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Why having no regrets should be an RVer’s mantra

There’s a house in a nearby community that always has a sign posted in its front yard. It’s obvious that the homeowner hand-letters each sign—a process that I imagine is painstakingly done. The sign in the yard began during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back then, encouraging words were posted, like “Don’t give up!” and “This too will pass.” These words put a smile on my face and gave me encouragement during lockdowns, isolation, and closures.

Since COVID, the yard signs have continued. I’m happy about that. Words on the small, two-foot-square sign change frequently, and I always look forward to reading the latest sentiment when I drive past the house. Last week I noticed a new sign. This time, the precise lettering proclaimed two words, “No regrets.”

Really?

Upon reading the sign, my first thought was, “Who has no regrets?” I mean, who considers every word they’ve ever spoken, or reviews a lifetime of their actions, and doesn’t find even one instance of regret? No one I know. Instead, I think most of us would jump at the chance for some “do-overs”—second chances to say something different or do something better.

Encouragement

As I thought about the sign, I realized it’s meant as encouragement for moving forward rather than dwelling on our past. “No regrets” might just make a good mantra for RVers.

No regrets RVing

Missed the turn off the highway? No regrets! Navigate to use an alternate route.

Have a noisy neighbor camping next to you? Before you do or say anything, think: “No regrets.”

Burned tonight’s hot dogs? No regrets! Fry up some eggs and enjoy a “breakfast dinner.”

In short, pause before you speak or act. Put everything into perspective. Don’t add to the regrets you already have racked up in life. Live in such a way that regrets will no longer derail you.

The truth about regrets

Psychologists have known for a long time what we might well have guessed: Dwelling on our regrets can hurt us. Playing the “If only I’d” game can take a toll on our emotional health. Continuously looking back with remorse over something we did or failed to do in the past can eventually damage our physical health, as well. So, what can we do about our past behaviors—the ones that cause us to feel such remorse?

  • Make amends, if possible. Here’s where “No regrets” demands “No excuses.” Admit you were wrong and apologize for the hurt you’ve caused.
  • Forgive yourself. Recognize your mistakes and own them. Then move on. Look ahead, not backward.
  • Learn from past mistakes. Let your remorse guide you to making different and better choices in the future.

“No regrets” seems like a very good saying for RVers to live by. After all, as we travel through life, it’s always better to focus out the windshield, not the rearview mirror!

##RVT1086

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Neal Davis
19 days ago

Such encouragement can be especially important if/when someone has made bad enough decisions in the past that at the next point ones choices are all poor. However, with such encouragement one may slowly adjust their path, gradually making decisions from an increasingly better set of choices. Without such encouragement it can be all too easy to spiral further downward.

Scott
20 days ago

Too bad some people dwell in their regrets as life goes on past them. I have the same outlook as the guy with yard signs…no regrets. I have made mistakes in life, none serious, but still there in the past. Sometimes I think back and either grimace or smile before looking around me for the here and now. Life is too short to carry these heavy regrets or grudges, those only burden you, not the others involved. Make amends where you can and let the other s go

rltwellman@gmail.com
22 days ago

Once I realized that I was happy with who I was and how my life was turning out, I knew that everything in my past, both the good and the bad, had led me to this happy place – so yes, no regrets!

Christine
22 days ago

I’m paraphrasing but I read somewhere “It’s a life lesson not a life sentence.”

Glenda Alexander
22 days ago
Reply to  Christine

Christine, excellent thought! “If only” are small words and they don’t do a bit of good. I’m still waiting for someone to show me how to turn back the calendar pages without erasing the good things. :<)

Carl W
22 days ago

Although I did not rate this article, I am wondering if a followup article could contain some photos (4 or 5) of these thought provoking signs. Would have been nice if they had been included in this article.

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