12 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old(er)

Do you ever regret not having learned another language (because now you don’t even remember the little bit you learned when you were young)?

Do you regret a big risk you didn’t take (because just knowing you had taken that leap of faith would be a comfort to you now)?

How about not having finished something you started?

Those are three out of 37 things that Buzzfeed – one of the most trafficked websites on the planet – is telling its readers they should think about now, because if they don’t, they’ll end up regretting it.

So, how true to older life is Buzzfeed’s list?

It includes some zingers (do you really regret having spent too little time networking? Never having learned a party trick?).

And someone needs to set Buzzfeed straight on a few of its assumptions. Two that stand out: Not realizing how beautiful you are while you’re young, because you’ll never be this beautiful again. (Oh, really?) And not traveling when you have a chance, because later you’ll be saddled with a family. (As if life ends at 40!)

But several of Buzzfeed’s “37 things you’ll regret when you’re old” seem like good choices at any age.

Our picks:

  1. Being scared to do things. Buzzfeed says: “Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?” Yes!
  2. Failing to make physical fitness a priority. In fact, it’s never too late to start – but the sooner the better.
  3. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles. Buzzfeed says: “Few things are as sad as an old person saying, ‘Well, it just wasn’t done back then.'” This woman decided to become a construction worker in her 60s!
  4.  Caring too much about what other people think. Buzzfeed says: “In 20 years you won’t give a damn about any of those people you once worried so much about.” Exactly – and you won’t worry what anyone thinks now, either.
  5. Not moving on fast enough. Buzzfeed says: “Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.”
  6. Holding grudges, especially with those you love. Who’s got time?
  7. Not standing up for yourself. Thank you, Buzzfeed. We say: Get the respect you deserve – not because you’re “wiser,” but because you are aging with attitude.
  8. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations. Like the expectation that we’ll fade into the background as we get older.
  9. Not spending enough time with loved ones. Their time is finite.
  10. Not being grateful sooner. Don’t be a grouch!
  11. Not taking that risk, especially in love. Say yes to leaps of faith!
  12. And our one addition to Buzzfeed’s list: Letting yourself live with regret. Because it’s never too late to change your future.

Click here to see Buzzfeed’s full list and add a comment there; right now, the top-rated comment is from Peggeh, who’s 85 and about 60 years older than the average Buzzfeed reader.

Then let us know what’s at the top of your list of things to do now – or regret later. 


3 responses to “12 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old(er)

  1. Good article, wish I’d seen it, read it, & followed the suggestions YEARS AGO.
    Too many regrets crowd my todays
    Any one below 50-read this & take it to heart, because 70 comes very fast & that’s a very different perspective, in deed.

  2. Most of this article was straight on.The party tricks and the drooling dish for parties-did not count for me.Most evreything else on the list I have done to my satisfaction.Although I do have one regret about not taking good care of my teeth. I hated flossing. still do. So most of my cavities are between my teeth.Most of my molars are gone..

  3. I want to finally come to terms with feeling confident in myself….yeah, I’m “chubby” – I’ll never lose all the weight I want;….. yeah, my hair salon says I should dye my hair so I will look “so much younger”;(I think I’ll keep it as it is – it’s healthy); I think I want to be a bit more assertive in speaking with people……I would not say anything I didn’t know something about….and actually know a lot more about some things than many people know about them……I want to feel comfortable and confident….my New Year’s Resolution!!

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