22nd September, 2022
‘Regret’ is a short story by the American writer Kate Chopin who wrote ‘Regret’ in September 1894 and it originally appeared in Century magazine the following year, before being reprinted in her 1897 collection, ‘A Night in Acadie.’
‘Regret’ is about an unmarried woman, Mamzelle Aurélie, who looks after her neighbour’s children and about Aurélie’s realisation that, contrary to what she had previously told herself, she does regret never getting married and having children of her own. Although she has the animals on her farm and her dog Ponto, the closing
sentence of the story suggests that she views these as a poor substitute for human company and for having a family of her own.
It is only when she reluctantly has to care for another woman’s children that she comes to recognise what a change a family can make to a house.
The final paragraph of ‘Regret’ is laden with symbolism and meaning. The fact that Aurélie doesn’t rush to clear up the mess the children have left behind them indicates that she wants to keep alive the memory of their time with her; she knows that once she has cleaned and tidied up, all physical traces of the children having been there will have gone.
Meanwhile, the ‘evening shadows’ which are ‘creeping and deepening around her solitary figure’ symbolise her advancing years and the twilight years of old age that lie ahead of her, which she is destined to spend alone.
Reading this set me thinking on the regrets I may have and I thought why not try & change the story of regret in our lives.
It was all starts with acknowledging what you are missing or regretting & then going about taking corrective action.
What if you were to die tomorrow, what is the biggest regret that you will have:
Not Spending enough time with my family,
Not meeting that friend,
Not making up with a estranged relative,
Not visiting all the places on my bucket list,
Not concentrating on health due to fire fighting at work,
Not Spending enough time being happy, grateful, kind, generous,
Not contributing enough & giving back to the world,
Not following our passion & going after the dream.
Not overriding the ego while making choices,
Not questioning the ‘Why’ and going after the ‘what’.
Choose your most important regret, Change your story of regret today, take corrective action & stay blessed forever.