Any Regrets, Mr. Fenn?

The following question was featured in the Questions with Fenn segment.  It was sure to hold an interesting answer. It doesn’t disappoint!  I feel wisdom shared, is treasure given freely.

cello“Mr Fenn, of all the things you have done in your life, what is it you regret the most?”  ~Matt  

I have many regrets Matt, and to reveal a few I have to expose one of my fault lines.

I regret that I’m not a cello player. I think the music from that instrument is the most soothing. It also may be healing. I would be the world’s greatest cellist were it not for talent because I have everything else, desire, patience, motivation, willingness…Once, in the starry-dark of night, I heard a cello in the far-faint distance. It sounded like the moan of a mountain wind beaconing me.

I regret that I waste so much time. I’m horribly inefficient and that means at times I’m lazy. There are three books in my computer that probably won’t be finished, although Closet Stories of Taos might be my best writing effort. It’s about 60% complete. At the bottom of my thoughts it seems so empty now. Perhaps I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m more interested in the pie crust than the filling.

I regret that I wasn’t able to start thinking earlier in my life. My time in the Air Force was regimented. For twenty-years I leased my life to a cause and there was little personal time to think for my own benefit. The morning after my retirement I got out of bed at 0500 and my wife asked where I was going? I realized that I didn’t have any place to go and it was a shock. So I crawled back into bed and started thinking, and I made a rule. From now on I would wake 0700 every morning and do nothing but think in bed until 0800. My mind would be fresh, the phone wouldn’t ring and nobody would knock on my door. That may be the best decision I ever made as so many good ideas have come to me during that hour. Maybe someone will ask me about one of those ideas.

I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my parents, especially after they reached their middle 70s and later. I was trying to build a business and perhaps my sense of propriety was fading with the hardship of toil. How punitive it seems to me now. It sure would be nice to do those years over.

I regret that I use the word I too much when I write. I could fix my sentences if I’d just take the time to do it but I tell myself that no one will read what I say anyway so why should I worry about it.f



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19 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Thanks for sharing your answer, Forrest. I am going to have lunch with my parents today….and treasure it.

  2. Don says:

    Thanks Forrest. I too like to wake up before I need to as well. I have always done my best thinking in the morning 🙂

  3. The Thrill says:

    What ideas do you have between 0700 and 0800

  4. Liviu says:

    Loved the last sentence… witty and funny.

  5. Chesney says:

    I feel the same way at times, Sir. When we hastily go through life with “Tunnel Vision”, we tend to miss things. Like the post Ms. Kile recently posted about the mottos on bills. I like the one dollar bill, myself. The reverse side is pretty awesome. I could not have designed it any better, had I been born earlier. Nobody will probably bother to read this either, because I use “I” too much, as well!

  6. BigBadBeethoven says:

    Question for Fenn: Are you a Mason? My dad was and one of a high order. Different subject… did your dad serve in our military? There were 15 kids in my dad’s dirt-poor, small town Texas farm family, and every one of those boys served in World War 2. Some fudged on their age since they were too young to serve… some went on to Korea. Lots of purple hearts and Navy crosses, and a death on Suribachi. I come from a family of Born and Bred Patriots, and my guess is that you do too.

    • BigBadBeethoven says:

      Sorry. I would never have not capitalized “Purple Hearts and Navy Crosses” and shown such dis-respect for the sacrifices of Heros. I was typing this from my phone and my phone insisted, even after I capitalized them, that they should not be capitalized.

  1. October 23, 2014

    […] Forrest, In your response to ‘Any Regrets?‘, you mentioned the […]

  2. June 30, 2016

    […] “I regret that I wasn’t able to start thinking earlier in my life. My time in the Air Force […]

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