Monday, January 5, 2015

What Is Your Biggest Regret?

It is a new year and we've all made our resolutions and for some, already broken them.  So far, mine are still on track or not started, yet.

With the end of a year, one tends to gaze back at the glories and misses that made up the year. There were the fun times, the sad times, and even the thoughtful, quiet moments.  You rejoiced, you cried, you smiled, you even were surprised.

Then it hits.

You didn't do this or that.  You didn't take the time for this or that.  OR, worse yet, you did do this or that!


It's an ugly moment of realization.  I was playing golf with a couple of buddies while my grandchildren were visiting.  It was time lost with them.  Or even, just time lost with your own children and/or your wife.

Maybe you're a health-conscience person and spend two to three hours at the gym, maybe three to five times a week.  Alone.

Yes, each of us are due our personal time and we should be allowed to do what we want during that time, but then again, at what expense and whose?

We all have regrets.  Some big, some small, maybe some extremely big and life-shattering.

In fact, a life-shattering regret could be as simple as not having the nerve to ride the Ferris wheel at the carnival - thereby establishing a subtle lack of courage to challenge yourself and become a leader, a man.

Such a moment was my life.  I think I was about 9 at the time and the carnival came to town. My mother loves the Ferris wheel. I was scared and didn't want to go on it.  So my father bought tickets for my mother, younger brother and him to ride it.  I was to stand alone and wait.  My mother and brother got in a seat and lifted into the air.  My father was getting into the next seat when I decided to go for it. My dad purchased another ticket for me and I scooted onto the Ferris wheel.

Why?  I was scared s***less.  I didn't want to go on that thing.  The answer is simple.

Peer pressure.

Two of my classmates got on the ride before my parents and they were jeering, laughing and making fun of me.  Also, two female classmates were very close at hand, waiting to ride and the one had asked why I wasn't going on.

So, yeah, I made it onto the Ferris wheel.  I white-knuckled the retaining bar as we lifted above the tree tops and then dropped like a rock to the ground.

I was proud of myself.  I'd conquered my fear.  I had met the challenge and passed.

Or had I?

Even today, as new challenges face me, I tend to step back and hope they will go away.  Just like the Ferris wheel scenario, I am afraid.  It is only pressure from others, family, friends and society, that forces me to face my fear and move up to the challenge.  In a subtle way, the Ferris wheel incident has been formative in that I won't step up at the beginning.

What is my biggest regret?  I regret that I did not face my fear when it first reared its ugly head. Do I want to make that a New Year's Resolution?  No.  Almost 60 years of dealing with it has pretty well ingrained it within my makeup.  I deal with it.

So, tell me, what is your biggest fear as we move into the new year?

Until next I ramble on...


  1. It's not necessarily a weakness that you don't step up immediately to everything you fear. It could be a sign of intelligence. You are assessing the situation, the risks and the rewards before you jump into it. There are good reasons you've survived 60 years, after all.

    1. I'd like to think it was being intelligent. Thanks.

  2. I agree with Scott that it is intelligent to assess a situation before jumping in. I had a similar experience on a roller coaster as an adult, I was deathly afraid of them but decided it was time to face it. I hated every thing about it, the slow climbs the quick drops, the way my stomach felt. I am glad I faced the fear, now I know I don't like them and don't have to try it again.

    1. And here I was going to suggest that new ride with the - it's gotta be at least a five mile drop - big ride down. Roller coasters were my other fear and I had to face it at Coney Island - the big rickety, wooden one - with about 6 friends. I was in my late twenties then. Again, peer pressure but I didn't balk and just worried I'd keep control of my bladder - I was wearing white shorts!

  3. My biggest fear is that when I look back at 2015 I will find myself in the same situation that I was at the start of the year. I need to get out of this hole I have found myself in and move up and forward. That is my fear...That I will fail.

  4. I fear that all the goals I set out to accomplish, all the time writing, away from my family, will never mean anything. I'll never make any money, I'll never be able to do it full time and it will be viewed as an utter failure and waste of my time. In my heart I know what I did was a wonderful accomplishment, but in the eyes of those close to me, you never quite know what is in their hearts. One can hope, though.

  5. I work hard not to have regrets. Mostly if I take advantage of every opportunity to be with those I love, life is good.

  6. I have a lot of regrets...I just hope that I don't end my life with too many.