The WouldaShouldaCoulda pays a visit

Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again …

They’re right about how the things you didn’t try loom larger in your memory than the things you did — I would have treated some people better, and I would have spent more time thinking through certain things.

The WouldaShouldaCoulda circled three times and settled into a ball like a fat coyote (or would have if there were ever such a thing as a fat coyote). It looked me in the eyes with a disinterested expression, which is odd because I’d always heard the WouldaShouldaCoulda was a wily predator and very interested in stealing your sleep and feeding on your dreams.

But it just sat there contentedly, watching me, watching me think about days and years that were long out of my control, until the risks and opportunities of this day — today — faded into the background.

That was when I realized what it had done, the insidious creature. It yawned, and its eyes seemed to grow heavy.

“You haven’t won,” I cried. “This isn’t over.”

But I kept thinking about what I would have done, what I should have said, and how I could have changed the course of the things that happened.

I vowed to be more bold and decisive from that moment on, and the WouldaShouldaCould opened its eyes and I could swear it looked amused. I had, after all, spent the first 20 minutes of a fresh new day dwelling on the imperfections of a past long gone and filed away, maybe not best forgotten but certainly best set aside as unchangeable.

I sighed, and to give myself the smallest of victories, I took a step forward.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.

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