About a year ago, my birthday resolution was to stop beating myself up about the past. (My birthday resolutions generally involve decreasing mental self-abuse.) My new mantra was to become, "You made the best decision you could with the information you had available at the time."
Of course, this means I can't be lazy about decision-making. I have to be able to feed myself the mantra honestly.
When I chose to come to Franciscan, I passed up a full-ride scholarship to a state school with one of the best journalism programs in the country. I still tease myself about it sometimes, saying, "That proves I'm smart but I can't do math." (To know that several thousand dollars a year is more than 0.) Recently somebody asked me, "So, do you regret it?" I was surprised for a moment. For whatever reason nobody had ever asked me that before. After a moment I said, "No." Yes, there are days when I think it would be really nice to not have any student loans, but God has been very good to my family and we're managing and I will not have crippling debt when I get out of college. And looking at it from anything other than a financial perspective, it was unquestionably the right decision. I can tell you that Franciscan has been one of the most amazing experiences of growth I've ever had.
A year ago I was supposed to go to Austria for a semester of studying abroad. I didn't, for a lot of reasons, some of them practical and some highly personal. I don't regret it, for reasons both practical and highly personal. That doesn't mean that I don't still think it would be nice to go to Europe sometime, but...I was where I needed to be this past spring.
In the next few years, I'm going to be making decisions about getting a job, getting married, having babies...all kinds of big stuff. And I'm probably going to do some stupid things. I'm almost certainly going to do some things imperfectly, and look back and think, "If I knew what I know now I would have done that differently."
On the other hand, in 5 or 10 years I'm still not going to know everything. I might look back and say, "Oh, I wish I had known not to do that." And then in 50 years I'll look back and see how God worked it all for the good.
I have to be content that God lets me know what I need to know when I need to know it. And that if I use all the knowledge He's given me, I'm probably going to be okay.