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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Words For The Ages, Line Eighteen

 "There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them."

It's difficult to escape the poignancy of those words for the ages. That aphoristic phrase from Time In a Bottle - arguably Jim Croce's most enduring compositionhas the unmistakable ring of truth. And that truth resonates more deeply when considering Croce's untimely death at age thirty. 

When were you last emotionally hijacked by regret? Though I understand ruminating about things I haven't found time to get to is pointless, regret about not getting to those things has had me in its grip more than a few times. Croce's words for the ages hint at this futile, wholly human wish to capture time so that we can do more.  

I'm grateful to have had forty-one more years than Croce to do the things I want. Now if I could just stay mindful of the wisdom in his words, my yearnings for a do-over might grow further apart.   


  1. I just finished reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. It is a fascinating book about living in alternative lives or put another way parallel universes. The main character Nora is suspended in this space of the midnight library after attempting suicide and is given a chance to explore these dimensions. One of the books in this library is The Book of Regrets. Here is a quotation I wrote down: "But it is not the lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It's the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people's lives worst enemy."

    1. Ines; Thanks for the comment. Intriguing that you'd just finished a book touching on regret. And the final sentence in the passage you cited is quite an appropriate one, given that the thrust of my blog post included my own ongoing struggle with sometimes getting mired in regret.

  2. Good morning, Pat. Interesting post today. As much as I would like to say that I few regrets, I can't honestly say that. I would imagine that most feel this way. Some regrets are easier to manage. Such as I wish I would have practiced my guitar more so I would be better now. Or, had I decided to do better when I first attended college, where would life have taken me.
    However I am very happy with the way most things have turned out. Happily married, two great kids with wonderful spouses of their own, three absolutely wonderful grandsons. Thats not too bad at all, is it ...
    But, when it comes to the more serious side of things ... I would loved to have spent more time with my parents and grandparents. Don't get me wrong .. I did spend a lot of time with all of them growing up and after reaching adulthood. But I would done things differently. I would have listened more intently to their stories. When I get together with my sister and brothers we do talk about that sometimes. And we try to remember as best as we can. My sister, maybe by virtue of being the oldest, remembers the most and we do have the opportunity to recapture as much as we can. And that does help .. But, given the chance to do it again ... Therein lies the regret.
    And, as an aside (which I tend to do a lot) I always liked the music of Jim Croce. Very good fingerpicker and songwriter.
    Be well ...

    1. Bob; Thanks for the comprehensive comment. I agree that regret is one of those things that few of us escape completely. It appears you've managed it pretty well and you are obviously grateful for what you have; that's an important component of mental health. Finally, I share with you some regret about not listening more attentively to my parents, and especially my grandparents.

  3. So right. I too could have done a better job documenting my parent's and grandparent's and other assorted relatives life histories. And my own paths not taken. I remember coming across a quote by British comedian Peter Cook, one half of the comedy team "Beyond the Fringe" with the Dudley Moore. He was asked late in life whether he had any regrets. He replied, "yes I have many but I just can't remember what they are now."

    1. Steve; Thanks for the comment and especially for including the Peter Cook quote. Humor is great ballast for regret.