This is something that I first wrote back in ’07 and as I settle into my annual case of Holiday season blues, I revisit the emotions and thoughts I expressed back in the day:

To be or not to be, that is the question;
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to – ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose borne
No traveler return, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sickled o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action

– Hamlet, Act III, Scene I

Sometimes I think of what would be, what could be, and what should be. Sometimes I think, “You know, if I had paid more attention in English, could I have written
Harry Potter?” I think, “If I had not allowed some internal sense of embarrassment choke it out, could I have tapped into an interest into the arts and become a great actor?”

Sometimes I fill my head with so much regret that I actually and physically lose focus – drifting into some memory, wishing I could change … something, anything, everything. “If I hadn’t completely misinterpreted Pygmalion would I have made such a mess of relationships my senior year of high school … if I … if I … if I?”

Regrets are really annoying things. And they’re triggered by somethings, anythings, everything. As I go in and out of phases where I pay attention to my MySpace page or my Facebook page, I find more and more people from my past on here. And as I read up on them and find out how they’re doing (and a number of them have really good blogs, by the way) – suddenly a regret attack happens. “Wow, I wonder if I hadn’t done “x”, could I have helped her with “y”?”

I’ve heard that keeping an journal, writing in a blog, or even doing something creative will help exorcise regrets … but maybe that’s just a temporary fix. Or maybe I’ve just done so many stupid things that no matter how much I write, or how deep I dive into work, that’s there’s no holding them back when the dam breaks.

Hamlet says, “to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them …” … OK, so he’s talking about whether to die or to continue living. But I think he might actually be talking about whether to drown yourself in those horrible memories, those regrets, or to fight against them to stay in the present. Whether we should choose a life of silent acceptance of anything, something, everything – or should we choose a life of action against something, anything, everything.

To be” surrounded by regrets … “or not to be, that is the question

But how do you live a life of action without making mistakes? After all, we’re all human and as such will make mistakes. And if you live a life of action, what can you do when after a while you find it is not fulfilling? What if you find yourself dizzy from trying to fix all of the mistakes? How are you supposed to go on from there?

You just have to keep pluggin’ along. I think someone wrote a song that goes like that. They better not have won a Grammy ’cause that is a really stupid saying.

All I want is an answer to these questions before I get to that “consummation Devoutly to be wish’d.”