I often dwell on stuff in the past that cannot be changed: old actions, conversations, or decisions I did, said, or took. I don’t know why. There are certainly a slew of mistakes in my past. I have plenty of regrets. Is it strange to worry about things already in the past? I spend little effort worrying about the here and now, less on next week, month, and year. But I worry about the coulda, woulda, and especially the shoulda. Am I unique in this?
While not a planner per se, I am not overly impulsive either. In my youth I was more likely to do stuff on the spur of the moment, sometimes regrettable stuff, but no more than any other immature kid. For some reason I still waste time replaying that old movie about my past in my head, hoping for a different script this time.
Since the discussion has been a bit obtuse to this point, let me share a couple of examples.
I was walking along over the weekend, music droning in my headphones. Suddenly my brain replayed an argument I had with a parent back in my youth football coaching days. He didn’t think his kid was playing enough, blah, blah. I should have walked away. Why didn’t I walk away? Why am I worrying about it now, a decade or more later?
I have always been good a reading out loud. It is harder than you think, and listening to someone who is not good at it is painful. I honed the skill reading to the kids during story hour back when I was a librarian (a tale for another day). Last week, my daughter asked me to read a poem at the funeral. I mumbled over some words, paused when I shouldn’t have. I know I have excuses. The poem was emotional, the situation unbearable. I still read it through fine, but it sounded like I was reading it, if that makes sense. The personal emotions I was feeling doesn’t change the fact I wanted to do it right and didn’t. I redo that reading in my head every day. To what point?
My life is filled with regrets, great and small. The mistakes I have made are legion. I don’t know why I rehash them. Maybe God is sending a message that I need to really repent. Maybe there is something wired wrong in my brain, that I would prefer to live in the past. Maybe this post will be evidence in my future commitment hearing. Maybe I will delete it in a few hours.
I’ll likely regret that too.