Did you ever say something, or do something, that you regret?

I’m reading a book right now- “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (in translation). The premise of the book is that there is a cafe in Japan. You can go into the cafe and sit in a specific chair and you can go back in time. There are a few rules for the time travelers, and the one thing that is made very clear is that you can go back to a moment, but it WILL NOT CHANGE THE PRESENT. You can’t go back and give someone who died from COVID a vaccination, etc.

Hold that thought.

My biggest problem with the whole concept of regret is that I wouldn’t want to change anything I did in the past because every moment led up to my daughter, and there is not a thing I would do to change that. I love my daughter for exactly who she is, and I would never mess with the perfectly unperfect young woman that she is, nor our perfectly imperfect relationship.

But even having said this, I still wonder if there are moments I could go back to so I could have one more chance at a conversation with someone.

Are there regrets that we carry in our hearts that we never quite get past? Are there things that we’ve done that we carry the scars of forever?

Do you have a moment in your life that you keep replaying over and over again?

If you had the chance to relive ONE MOMENT, knowing that nothing changes in the present…

Would you go back in time to that one moment?

Would you say “I Love You” one more time?

Would you tell someone how much they hurt you?

Would you apologize for the hurt that you caused?

Would you sit in that specific chair in a coffee shop in Japan, go back in time, and rewrite that one particular regret?

My original thoughts for today’s post was “How do we get past regret”, but since I jotted those words in my planner I have come to realize that there is no getting past anything. We hold onto all the moments of our lives, even if we don’t consciously realize that we are doing it. We never get over something, we just, hopefully, move forward. But as I’m reading this book, I wonder if being able to communicate just one thing would make us feel, I don’t know, better? Would having the ability to say one thing bring us a sense of closure? Of peace?

Could reliving one moment in time really make you feel better?

On a practical note, it has taken be longer to write this post than any post I have ever written…I guess this is a concept that I struggle with on many levels, and I’m not sure how to bring it up for discussion, or where to go with it. Part of me regrets even trying to write about it…

And yet…

I wrote about it…

But anyway:

When I open up my coffee shop, would you be curious to relive one moment? Or is the past the past?

68 thoughts on “Get Past It

  1. Words have tremendous power. As writers, and readers, we know this.
    Therefore, knowing that I have spoken words carelessly in the past , I now spend more time in silence, and I try to choose my words more carefully. Thanks, LA.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I continue to just talk…..😆I said something yesterday to someone I don’t like and it probably wasn’t the nicest thing….not sure if I regret it though

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I feel the same as you. I would not change the past if it changed the present because I wouldn’t want to change my kids. I would, however, use the chair to go back to the last time I saw my dad and say a proper goodbye.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Since doing my soul work, it has helped me with regret; especially in holding onto things like forgiving others. So in cases like that, I’ve moved on. BUT, I would definitely go back in time to sit with a loved one who has passed on and hold their hand one last time. For example., my grandma died while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter who is named after her. I would love to sit and have coffee with her and my daughter so they could talk. Am I playing this game correctly? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally playing it correctly!! And that a perfect example. Yup….my grandmother died a few months before I was pregnant…and yes…what I would give to tell her about my daughter

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There is a reason things happen in your life. Lost opportunity, friendships breaking, career not working out. I wouldn’t use the chair in fear of changing my outcome. But that’s just me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Closure, yes. I have lots of unsaid things roaming around needing a place to land. But to change the here and now, as you said if that meant risking the most important people in my life then no way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. But my McWriter said…to tell my grandmother about my daughter….that would be priceless…it’s not a regret but I do wish my grandmother had met my daughter

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Very interesting and thought provoking post. My personal beliefs are as follows: (1) All souls pass on. Everything is eventually healed and forgiven. (2) We have the power to do something good (loving) NOW. (3) Doing good now erases the mistakes and or omissions of the past.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The caveat that your actions wouldn’t change the future is an odd one. As you said, everything led up to your perfect imperfect daughter.

    Of course I have regrets, but the butterfly effect of time is such that we can’t separate a pebble without a landslide.

