When I logged on to FB this morning I saw a great picture of a friend who is living in Aix-de-Provence, France. She recently visited Paris and to commemorate her amazing time there, she got an incredible tattoo that says "Je ne regrette rien" which translates to "I don't regret a thing". That is a title to one of Edith Piaf's most famous songs- one that has always brought tears to my eyes, especially after watching the movie that was based on her life (which was so brilliantly portrayed by Marion Cotillard). At first, I thought of how ridiculous it was that I had been to Paris for two weeks with school and had managed to miss going to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. I sat and thought about how much I regretted that. Then, I thought about that phrase- Je ne regrette rien- and suddenly I had a very strong visceral reaction and I began to weep.
The tears came from that part of me that has been shelved by having chosen to sacrifice everything for being wife and mom. Every morning, I wake up and take our little one to the potty, make her breakfast, read her a book, watch Sesame Street and then get ready for nap time. Some days we may or may not have to clean poop off the floor. The rest of the day includes routines that keep close to home and predictability as it is widely known that children thrive on routine. Sure we do try to take her to new and fun places, but mostly it's the same songs the same videos, the same books, and overall the same day. It's like the movie Groundhog Day every day.
I'm not complaining but I kind of am. I started thinking, "Do I have regrets?" I pictured myself sitting in a cafe in Paris at late afternoon reading Proust and eating a buttered croissant while waiting to see a performance at the Palais Garnier. My feet turned cold thinking of that single, carefree me that exists somewhere out there in some parallel universe. She is traveling all over the world, she eats whatever she wants without a second thought, she speaks five languages and she has tons of friends around the globe.
I suppose I do have some regrets. I can try to put a spin on it and say they are just "unresolved feelings". Why are we so scared to regret? I mean, it's not fun to look back and want to wipe that unwipable slate clean. It's surely not beneficial to live in the past. All we ever have is right now. The only relief I have ever found from regret is to stare it in the face and feel it. That's the only thing that has ever resolved it for me.
I make it a daily practice to feel gratitude for everything- great and simple. I make it a point to love myself, love those around me and love my life. But today, I have to say, is one of those days I would like to escape what actually is for what perhaps could be.