I have absolutely zero regrets about not pursuing a law degree.