    Plus, I tend to fix regrets when I think of them.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s not always perfect nor painless and I haven’t made a lot of enormous mistakes. 🙂

        That said, if an issue is bothering me -almost always an unresolved misunderstanding with someone- I contact that person and apologize.


  8. “Before the coffee gets cold” is a great title. Reminds me of how I feel each morning as my coffee comes hot and ready.

    If something did change, things might be better but then we might have more troubles if we don’t speak. The consequence of speaking up is that sometimes it protects us while it might make us gain a few enemies, the next situation at a job or posting or with a person might be worse. It is best to be true to your intuition.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I do have moments where I think to myself: “I wish I could turn back time.” Truth is, everything good and bad that happens in life is what makes us; it’s what makes each and every one of us unique. Also, it’s best to just come to terms with it because none of us can turn back time. That’s my thoughts anyway. With that said, honestly, it took me a long time to accept it. I have trauma from my childhood that has crippled me at times as an adult, so there are times I wonder what I could’ve done differently. Great post! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Sign me up for a seat. I’m in. Do I get to choose the moment or is it random? Do I only get one shot, one seat, one time? (according to the book). Because yes, with a fresh perspective, I would like to say some things even though it wouldn’t change the present moment. Wow, I didn’t realize how strongly I felt about it until I starting commenting. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Interesting thought. I do have one moment that I’d like to go back to. I was watching our son play softball and my sister called me saying she was at our favorite mystery bookstore a couple of blocks away. She asked if I wanted to join her there and I said no because I was watching the softball game. A week later she was dead so yes, I would like to go back and spend that time with her going through mystery books. There have been many softball games for me to watch over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My initial impulse would be to say yes, but only in the context of being able to say something that I realized later I should have said. That kind of thing. But, if I stop and really think about it instead of just gut reaction, no, I really wouldn’t. Because even if having my say may make me feel a little better, I know it wouldn’t matter. Not to the people I’d really want to say things to, because they wouldn’t have wanted to hear what I had to say, and not to the end outcome. It would dredge up emotions that I’ve manage to deal with and reopen wounds that I’m healing. So even if I would get that moment to say my peace, it would do more emotional damage in the long run. And, past all of that, no, I really wouldn’t change one lick of my history. Now, if I could manage to ensure that history would quit cropping up and reopening old wounds, I might feel a little different. Sadly, that would probably require a move, number and name change and I’m just not willing to go that far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah..that’s a good point…will it really change anything? Maybe you heal, maybe you don’t….good comment…I think I would use it to do something like tell my grandmother about my daughter, or something like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny you mention your grandmother. We named our daughter after one of my grandmothers that died before my daughter was born. While I was pregnant, I had a dream where I got to tell her about the name, so I actually feel like I got that moment. It was so surreal. So, I do understand that feeling.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a fascinating question! I have many moments, particularly when I was younger, when I thought, “I should have said…”. These were in moments of disagreement primarily. If the outcome is unchanged, however, what’s the point? In my example, the only benefit would be for me being more of an advocate for myself. I have learned this over time anyway. Perhaps a good-bye to my grandmother. I have to ponder this some more. Love this discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. When I’ve been hurt, I’ve needed to express it in order to get past it. Maybe not the kindest thing, but then the behaviour I was on the receiving end of wasn’t kind either. So, those would not be things I’d want to revisit and change.

    But I do wish I’d been with my father when he died. I nearly went to visit to sit with him, and I deeply regret not doing so now. I also wish I’d told my grandmother how much I loved and admired her before her heart attack. I’d so grab a chance to sit in the chair for those two opportunities. Great thought-provoking post LA.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I had a regret that I let my childhood best friend down in junior high. We were growing apart and I was hanging out with a new group of friends. I always regretted that I treated her badly. I told my daughter this when she was around that same awkward age. My daughter sat me down at the computer, got on my FB account and sent my former best friend a friend request. It was immediately accepted and I got that apology off my chest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so nice that you were able to do that! And yes…those things we do that we don’t realize are hurtful….nice to be able to work that out

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m glad that you wrote about this topic, specifically because it too long, and because you almost didn’t complete it. Well done.

