As you grow older, do you ever look back on your younger years and think “man, I wish I had tried _______”? or even “what if I had done _______”? For me, being an active person and loving sports, I think back to when I was younger and think why didn’t I play more sports? Why didn’t I try every sport in the book? I was an avid soccer player growing up and didn’t want to try any other sports, I was comfortable playing soccer and that was the end of the discussion as far as I was concerned. Although practicing just one sport so much may have helped me hone my skills, thus helping pay my way through college…. I still look back and think, what if I had played another sport as well?
As I sit watching the 2016 Summer Olympics, my pain only increases as I marvel at the incredible athletes and think, “what if I had tried volleyball or tennis…or…?” It’s hard not to think about whether your path in life would have been different. I love the life that I live now and am happy I had the opportunity to play soccer but I wish that I had at least tried different sports as I was growing up- if only just for the fun, memories, and friends you get to make.
“Your actions today will spare you
regret in the future.”
This feeling of regret is not something I enjoy, nor do I wish regret on anyone in this life. As I look towards my future, I am fearful that I may, once again, feel this pain looking back on life—only this time it will be in the terms of planning for my financial future. Just as when you are younger, it is difficult to heed the advice of those older than us as they have already lived through the time. One of many pieces of advice heard from those older than us is “be sure to save for retirement.”
My fear is that in the future, I will look back on my prime savings years and think, “why the heck did I not save and invest more?” “Why was I so lazy and unfocused, not taking lunch to work everyday, wasting precious money I could have invested?” “Why didn’t I just put away even $10 a month when I got my first job?” These are the questions and thoughts that scare me the most for when the time comes that I am no longer able to make up lost opportunities to save money. These are also the questions that I hope I never have to ask myself because I learned from my past regret with sports.
My hope is that no one else experiences this regret of not saving enough before it is too late. What contributes to this fear is that I have heard women in this exact situation, and I don’t want myself or anyone to experience it anymore.
So, if you have ever felt even the slightest bit of regret, you can probably realize that what you do today…will save you from what you aren’t able to do down the road. Of course there is no guarantee that starting to save later in life will provide you less and less benefits, but think about how terrible the taste of regret can be.