Regret and Blame…

Old Blue Eyes sang,”Regrets, I have a few” in “I Did It My Way.” I think most of us have had more than a few. Life is lot of choices. Where you go to school, whom do you marry, what kind of career do you want to pursue, where you choose to live. 

Some of us do spread sheets and others shoot from the hip. When the outcomes are good you are a genius. When the result falls short we go over and over in our minds what went wrong and how you SHOULD have proceeded. What a fantasy.

We create an ideal world. Our marketing gurus are more than happy to serve up the good life. If only you use this product or that then you will achieve nirvana. If you don’t then it is your fault. You missed step three or used the wrong formula. They are never wrong. 

Afghanistan is a mess and for the most part always has been. We entered an impossible situation and made it worse. We will hold post mortems on everything from tactics to withdrawals. Tora Bora, Bagram, you name it, we will hold hearings and throw some people out of office because of this or that. Were the originators or mop up guys evil to the core? I hope not. 

We had a tour of the Pentagon a few weeks ago. All that brass and all those rooms where top decisions are made could not have foreseen the attack on 9/11. We will say there were warning signs and some did not connect the dots. But were they laggards or malcontents? I think not. As we sat on a walkway between the buildings, our guide pointed out where the nose of the plane settled just beneath us. That was just plain old reality up front and personal. 

It was interesting in that they had a chart of everyone who died or was injured. A guy was in a meeting and survived because he went to the head. The others were obliterated. I am sure his life has been full of joy at surviving and anguish that he did. Does he regret? 

In the study of regret there are two types of the same. On one hand you rue what you did. That stupid move that cost you monetarily or psychologically. It is over and done but it nags at you in so many ways. A lost love or a business opportunity that went south. Woulda’s, coulda’s, shoulders prevail. Yet there is no way you can go back. There are no do overs in life. It is what it is. 

The other type of regret is more insidious. It has to do with inaction. You were presented an opportunity and didn’t take it. You should have bought Amazon at 20 or Facebook at 9. You had a chance to change careers and just did nothing. It might have changed your life forever. You coulda been a contender! That doesn’t go away as easily as if you tried and failed but at least you tried. 

Regret haunts us. But wait. There is a salve for those wounds and it is called blame.I didn’t screw up, it was the other guy. That golf shot? The sun got in my eyes or someone made a noise to throw off  my backswing.Biden didn’t  blow the exit, it was already preordained by Trump’s negotiation of the date. Bush and Obama had no choice but  to do it or else. 

There always has to be a fall guy and rarely if ever is he a higher up. The sacrificial lamb gets slaughtered. The high priests go on just as they always have….most of the time. Andrew Cuomo quickly ran out of friends. The Donald lost fifty some odd lawsuits that claimed the election was stolen. For each and every side there is justice what ever that means. But I think they all miss the point. 

Life is totally unpredictable. No one plans for pandemics or economic meltdowns. Airplane crashes or random shootings are not part of a plan. If I were to calculate my odds of going out in my car and it crashes or walking into a store and catching COVID, they are slim. Yet people hole up with phobias and doomsday proclamations. Pretty sad. 

This fantasy world of regrets and blame will drive you crazy. I like to say I can’t take back what I said five seconds ago. It is history, in the books so to speak!  I wish a lot of times that I could but it ain’t going to happen. You have a disease or condition. If only I had stayed away from this or that or taken better care of myself. If only they had elected the other guy. If only my loved one had taken a left or right five minutes later none of this would have happened. And yet for better or worse it did. 

It takes a strong person to  admit they were wrong. Their whole personna demands that they are right. I have to save face.  Blame it on random or some sort of nefarious behavior against me. Never admit realty. It is the sign of weakness…and stupidity. Ha!

When you come right down to it we all have to look in the mirror at some point in time during the day. We are honest with ourselves even though we don’t admit it. We do realize from time to time that positions we take are absurd. That credo we live by has some holes in it and we know it. Why can’t we just say so and move on?

We all have to look at life and know it is ever changing for better or worse. We all have warts. We all have failed. That is called being human. Not all that bad when you think about it. 

As always

Ted The Great 


When researchers asked a test group how many had no regrets, 80% said they didn’t have any. Really ?

We face up to 70 decisions to make every day. Some small ,some critical. How you choose can affect your life or just your routine. Go for it!

People in hospice regret:

That they made decisions based on what people might think.

