birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

If Only I Could Forget

The title of my writing, If Only I Could, probably tells the whole story of this essay in four words. I don't forget things. I can't forget things. Regret is a main street, not a side street, of my life. I have a terrific life. I had a great job that I loved. I have a wife who has influenced me more than any human I know and her influence has almost alway been positive. Plus, as a bonus, I love her. My kids are terrific. My grandchildren are beyond wonderful. I have more friends than I can count and we all enjoy each other's company. I have a terrific, comfortable retirement.

But.

If only I had not said to the superintendent of schools. "And there is something else you need to know."
If only I had switched to a zone defense against Hill sooner in the game.
If only I had been a little more patient with my brother.
If only I had followed Jim Shea's advice and bought 500 shares of Apple.
If only I had refused to be on the committee to build the new high school.
If only I had gone out to Fresno and demanded that Al come back to Minnesota and go to Hazeldon.
If only I had been less opinionated and less outspoken in my career,

Those regrets are hardly listed in order of their magnitude. They are simply listed as an example of the fact that, somehow, on spite of all the blessings I have, I am still unable to forget those things, and many others, where i should have done something different. But I didn't and I have those regrets and I cannot forget them.

Good Campground

Remembering Forgetting