Nothing is more painful than regret.

I am embarrassed to say how old this tee shirt is. Let me think…I bought it while I was in college, between my freshman and sophomore year. That means that I have known this tee shirt longer than my husband, longer than I have lived in this state. That is awhile.

When I saw it I had to have it and now I consider that I may frame it when its days are done as a tee. Then it may hang on my wall.

It has proved to be a true statement. It states a truth that can be said many ways. I will give you an example.

I have made many mistakes showing my horses. I have been zeroed (not good when the highest score wins) and I have had horses do strange and mysterious things while showing. I have made careless mistake and ignorant mistakes. And I am sure I will continue.

But I can honestly say that the mistakes I regret were not mistakes I made in the show pen but the mistake of not playing the game. For example when I was showing my little horse Vaquero his futurity year I had to choose what classes to enter. In reining you can make one run (do one pattern) and it can count for several levels. I looked around at the competition and choose to enter the lower two levels and save my money by not entering the toughest division. ‘Who am I to think that I could beat them?’ I told myself it was the reasonable thing to do.

And TWICE that year (I am a little slow to learn sometimes) twice I would have won ALL of the divisions…if I had only entered. The score was there but I had not committed.

To quote the great theologian of the 90’s, Garth Brooks-

” And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance “

Don’t miss the dance. Sure things might not go the way you hope…but you will never know if you don’t try.



  1. Janette on March 31, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Stacy, I see this page is a little old, but your blog today led me here.
    Yes I agree regret is profoundly painful, but it is purely self inflicted. You could look at the example you gave another way. Eg, You entered the young horse in the classes your experience new he was ready for ( best for the horse). The extra pressure on both of you my have effected your performance, and you my have made one of the silly mistakes you mentioned. You my not have got the trophy but you won a psychological advantage over your competitors for the next comp. So next time the pressure will be on them. Had you changed something you just never know, the result my not have been the same. So enjoy the victory in your heart and don’t punish yourself with regret.

  2. Lincey Hinkle on October 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Wow. My motto for this year of college, my senior year, is NO REGRETS. There are so many things I wish I would have done the past three years, and now I’m in this last year of “childhood” and it scares me to death. I don’t know where I’m going to end up or what I’m going to be doing, but it’s a great reminder that God has me in the palm of His hand and all I have to do is be willing to dance and He will direct my feet and lead me in ways greater than I can imagine.

    Thanks for your words, Stace!
    And congratulations on your freestyle at Congress.

  3. Pam Upgren on October 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I agree, you have to be willing to try. I have to remind myself of that. I often think of a quote byTheodore Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled; or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whos face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

    • Stacy on October 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Wow. I had forgotten that moving quote. Thanks for sharing!

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