That they worked so hard

That they didn’t express their feelings more openly 

That they didn’t stay closer to friends

That they didn’t let themselves be happy. 

There are victims everywhere. Some are real such as rape, physical and psychological abuse. People have been duped and conned. For others it is just a convenient excuse. C’est la guerre. 

Bored To Death…

There has been all sorts of talk with people being bored during the pandemic. We see people throwing caution to the wind to once again socialize and do things they long for. It has been dull in spots and probably our isolation got a little long in the tooth but was it really that bad?

I am sitting here in Morristown, New Jersey without golf clubs. How am I ever going to make it? It is only when one travels out of their routine, that you take a good look at your routine day and probably realize how ordinary it becomes. Is that good or bad?

We can’t live life in a totally random fashion although there are times when I try my best. A regimen of any sort brings order to our being and peace to the soul. But shockingly George Friedman in his latest missive on Geopolitical Futures asks,”Is that all there is ?”

If you haven’t read him, George is a wonderful thinker and writer. He looks at the world rather unemotionally from 30,000 feet and tells it like it is. I wrote to him and wondered if we are supposed to be entertained by the world  all around us? I suggested that rather than being in the audience we might want to just be part of the show. I don’t know if I will receive a reply. 

It just strikes me as odd that we need constant sources of sensationalism or adventure to keep us amused? We all get bored but the extent to which we try to extricate ourselves tells a lot about our mien. Kids come into the room and declare they are bored and parents have the opportunity to jump into action or tell their children to figure it out for themselves. 

We have seven grandkids and they run the gamut on the self sufficiency scale but for the most part they can do their own thing. When my daughter was visiting with two of hers, I was fascinated by the things they cooked up out of almost nothing. There is this wonderful element of creativity that if captured and nourished in a child will follow them throughout life. 

I did some research on boredom and was surprised how much study there has been. It seems this all started with the Industrial Revolution when days were segmented by work and a small amount of play rather than the nonstop plodding of agriculture. You actually had some free time. How you spent it was another thing. 

The majority did not read books about how they could go forward but rather concentrated on their lot in life. It wasn’t all that exciting but you had a few more bucks in your pocket. Enter taverns, saloons and houses of ill repute where you could wash away the thought of your ever so ordinary lifestyle. 

Not sure I agree with all of this but it makes for good copy. Fast forward to today and we have figured out all sorts of ways to chill out. We go on once in a lifetime vacations or buy houses, cars and stuff to keep us amused. Amazon et al can bring the immediate gratification to your domicile in a matter of hours. Netflix, Apple and Disney will create an imaginary world to get lost in. Life is fulfilled or is it? 

Getting back to that boredom thing after a dose of this and a dab of that we are still looking for Nirvana. “Can you top this ?” becomes more and more difficult..and expensive. The drug and booze cultures round out the program nicely, but when you sober up it is still the same. 

Now I am not without sin. I can get lost in Solitaire on my MacAir with the best of them. Watching golf sucks up more time than it should. Daydreaming? I am one of the best. But then good old fashioned guilt kicks in. “You owe it to yourself” gets quickly replaced by,”Get your ass in gear and do something”.  Been there. Done that.

It is a good thing for my creativity. The accursed internet offers more than ample opportunity to delve as far as you want into a topic. Rabbit holes beckon and I am more than happy to go down them. Many people my age wonder where I get my energy? I am not sure if it is some inner battery power or just a mind that is just plain old inquisitive. We all can be that, if we try. 

I find myself taking more enjoyment in simple things. A fun conversation over a scotch and cigar. A long  solitary walk on a golf course or trail… about some serious thinking. Maybe delving into something like boredom. I learned a lot. I hope you did too.

As always 

Ted The Great


Bored to death, can be real. People feel lonely, depressed, guilty and not of much worth. The outcomes are not good.

Boredom and apathy are not the same. With apathy you just don’t care. With boredom you would love to find a way but can’t seem to do so.

Boredom is good if you let it be. 

   . Boredom encourages imagination and creativity. …

  • Boredom teaches ‘grit’ …
  • Boredom develops problem-solving skills. …
  • Boredom helps children form relationships

Most Boring Things

Waiting in traffic, line or the doctor’s office

Listening to politicians. 

Listening to sports analysts

Playing Monopoly unless it is for real

Other people’s pictures of their vacation

Ted’s Head…Whoa,Wait a sec!