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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction


The following is a piece of writing submitted by steve7699 on May 3, 2011

Thoughts of "Could've"

"We could've had it all" plays behind me as I write (though I should be working). A new song, played often, but at the same time, not often enough. Something about it resonates with me. Not sure what, but I think it's the simple fact that it's true.

The one thing that bothers me is the past tense of "could've". That's where regret lives, like mold, in humid darkness. It seems that so many of us give up at that stage. We "could've" done it, made it better, fixed it, won it, on and on go the possibilities. What's even more depressing is it's true. There's always something I "could've" done better or differently or just tried. I "could've" had more than I do.

But, what if it's not as depressing as I think? What if there's something I'm not seeing? Or more likely, something I'm not hearing? Just because things "could've" been different than they currently are, doesn't mean they should be. Maybe things aren't as bad right now, even though it certainly seems that way. What if I'm wrong?

I'm so tired. All the time. But, that doesn't mean I stop, or even want to. (Though, a rest now and again would be more than welcome.) I make so many mistakes on a daily basis that it blows my mind I'm even still alive. Or still married. Or even married at all. It's times like this, thankfully, that something dawns on me. I do have it all. It doesn't matter right now what I "could've" had. It matters what I do have, and what I do with it today and tomorrow and the days after that.

Lord knows, I don't want my daughters asking, or wondering, what they "could've" had. Or my wife. I want them thinking what they do have, and being thankful for it. And wondering what we can do to make things even better. Then, actually doing it.

Which, of course, makes "could've" obsolete. At that point, it will be what we have. And enjoying it. All of it.

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