Sometimes I wish I could go back and change a few of my regrets. I suppose I have wasted at least six months of my life – in total – wishing I could go back and change one or two things that have happened in my life. I know that is an impossibility and a waste of time, but I can see the mistakes I made in the past – and I wish I could change them.
I suppose we all go through regrets. There are big regrets and small regrets – but no matter the regret – we have to remember that it was all decisions we made at the time.
One of my biggest regrets was moving from Arizona to Washington back at the turn of the century.
I was working at a resort in Sedona Arizona – I was a Banquet Captain and I had some pretty sweet hours. My pay wasn’t bad either. We lived in a trailer, but it was comfortable. My wife stayed at home with our five children and she planned to return to work as soon as our youngest children went to kindergarten.
Then my wife and I started to look at moving. There were opportunities within the company, and I was able to decide where I wanted to go. We looked at Lake Tahoe, we looked at Reno, but we settled on Bellevue Washington. Since my parents lived in Olympia Washington at the time, it seemed a like a no-brainer.
I talked to the General Manager of the resort hotel in Bellevue and he was very excited. He told me that I would be making seventy thousand a year to start and he needed me immediately. I had to sign a contract, give two weeks notice at my current job; which gave us time to do a yard sale, pack up our stuff and move to Washington.
Moving day came, and we headed north. It took us three days to get to Washington, but since we left in plenty of time, we made it two days before I was supposed to report for work. So on Saturday, we drove up to the property and I went into the hotel. The person at the front desk asked if they could help me, and I told her that I was there for the restaurant manager position.
I looked around the restaurant, and the general manager came over and invited me to his office. I went in and sat down – he then went into a long explanation of what was going on. Apparently, the previous manager decided he wasn’t going to leave, so they didn’t need me for the restaurant manager position after all.
I was shocked and upset. I looked at the general manager and asked him when he made this decision. He told me that they had a change of plans only a few days before. I told him that I was already over half way there by that time. I then asked him what I was supposed to do.
He responded by telling me that I could be a server, or I could work at the front desk. To say the least I was livid, we had made arrangements to buy a house in Bellevue and now I was going to be making minimum wage and not the $70,000 I was expecting.
I will admit, I was not congenial at that moment.
I stormed out of his office and off the property. Soon after that I found out that I was in violation of the contract, because I didn’t take the position he had offered. I was now stuck in Washington. My family was without a home or a future, we were sleeping on my parent’s livingroom floor, and our stuff was in a storage shed.
My wife went out and landed a job for a photographic company – where she still works for to this day, and I have bounced around from job to job ever since.
I often regret the decision to move my family from Arizona, but many good things came out of that move: First, my wife found a career that she really loves, most of our children found their spouse and my wife and I have five beautiful grandchildren with one on the way.
So what is the regret?
Well, I found out that my children suffered abuse from my parents, my wife and I now suffer from asthma because of one of my jobs, as well as living in a house with toxic mold, my oldest son’s wife broke his heart and the divorce is finalized today, my youngest daughter was in an abusive relationship and I left a stable job and my job status has been unstable at best.
I suppose that the tapestry of our lives is made up of both the regrets and the victories. I am not saying that our lives in Arizona would have been better – just different. I am not saying that our lives turned out horrible here, but we have had to endure hardship. What I am saying is that our tapestry is beautiful, and when you step back and look at what work was done, then you can see the beauty in it all.