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A word or two about regrets

A word or two about regrets A word or two about regrets

Regret is a strange thing, isn’t it? It’s a hard thing to wrestle with and a hard thing to get over. I’m sure everyone has some regret in some shape or another. Some big, some small.

And those regrets always seem to come when you’re just about to fall asleep. One suddenly remembers an embarrassing moment, or a missed opportunity. One thinks of what might have been if they had taken the job in Toledo, or hadn’t missed that plane ride.

The big, defining moments in our lives pass us by, and how many of us only recognize them until much later, when the years and the wisdom of age comes to us? This is a good thing, because wisdom also makes us realize that regret is not a useful trait.

Regret to me has always been about looking back, rather than looking forward. I guess that’s human nature, we tend to look back, examine our traditions and where we have gone before.

Sometimes this can be a good thing. We see how far we have come, or we are guided by past decisions. I’ve wrestled with many a hard choice, and past choices and deeds helped show me the way. They reveal a road that was right in front of me, but perhaps too close to see.

I write about regret on this day because, as you read this week’s paper, you’ll see that a lot of seasons have come to a close for the Abbotsford Falcons and Colby Hornets.

Both volleyball teams saw their seasons end, though in different ways — one with a loss, and one, strangely, with a victory that left sadness, and yes, regret, in its wake.

One set of runners is moving on, headed to state, with the state meet at their home course no less. I swear, if a reporter had come up with that storyline they’d be laughed out of the business. Yet, here we are, the Colby girls cross-country team is headed to state, or in this case, their own backyard. In a way, it makes perfect sense in the year 2020, where everything seems up when it should be down.

The Lady Hornets have qualified for their sixth trip to the state meet, their first since 1998. Instead of a long journey, they’re back on their familiar home course of Colby that winds its way through the school forest. I hope this gives them a competitive advantage on Saturday.

For another runner, though, his season, and his high school crosscountry career, wrote its final chapter. It’s an illustrious body of work, the kind of career some runners might die for. It includes numerous medals and four straight All-Conference finishes.

I was never a great runner, never won a single race nor took home a single ribbon or medal. But I completed every race I ran in during my time in Hayward. I had teammates who made it to state and their letter jackets were festooned with their medals from races won.

I was so envious of them, and regretted that I did not do enough. But sports is a meritocracy, not a democracy. And as I look back now, years later, I know I did enough with the hand I was dealt.

It took me years to realize that. Regret lived with me for a long time. It made me fail to see all the goals I did achieve. Thankfully, we eventually realize the impact we had. That makes it easier to let go of regrets.