Regrets – My Philosophy (with Advice from Rafiki and Grumpy)

I’ve been doing a lot of job searching as of late, and poring over every article on what you should/shouldn’t do during the whole job-obtaining process, and growing more and more baffled at how difficult it is to write cover letters.  (I know, you’d think the whole “B.A. in English” would have helped with that.)

Anyway, I was looking over some sample interview questions and this one came up:

What is your biggest regret and why?

This one, along with “What was your biggest failure?” really stumped me in my mental interview, because, to be quite honest, I don’t like going through life regretting things (or dwelling on failures, for that matter).

If I were go back through my life and think about every single stupid thing I did, every bad thing that happened, or every day I felt lesser than a dung beetle, I really don’t think I’d change anything.  No, I really don’t.

Yes, there were days that were painful.  Yes, I made mistakes, big and small.  But those are things in my past that have shaped me, and as Rafiki says…

“Oh, yes, the past can hurt…but the way I see it, you can either run from it, or, learn from it.”

I’ve learned something from every experience in my life, and those life lessons cannot be replicated.  Altering any piece of my past would mean a loss of a part of me.

Take a look at this clip from Sunday’s episode of Once Upon A Time: [*spoiler warning*]

“As wretched as it is, I need my pain.  It makes me who I am.  It makes me Grumpy.”

I have to agree with Grumpy.  As hard as it might be to feel the pain of losing someone, forgetting it ever happened – erasing it – is even worse.  Snow White was weak for drinking that potion.  Weak for wanting to forget about someone she cared about with all her heart.

I don’t try to forget my past or run from it.  I’m stronger than that.  Instead, I “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy” (Miss Frizzle), and most of all, learn from it.

(Besides, a resourceful girl like Snow could have found a way for them to be together and evade the evil ones. 😉 )

What about you?  What’s your philosophy on regrets?

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Swimwear in Winter?

You wouldn’t go out in the snow wearing a bikini, would you?

I didn’t think so.

But tell me, why is it, then, that stores are already stocking swimwear and displaying it prominently in the stores?

I walked into Target the other day on my usual stock-up run and was astonished to see racks lined with brightly colored bikinis when I walked past the women’s section.  It’s JANUARY for crying out loud!  I shook my head and continued through the store thinking “Only in California do they start selling swimsuits in the middle of winter.”

However, when I texted this sentiment to my friend who’s currently living in North Carolina (a place where they get real winters), she promptly informed me that the Target out there was also a victim of the early swimsuit sale.

It was 28 degrees out in North Carolina this weekend.

And they’re selling swimsuits.

Now we all know that Christmas starts as early as September or October for a lot of retailers, and Valentine’s Day starts even before Christmas is over, but since when does summer start in winter?

My friend and I could only speculate as to why this might be beneficial to retailers.

  • Water polo and club swim teams do tend to start up around this time, but they don’t usually practice or compete in bikinis.
  • California’s weather hasn’t yet decided if it wants to be winter or autumn, so one could quite possibly go swimming at this time of year, but then that doesn’t explain North Carolina.
  • Maybe people take lots of vacations to tropical locales during the winter and thus need swimwear?
  • Maybe people are hoping to make summer come sooner by pulling out the swimwear racks?
  • Or, (and this, we decided, is the most likely), store owners are merely hoping to capitalize on everyone’s New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get swimsuit-worthy figures in time for summer.

Now I didn’t walk past the men’s section of the store, so I cannot say if this is something only targeted to women, but since I didn’t notice this phenomenon in the girls’ section of the store, it’s probably safe to guess that it is just the women’s section.

But this is about the only way I can see anyone actually purchasing one of these swimsuits:

So tell me, what do you think about these early swimsuit sales?  Would you shop for swimwear now?  Why else might they be selling these suits so early?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Post Update:

Just saw this commercial – perhaps this is why everyone’s thinking swimwear?

Resolutions…er…I Mean Goals for 2012

We are officially one week into the new year, so perhaps now is as good a time as any to get serious about some resolutions.  Or, better yet, goals.

Typically I shun the idea of resolutions – you either have goals for yourself in life, or you don’t.  And those who have goals generally don’t call them New Year’s Resolutions because, as Jackson Pearce points out in her latest video, resolutions are meant to be broken.  There’s no real social penalty for breaking a resolution because people expect that you’ll break them – people expect you to FAIL when you call something a resolution.  And most people tend to fail the second they declare their resolutions…

So instead, I call them goals.  When you set a goal, people don’t expect you to fail, they expect you to succeed, or at least hope that you’ll succeed.  If you call something a goal, people will cheer you on in your pursuit (unless you surround yourself with mean people who constantly “boo” your every endeavor, in which case you might consider “finding supportive friends” a new goal for yourself). And when you finally achieve your goal, the victory is that much sweeter.  (Seriously, who ever celebrates when you do keep a New Year’s Resolution?  Most of the time they look at you kinda dumb-founded, blink a few times, and mumble “oh…that’s cool…”)

With that in mind, I like to use a new year as a chance for me to reevaluate the goals I’ve already set for myself, and perhaps set a few new ones.  For example, last year, one of my goals was to publish something before I was 25, and this last November I accomplished that – my short story “The Escape” was published in Buzz Books’ Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology.  So what’s my newly revamped goal in its place?  To publish something again, naturally. 🙂

So, without further ado, I give you my goals for 2012 and beyond:

  • Get a full-time job (because the glamorous life of a writer doesn’t pay all too well until you’ve got a large number of books to your name).
  • WRITE!  As much as possible!  Stories, journals, blog entries…anything – but preferably stuff that will further my writing skills and keep me on the path to…
  • Publish a novel (or multiple novels) before I’m 30, which should naturally include…
  • Finishing a first draft of a novel (and maybe a second, third, or fourth draft) by the end of this year.
  • Submit completed short stories to writing contests/literary magazines.
  • Explore video blogging.
  • Devote more time to blogging – aim for one entry each week (at least).
  • Make time for friends.
  • Enroll in some group fitness classes.  (If I’m going to be doing so much sitting in front of a computer, I probably should make sure my muscles won’t atrophy.)
  • Read more (because it’s a serious problem when unread books sit on my bookshelf taunting me for months).

So there you have it.  Now I’ve shared some of my goals, what goals have you set for yourself?  Share some of yours in the comments!