The Weekly Hot Flash: Have No Regrets When You Are Old

Tuesday, 4 Feb 2014, 9:02:00 AM

Barbara Bishop

Barbara Bishop, Columnist
Santa Monica Mirror Archives
Barbara Bishop, Columnist

I was surfing the internet and ran across an article that totally got to me. It was about things you’ll regret when you’re old. I scanned the list. The more I read, the more inspired I was to NOT regret them.  

Many people, including myself, are too busy chasing “success” or making their next “million” to really think about the things they should do other than working. The great thing is, I still can do these things because I am not old.  

When I was 30, I thought 55 was ancient. My vision of myself now is younger than how I was when I was in my 30s! So here’s my top 10 list of things that I will NOT regret when I am old, whenever that time comes.

1) Forgoing sunscreen. I had really sensitive skin, prone to breakouts when I was in my early teens, so I took extremely good care of my skin, including using sunscreen. Now, my skin is still pretty young looking; I don’t have the “healthy-looking” tan, but I don’t have any of the wrinkles and the ruddy, aged skin that comes with it. Hurray for the pre-teen pimples!

2) Not quitting a terrible job. I had a client for many years that paid me a lot of money.  But there was such a price to pay for that money. Weight gain, no sleep, 15-hour days, eating crappy food, working with people who were downright mean. One day, I just woke up and decided to quit, and prepared myself for whatever happened next. Within 90 days, I had replaced the lost income and was headed for a much healthier life. What a little faith will reveal.

3) Being scared to do things. When I realized there was no such thing as fear, I was not afraid of anything any longer. Pretty deep, huh? Fear is a story you create in your head, based on past – real or imagined – experiences. It simply does not exist in my world any longer.

4) Failing to make physical fitness a priority. In my teens I was a ballet dancer, in my 20s a professional cheerleader, in my 30s an aerobics queen, and in my 40s, a workaholic.  My workouts came to a screeching halt and I gained 35 pounds within five years. This began to change when I quit the job I hated and started to work out and live a less-stressed life. I now look healthier and younger than I did at 45. A regular physical fitness regime literally saved my life, several times.

5) Not learning how to cook one awesome meal. I cook a lot of awesome meals now.   But my first really good dish that I still make is my lamb shanks with cannellini beans.  So delish. I make it at least once a year in the fall and have a party. People love it. I love it.

6) Not getting caught up in needless drama. Need I say more? Such a waste of energy.

7) Not realizing how beautiful you are. I remember looking at photos of me when I was younger. I thought I was so unattractive. Years later, I looked at them again. Damn, I was hot! Maybe I will feel that way about my current photos when I look at them again when I am 80.

8Being afraid to say “I love you.” It’s scary to say how you really feel, especially if you think you might be rejected. I believe that when you’re “old” you won’t care if the love was returned or not, only that you made it known how you felt.

9) Never taking a big risk. I took a big risk about 25 years ago. I rented my condo in Arizona, quit my job, and moved to Los Angeles with $3,000 to my name. I knew few people, rented a little place on Cloverdale on the Miracle Mile for $750 a month, and got a job as a Baby Stock Broker working for a Big Stock Broker. Since then, I have created a great life for myself, most of my dreams fulfilled. None of this would have occurred if I had stayed put.

10) Not being grateful sooner. It eventually becomes clear that every moment on earth, is a gift that we are all so lucky to share. I am so grateful.

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 seeking insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor.

Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email

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