    Alright, regret. Yes, I can absolutely think of a moment that, for most of my life, I wanted to go back and change. Major, major regret, deep and awfully painful. At the moment I said what I did, it’s as if time slowed down, so I could be extra present to saying what, at the time, I knew I should not say.

    Alright, now, would I go back, no. Absolutely not, because it happened, happened just as it was supposed to; and, I’ve worked through the emotions, the shouldn’t have, couldn’t have, etc, etc. If, however, we don’t face our emotions, acknowledge them, dig into them, work through them, and then let them go; they will continue to cause us pain. Very deep pain, whether we are conscious of it or not.

    Great pos, LA.


  17. I agree with you. I wouldn’t change any mistakes I made. I don’t regret either of my marriages because I have two incredible sons. Nope I don’t regret anything…. That is until until this weekend. When I was in my mid 40’s I had a large ovarian cyst and my doctor wanted to do a hysterectomy. I asked her if we could wait a month and see if the the cyst went down. She told me to stop drinking carbonated soda and I did that. 6 weeks later the cyst disappeared and I didn’t need a hysterectomy. But this week going back on chemo I thought… damn! If I had just had the hysterectomy then I wouldn’t be fighting ovarian cancer now. So for the first time in my life I regretted not having that surgery back then. However, what might have been changed if I had gone ahead with the surgery? For all I know something else might have happened. Maybe my damn ovaries were meant to be my downfall who knows? If I knew I’d get cancer yeah I would’ve had surgery in my 40’s. But, we don’t know the future when we are traveling down our life’s journey. It plays out how it is supposed to play out.
    Other than the cancer mess, I’m happy with my choices. We can’t second guess what ifs. The universe does what the universe does.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. people wise, I would go back to try to get to know an eccentric artsy antisocial uncle who lived with my Grandmother but she always told my brother to not bug him. Event wise, I’d take that flight to Chicago to take the second test for the assistant directors training program, my anxiety kept me from taking that leap.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There’s a process you can go through, where you either apologize to a person or you accept an apology from a person (I think it’s in Louise Hay’s Mirror Work). Anywho, it’s the same premise. Nothing changes, except the energy of receiving/giving an apology may be release.

    To answer your question, I’d be interested in doing something like this, especially if it’s not going to change anything, but all the time travel movies I’ve seen show it’s impossible to do something in the past and not impact the future, so I’m a little skeptical about the premise, unless it’s for the reason I first stated.

    Now, I’m wondering if I’ve analyzed this too much lol

    Liked by 1 person

  20. There are many, many, things I wish I had done and said differently! But as you say, everything I’ve done has led me to where I am now, so I’m not at all sure I’d want to go back and “fix things.” Who knows? The result could be even worse!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I wish I could change some stupid things I’ve said and done in the past, mainly during my teenage and young adult years. Sometimes I cringe when I think about those things. I do regret them but realize that I’ve grown so much since then and that what’s done is done. I can’t change it so I try my best not to think too much about it. If I could change those specific things, I would.
    However, there are other mistakes I’ve made that I wouldn’t change. I’m not perfect and some mistakes have led to personal growth.


  22. This thought/concept seems superfluous to me if taking whatever action in the past did not change anything going forward. However, after looking at a lot of “affirming” type FB posts (I follow a lot of groups who post this type of thing), the real purpose of looking back at past mistakes is to learn from them.

    Beyond that, there is sometimes a chance to rectify them as one of your commenters did at her daughter’s urging. I have done this a few times myself. I am also as I write this listening to an affirming FB recording from a women’s empowerment group. The point of this particular discussion is that it is necessary to deal with the emotions before going directly to taking the (rectifying?) action. In my mind and heart, those two things, feeling and taking action as a result of dealing with those feelings, are 2 things that (should) go together. That’s probably why I wouldn’t want to sit in that chair.

    Liked by 1 person

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