For Sale: Regret

regretHave you ever regretted something so bitterly that it haunts you almost seven years later?

I am selling my camping hammock underquilt on Ebay. I literally fished the thing from where I had it neatly packed away out of sight, out of reach and out of my mind. Holding it again, and searching for pictures through my Trail Journal has been a jarring to my psyche. A reminder of what I still think about as the first big failure out of a string of many little failures. My leaving the Appalachian Trail still hurts.

I know it shouldn’t. I should categorize the whole affair as a great adventure. It was a great adventure. I hiked 204.5 miles through the American wilderness from the northern border of Georgia to midway through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I persevered through numerous blisters, the pain of a boil irritated and oozing beneath the hip-belt of my 30 pound pack, knees that creaked and groaned with every down-hill step. I made it a long way, and yet I still can’t look back on the whole Appalachian Trail foray without the disappointment that I chose home a mere 200 miles into what should have been a 2000 mile trek.

My failure to hike the whole entire trail in six months kicked my perfectionism right in its sniveling, prim face. Regret is the ugly bastard child of self-perception and reality. Regret is an anchor that threatens to drown.

I think it’s time to surrender the regret to God, and allow myself to be an imperfect person who is not afraid to take chances.

I’m selling my underquilt so that I can put the money towards a DSLR camera, an emblem of a different season of life. Family life. Life bursting with babies, love and friends. Life is too short for regret.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.