I’m always amazed at how much power regrets can have over our lives. I mean, I’m not one to think much about what I “shouldda” or “couldda” done/been. I’m more of a, “It’s over, let’s move along with life” kind of gal. Then again, like everyone, and at the oddest times, I find that regrets have a hold on me that I never would have imagined. Take composting. A LONG time ago, I had a really great idea (or so it seemed/s to me) on how to get our sandy, clay, nutrient deficient soil nicely composted. I figured it’d be a fairly simple thing to do. It wouldn’t take any special supplies or really any extra time from my life (what time it did take being so negligible that it isn’t worth counting anyway).
My idea was this: I’d dig a small hole in the dirt patch to the left of our back step. We have a dirt patch that’s about … 3×4 feet. Tops. I figured I’d start in the corner farthest from the step, and dig a mini trench about 12″ wide and oh… maybe 18″ deep. Then, every time I had compostable stuff to discard (too often, let me tell you), I’d just scatter it in the hole (literally a dozen steps from my sink or so) and then kick a smidge of dirt over it. Not a lot. Just a little. Once or twice a week, I figured I’d toss a bowl of water on it too. Once full, I’d dig another one next to it. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I might have to repeat the entire process a few times, but I figured it wouldn’t take too long to have a nice bit of earth there. I could stir in a little “Bandini” for extra goodness (does anyone else remember those commercials? My dad used to say that some things people said were just “transparent Bandini.” Sheer bull… well, you get the picture).
If I had done this back when I first thought of it, we’d have quite a lot of real soil out there– but I didn’t. Nope. I forgot about it, time after time, and then twenty or so years went by. Wow, that’s hard to imagine. Twenty years. However, they did. They just went WHEE…………. and we haven’t seen them since. In those 20 years, I’ve done a lot of things and wasted a lot of time– time I could have spent enriching our soil instead of the landfill.
So why am I writing about this instead of doing something? You know, those who can’t do, plan, right? No, that’s not why. No, I was sitting here thinking of it again, and I sighed. I was a little discouraged that something so simple was left undone for all that time, and then I had a horrible thought. I almost missed just how terrible it was because of how innocuous it seemed. I thought, “Oh well. It’s too late now.”
Seriously? I thought “It’s too late.” What, am I going to die tomorrow? No one else is ever going to live here? I waited too long and now the soil’s muscles have atrophied beyond their nutrient absorption abilities? Seriously? What kind of nonsense is that? I can’t believe I almost let regret (particularly over something so minor and easily corrected) paralyze me into sticking to status quo! OY.
Honestly, if I could have, I’d have gone right outside right then and dug my first trench. I tried to figure out how to rig up a flashlight to do it (the porch light has been removed pending a paint job that might happen before that soil is nice and enriched– maybe), but decided that replacing one folly (letting regrets win) with another (breaking my neck to rectify it) wasn’t too brilliant either.
Then I thought about it. How often do we do that? How often do we THINK we have control over our regrets when they really have control over us! The woman who always wanted to write her children’s school curricula but didn’t. So, she continues to suffer through products that she doesn’t like because her youngest is already in the fourth grade. Just get in there and write the sixth then! Do seventh– eighth… think about how GRATEFUL your children will be if they decide to home-school! What about the man saved late in life who didn’t spend his early childhood years memorizing scripture? Is he going to mope and whine about the wasted years, or is he going to get in there and memorize what he can? Sure, it’s harder. Sure he didn’t need to memorize all the dirty jokes he learned instead, but he can write God’s Word on his heart, or he can let the past control his future. Which is it going to be?
As for me and my dirt, we’re gonna get nice and rotten together come mornin’.