BY Kathy Zucker • Thursday, September 11, 2014
This article was originally published on Medium.
Exactly 13 years ago, I was working from home in Brooklyn Heights, the same as I am doing today except on the opposite side of the river. I was sitting down to my laptop when my husband called and told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV and went back to work.
When the second plane hit, I knew it was no accident. Went across the hall to watch the towers burn and then fall. Thought about all the young people trapped in those buildings – I had college classmates in the towers that day.
I used to live life obsessed with test scores and status. 9/11 was a wakeup call for me. I asked myself that day, “Are you living life without regrets?” The answer, sadly, was no.
So I took steps toward living a regret-free life. I made a will so if I someday wind up on an airplane flaming toward disaster, I know my worldly goods will benefit people and places near and dear to my heart. I had the child I so dearly wanted, then a second. And then, when everyone around me was telling me to stop, I had a third baby.
For the last nine years, when I ask myself if I am living without regrets, the answer has been yes. There have been additional wakeup calls along the way, first in 2003 during the Northeast blackout, and again in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy flooded 70% of the town I was living in.
I have made mistakes along the way. I am far from perfect. But in every single instance when I went after what I really wanted, the results were amazing.
Baby #3? Is the most precious little person I have ever met. Waking up every day to her smiling face and glowing curls is one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. Family and friends fight for her attention – this is a child who will be loved throughout her entire life.
Living in New Jersey, the place everyone from my hometown mocks? Has become the setting for my greatest career triumphs.
So the question of the day is, what are you doing to live life without regrets? And what are you doing to share your story to help you banish regret?
Here are examples of people who are living life without regrets.
Garth Callaghan – after two cancer diagnoses, Garth is determined to write a note to his daughter every day – even if he is not here to deliver them. Coming soon – Napkins Notes Dad, the book and the movie.
Meg V. Jones – overcame homelessness and abuse to defy the odds and have a career. Meg shares her story at itsmegnotmegan.
Kathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network and Managing Editor of Metro Moms Magazine, mother of three young children and New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award winner and judge, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. She blogs at MomCondoLiving.com, tweets nonstop at @KathyZucker, posts pics on Instagram, gets down to business at LinkedIn, talks about family on Facebook and gets outdoors on Youtube. Email me@KathyZucker.com.