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 2020 regrets.
Boy, I have a list.
I regret drinking heavily at my brother’s you’ve-got-cancer/surprise birthday party in February 2020. Now, to be fair, cancer doesn’t make for a banging celebration. Even with all the cute party favors and little kids dancing around, the mood was a little dark. And we knew COVID was on the horizon. So, I had a pitcher of margaritas with my brother’s mother-in-law. Then I had another. Shut up, nobody got hurt. But that’s not the way to show up for your family. What I regret most is that sometimes I act like my father.
I regret forgetting to include Matt Stollak in my book’s acknowledgments. That guy is an essential member of our HR Famous community, and he would give me a kidney. How could I forget him but remember to include the doctor at Duke who removed my gallbladder? Dammit, I’m so mad at myself.
I regret throwing eye daggers at a marketing lady. During the summer, I had a meeting with a powerful and successful marketing leader who was like, “Your book is not going to be a best seller.” She wasn’t saying it wouldn’t sell copies. She said that it wouldn’t meet the specific criteria laid forth by The New York Times bestseller methodology. (You can find it here.) She was right. We’re in a pandemic, and nobody knows me. The marketing and PR challenge is daunting. But I threw eye daggers at her through Zoom and was like, “How dare she talk to me like that?” Now I’m honored that she was relentlessly honest with me. That’s how you treat respected adults. I won’t be that petulant again.
I regret responding to DMs from dudes. Writing this book has been a journey because several men (from all seasons of my life) have reached out and offered backhanded compliments. “I remember you being X, and now you’re X. Boy, that shocks me.” Like, my success shocks you? Who the fuck are you? What have you done in this world besides watch me on the internet? (I got more of those messages than you realize. Middle-aged men like to get nostalgic on LinkedIn Sales Navigator and IG DMs.) Instead of being kind or simply ignoring those messages, I responded in my typical Laurie fashion. I may have used the word “motherfucker” a few times before I finally learned to let it go, and I regret that. But I don’t regret my new policy: I no longer DM with men.
If you live an exciting life, you have regrets.
I had a few 2020 regrets, but not many. I hope your year was largely regret-free, too!