February 6, 2013

So I’m at the pizza joint down the street having a Pinot Grigio with my buddy Kevin, a regular there whom I haven’t seen for more than a year. He’s on a different job shift, and we’ve cut back on take-out big time while we flail away at our debt. He looks good, having dropped a good 30 lbs and it’s great to see him. He’s had a few tussles matrimony-wise and is doing what he can to keep his head above ground.

Kevin orders another small pitcher of Bud Light (I politely decline). He’s happy I came through my cancer surgery great and compliments me on how I look, saying I don’t look a day or two past retirement (something I take in good humor). I tell him you don’t marry twins and get away unscathed, but I also know that Tracey would probably say that there are parts of our marriage she didn’t necessarily sign up for, either. But such is life.

For whatever reason the topic gets around to things one might have done differently if we’d have a chance. Kevin’s surprised when I tell him that my life is full of regrets, and that I’ll go to my grave with regrets – more than just a few, in fact. But that’s OK, they’re my regrets and a part of my life. He tells me he’s always been afraid to admit to himself that he too has regrets; he’s afraid that to admit to regrets is to have somehow lived one’s life as a failure.

You see, I don’t see it that way. Anyone who says they’ve lived a life without regrets is fooling themselves. Me, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of things I might have done differently to have convinced the Bishop of Massachusetts, or the Diocese of Kentucky, or the Bishop of Georgia to admit me into the ordination process for the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. One can talk circumstances all they want, but the fact is (and especially in the case of Kentucky), I screwed up big-time and will never forgive myself for it. Does it mean I’m in some kind of life straitjacket unable to function and handle the basic responsibilities necessities of life? Of course not – I’m from a generation where you pick your ass up off the ground, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

Quite different from the generations that followed me, for sure.

Kevin thinks I’m foolish to carry that kind of a burden more than a decade out. But I’ve always felt life is meant to be lived to the fullest, and I don’t believe in sugarcoating anything. I’m not, nor ever have been satisfied, at just playing the game of life and just existing like so many people do. Warren Zevon once sang, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, and that’s always been my creed. I crave that moment of a soft breeze rusting the palm trees around the pool, or the tinking of the wind chimes on our patio, or the smell of green grass, or the happy sounds of golfers hitting balls on the range, or the taste of the Blessed Sacrament on my lips at Mass, or thunder in the distance, or rabbits munching happily on their lettuce at breakfast, or that soft quiet moment just before you fall to sleep. I don’t take any of these things for granted.

Are there things I wished I had done differently? You bet. Would I change the way things are now? Of course. But that doesn’t mean that now is bad or then was good or anything – that’s not the way the game of life is played. I’m not perfect – in fact, I’ve probably been trouble and a quite bastard more than a few times to those I love and care for. But one can’t change the past, you can only go forward. I’ll always hold me the one most accountable for everything that’s happened to me in my life, and that is where the regrets come from. And people who say they have no regrets in their lives are just fooling themselves.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:02 | Comments (4)
  1. Were it not for Kentucky, you would not have had me as neighbor, found bunnies in your life or ended up in AZ with house that has a pool and more days for gold than you ever imagined. Were it not for you in Kentucky, I would never have found Martinis or two of the most amazing friends in the world. So you see, whatever did, or did not happen, in Kentucky had to be just as it was in order for you get to where you are now. I truly believe that all the good, the bad and the ugly has to happen in order for us to be where we are today. If one of those “pieces” were not there our present moment would be something entirely different. Once I retire, I promise to make a trip to visit, sit on your patio, be bedazzled by the pineapple lights and make you take me to the Grand Canyon. Love and miss you both and that is because you landed in Kentucky when you did.

    Comment by Jana — February 6, 2013 @ 5:32 am

  2. correct gold to golf, although golf nuts would equate golf with gold…I guess.

    Comment by Jana — February 6, 2013 @ 5:33 am

  3. “Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.

    I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption”

    One of my favorite songs, Doug, and I suspect one of yours as well. Love you, bro!

    Comment by Dave Richard — February 6, 2013 @ 6:31 am

  4. And if I remember right, the finale to the Sinatra concert at the Worcester Centrum.

    Comment by Dave Richard — February 6, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

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