I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failure, regrets, and resolutions. I love this time of year because the calendar naturally moves me to reflect and take action. This post is all about 2019 regrets.

My biggest regret in 2019?

I still hold grudges.

If I were to make a list of character defects that upset me in other people, the act of “holding grudges” would be high on that agenda. Animosity is toxic, and people who hold grudges are mostly assholes who can’t get out of their own way. Yet here I am with a list of Festivus-like injuries that are carried around all year long. 

Some of these grudges are small, some of them are large, and most are valid. I do not imagine grievances over here. There are people in my life who have acted up and haven’t atoned. Or they apologize, say they’re doing their best, and then do the same damn things over and over again.

Forgiveness is complicated. Forgetting it out of the question. But carrying around a list of grievances is exhausting, and it’s not like I’m perfect. I want forgiveness for my mistakes, too.

I regret holding grudges because it’s time spent looking backward instead of forward. Maybe, at one point, these grudges were a defense mechanism. You know, part of a combined post-mortem and pre-mortem strategy to stop making the same mistakes over and over again. But defense mechanisms are exhausting, and I’d rather play offense with my life. It’s much more exciting and rewarding.

So, here you have it: my biggest regret of 2019 is holding grudges. Maybe I’ll learn some new coping mechanisms in 2020. Perhaps life will sort itself out without my hypervigilance. Or possibly my life will restructure itself, and I won’t have to deal with assholes, anymore. 

But one thing is for sure — I’d like to use my time and attention differently in 2020. These grudges have got to go.