Overcoming Regret

Overcoming Regret

We decided that our next living situation and adventure would be to live in a remodeled Airstream… in a pandemic. One of my first roadblocks is overcoming regret, but not for the reason you are likely guessing.

The Back Story

We shopped, negotiated, and purchased our 1976 Airstream virtually from overseas. We had done some research into the final pieces of the purchase, leading us to believe that we could transfer the title virtually.

We agreed on the purchase date, giving us ten days, to complete the title transfer, only to find out that we could not transfer our title online.

We doubled down on research and long call hold times with the DMV trying to talk to someone who could sort out what was happening with our title.

My man got a an eye-opening experience of the CA DMV, which is very different than what he is used to in Isreal.

Three late nights of online research and around six hours of on-hold call-time with the DMV was how we attempted to solve our dilemma.

In the course of our research, I came up with rough calculations of our potential fines amounting to thousands if not potentially close to fifteen-thousand dollars fine.

Regret and Blame

At midnight, on our third night of research, I slipped into a story of regret and started blaming myself that I had not figured out previously our virtual title transfer roadblock.

The facts were that because we were buying our Airstream from out-of-state, then we would need to show up to the DMV in person to transfer the title. No exceptions.

I could feel my stress levels rise.

Regret Aha

Luckily, my man questioned my regret. “Why would you think those thoughts? They are not useful.”

He was totally right.

It was already late so we closed the computer and headed to bed.

My monkey brain was still spinning on our dilemma. As I allowed the regret and self-blame to run, I could feel my nervous system ramp-up.

I did some self coaching.

Mental Management

Realizing that regret is one of the indulgent emotions was really important. It allowed me to step out of the story and see what was happening in my brain.

Once I knew that regret was not useful and there was no point in allowing the stories or emotions to play out, I did some focused thought work and stopped my brain from continuing down these rabbit holes.

I got the story to stop. But I was still wide awake.

I decided to ask my brain an open-ended positive oriented quality question. “What can I do about the title transfer?”

My brain answered. “Ask for an exemption.”

Problem solved. Why didn’t I think of that?

The next day we called the DMV, again, and reached Megan. I told her our story and asked if it was possible to get an exemption. She talked to her boss and granted it to us.

Super Computer Brain Power

Our brains are very powerful. With the right guidance, aka mental management, we can use our brain to solve problems instead of it chasing us down a rabbit hole.

When we stay stuck in indulgent emotions (like blame, regret, confusion, overwhelm, victimhood, or self-doubt) we cut ourselves off from our prefrontal brain, the part that is able to problem solve and think about the future.

Ps. My man decided that when we buy our truck to haul the Airstream, we will be buying in-state.

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