Fill Your Boots

Fill your boots … but not with rain. I went ahead, took an opportunity, took a chance, and ended thoroughly soaked and cold. When I was thinking about fitting in 100 miles this week I’d hoped to get 30 in today. Looking at the weather forecast I thought 25 would be fair enough. Looking out the window I figured I’d be happy with 20. I ended up less than overjoyed with 14. (A Full Hengistbury on the Hengistbury Scale*)

The curse of ‘if only’ strikes again. If only I’d gone out an hour earlier, if only I’d not taken that phone call, answered that email, waited until it warmed up a little … if only I’d done something different I’d have stayed dry.

As it was, it hammered down when I was less than seven miles out and when it gets so that you’re cold and wet to the skin, if only in part, then if you can easily give up you might as well. You’re not going to dry out or warm up, and there’s precious little pleasure to be had from carrying on.

‘If only’ is an evil little thought. It can be endless. Me staying dry is neither here nor there. A day or two ago I was watching a TV report about a young lad killed on a night out somewhere south of here – from what I gather, a pointless fight and a needless death. I can all too easily imagine all the ‘if only’ thoughts that crowd in on those that are left behind. I don’t know if that’s just human nature. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it – not in those quiet times.

It’s not just ‘if only I or he or she hadn’t …’ though. You need to remember that. It’s just as important to take opportunites. You don’t want to go to your grave thinking ‘if only I had’ either. Fill your boots. It’s a lovely expression.

*The Hengistbury Scale.