Do you live with regret? Regret is a feeling of sadness or disappointment over something that has happened or been done; or something that has not happened or not been done. Well, tonight I am experiencing regret. Maybe what I have to say will help some of you...
I ran into a friend today and it surprised me. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised; we live in a small town! But it did. I had not seen or talked this person in a while and the last time I really spoke with them it was a difficult discussion, even a painful one. But life goes on.
And when I say life goes on it really goes on - my friend is a busy person and I am a busy person. I can only speak for myself when I say that a lot of water has passed under the bridge in the 7 months since we last spoke - my daughter graduated from high school, I've made several trips out of state for business and pleasure, I've been on a mission trip, I've been working on articles, I've been working on a thesis, I'm leading a church through transition, I'm counseling folks, I'm preaching regularly, I'm teaching new students, I'm preparing to adjudicate during the new marching band season, I'm pondering lots of changes, yada, yada, yada... you get the picture. And in the flow of life, the memory of our last conversation has slowly faded into the background.
Until this evening that is...
And so I have this chance meeting, better - "passing" - with this friend. I am walking up some stairs and they are walking down. We exchange a few quick words and go on our way. My friend was polite and I was so stunned all I could do was mumble; and if you know me, you know I am never at a loss for words - hence I am a blogger!
But that was just enough to trigger regret. I regret not stopping to talk; I regret not finding out how things were going for them; I regret not saying a million things any friend should have said. Just seeing this person brought a flood of memories. I couldn't even focus on the reception I attended because I was overwhelmed with regret. But I tried. I put on my best face and made conversation with some great people until I couldn't any more and I drove home. Thinking about what I wish I would have said to my friend.
I became so unable to focus that I mowed the lawn. It's the man thing to do. When things get tough, mow the lawn, sweat, get the weed eater out. Work on the car. Put on your running shoes and run until you cramp up. There is nothing like good hard physical exertion to make you stop thinking about what you should have done or wish you would have done. Yeah, right. I think deep inside I'm hoping that just blogging about this experience will be cathartic for me, but only time will tell.
So I'm telling you this, my readers. Don't live with regret. Love your friends. Let them know you care. Don't let moments slip by where you wish you would have said something. I did today, and I regret it.