Happy New Year!

Alright, so I know that this post is about a week overdue BUT I’ve been catching up with my family and seeing all my friends since most of them leave this week to go back to college. So just bear with me kay? I promise I haven’t forgotten about ya’ll. So, that being said, I’m back in the USA! Yay! Also, merry belated Christmas. We had a very nice Christmas in the Schwartz household. I know that we celebrate Christmas every year but this year was especially special for me since it was the first time that I saw my family in the flesh in almost 4 months. So that was really nice for me. I got home in the evening on the 23rd so not that much beforehand. The song I’ll Be Home for Christmas definitely held new meaning. For my friends as well, seeing as two of them got stuck in London an extra day due to a flight cancelation. But we all made it home safe and sound.

And guess what Santa brought me?! A NEW CAMERA!! Which is awesome because orignally, I’d been planning on using my birthday money to buy the best point-and-shoot for around $100 but now I don’t have to. It’s great. It’s a Nikon Coolpix…9300 (I believe) and it’s red. I took it for a test drive later and the pictures look a lot better than my old camera. So that’s good for you guys too because that means the pictures I upload should be of a better quality. The Christmas tree was interesting this year. Apparently, Dad was the only one to put up any ornaments this year which is ironic (and he found really funny) since Christmas isn’t even part of his religion. I obviously didn’t get to put any of mine up, and I guess Jared and Mom never got around to it. Jared was really happy with his Santa gift too. He got an Xbox 360 and Fifa ’13. He’s since gotten much better at playing Skyrim. He doesn’t die as often anymore.

And now, more importantly (sort of), happy new year! We survived 2012! For anyone who may have been living under a rock lately, the year is now 2013. Crazy, huh? I think so. So much has happened in the last year. I’ve gone to France. My brother has started college. I turned 20. Jared turned 18. I turned 20. We survived the end of the world. Obama got re-elected. I turned 20. Notre Dame went undefeated and went to the BCS Championships in Miami. Amy and Rory are no longer the Doctor’s companions (but the angels are still creepy as all get out). That was last one was for all you fellow Doctor Who fans. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend it. Though you might want to start with the revamped Doctor Who instead of the “classic” Doctor Who from the ’60s/’70s since that could take a while. But my point is that a lot has happened and I’m sure we’ve all learned things. Such as, did you know that humans share 50% DNA with a banana? It’s true. I read it on the internet which means it has to be true. Kidding, but seriously that is a fact. Or, that the biggest airplane in the world is from Singapore? Yep. Learned that on my flight home courtesy of the pilot.

I didn’t say that they would necessarily be useful things, just that we all learned things.

So what do you guys plan on doing this year? Do people still make resolutions? I’ve tried that in the past and they never seem to work out. So I’ve decided that I’m not going to make any this year. This year I just want to see where life takes me and have fun with it. Ideally, I’d like to look back at the end of this year and know that I don’t regret anything. Okay, that’s more of a life goal but still, it counts. Now I don’t mean that I’m not going to make any mistakes or find myself in embarrassing or awkward situations but making mistakes and regretting decisions are two totally separate things. To make a mistake just proves that you’re human, it means that you learn and grow as a person from that mistake or that situation. To regret a decision means that if given a do-over you would change your decision or take back something that you said or did. I think people misuse that word sometimes. Regret. I’ve heard people say that they regret going out with their ex, or that they regret not auditioning for a play or team or that they regret saying something out loud.

Frankly, I’ve never completely understood that especially when referring to another person. There’s a saying that I think is very true, which says: “Never regret something that made you smile.” Take the whole “I regret going out with my ex” example. I don’t think that you really mean that you regret going out with them, but that maybe things changed over the course of the relationship or that things didn’t end well between the two of you which caused you heartache. That’s completely different. For you to have gone out with that person in the first place, there had to have been a reason for you to say yes. Maybe it was the way they made you feel or the way they made you laugh or smile for no reason. Whatever it was, there was a reason why you said yes. So maybe things didn’t work out how you’d hoped or thought they would but do you really wish that you’d never gone out with them or that you’d never met that person? I hope not. I guess that’s why I’ve never really understood the annuelment process in the Catholic church.

Now by going on this little tangent, I don’t mean to give you guys the impression that there’s never been times that I’ve regretted a decision because I have but I think that it lessens life if you regret too many things. I can think of maybe three instances that I regret or that I would truly change my actions if given a second chance. And two of them have to do with overcoming my own self-consciousness. One of those three times would be when my family spent spring break in LA a few years ago. Mom tried to get me to take a picture in front of the Hollywood sign and I wouldn’t do it. I just remember thinking about how I felt like it was so obvious that we were tourists and that we didn’t belong. I know, it’s LA so almost everyone were tourists but that’s what I was thinking.

But I mean it when I say that I think you lessen your life if you regret too many things. Having said that, I challenge you guys (if you so choose to accept) to try and live this year with as little regret as possible. Take the actress Hayden Panettiere for example. She trys to live by the phrase “live with no regrets” and a few years had the saying tattooed on her back in Italian. The problem? One of the words is misspelled. But she took it in stride. So whether it’s doing or saying something a little risky, or taking a leap of faith, or even trying to remember the good times in the face a particularly hard break-up, try to live your life without regret. Do it, I dare you. I’ll leave you guys with two quotes.

“Never regret anything, because at one time it was exactly what you wanted.”

“I don’t regret the things I’ve done. I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.”

❤ Rachel


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