XXIX – The Dark Cloud of Regret

Life is a weird thing. It’s one huge oxymoron. It is full of ups and downs. There are days that are awesome; others, you wish you could crawl under a rock. There are people who are extroverts—constantly wanting to be the center of attention and thriving from it. Then there are those of us who are introverts—despising attention and needing alone time to recharge from socializing; others are in-between (also known as “ambiverts”). Some people have really great days most of the time. Some of us have terrible days a lot. There are people who have tremendous self-confidence and absolutely love themselves. Others (like me) are full of self-loathing and could not care less what happened to them. Why do I sound like I’m rewriting A Tale of Two Cities?

At one point or another, we all have to live with regret. The dictionary defines regret as “a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something you did or did not do”. For example, you wish you hadn’t bought that expensive gift or that you went and hung out with your buddies at the bar instead of going home to your wife. Not that you’d really do that! It’s just a facetious example.

As for me, I have plenty of regrets. I went to a school to get a pharmacy technician license. I managed to get one, but I sometimes regret not doing the needed steps to renew it. Not that I dislike my job—I got discouraged because at the time no one would hire me.😞😭 That’s one example of regret in my life. Believe me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but we won’t go into anything too deep or personal here (or probably anywhere, for that matter).

For the last, at least six years, for my kids’ birthdays, I have personally baked their birthday cakes. I got real tired of shelling out upwards of $20 for a cake that I can make at home with a one-dollar box of cake mix. And store-bought frosting? That stuff is absolute crap.🤮 It’s actually really simple to make your own at home, and its taste is like night-and-day. Then you can tweak it in numerous ways. Examples of what I’ve made are posted to my personal Facebook and Instagram ccounts. Most of them are simple and imperfect. Someone told me once that I should sell cakes to people. Being the self-doubter I am, I said that no one would be willing to pay for a cake full of frosting imperfections—bare spots, not smoothed out, etc. Maybe not, but if nothing else, I bake because I enjoy doing it. Perhaps someday a good Samaritan out there would be willing to pay for one of my cakes.🤷‍♂️ Recently, though, I decided to practice more. Hell, I even got adventurous, trying to write on a cake, and doing some fancy border around the bottom perimeter of the cake (well, fancy to me, a rank amateur). I actually think I did okay on it.💪

These are a couple of examples of some of my cakes, imperfect or not.

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Confetti cake I baked 02/13/19
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Chocolate cake from scratch, baked 02/13/19
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One Direction birthday cake for my daughter, 2013
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Birthday cake for my son’s 10th birthday, February 2019

Another of my baking joys is cheesecake. So far, everyone who has tried my cheesecakes have liked them.🤭 Okay, I’m bragging a little. Cheesecake is another versatile baked good. I’ve tried New York-style (plain and with different fruit toppings) and some chocolate variations. Chocolate with brownie crust wasn’t great (every great baker has their share of failures), but with Oreo crust? Yum. Feeling hungry yet?😂

Something else I’ve regretted is not finding restaurant work before 2014. I actually started as a dishwasher (it started okay, but it lost its luster fairly quickly), then I moved over to the cooking side. I wish I hadn’t work in so many freaking fast food joints. I worked in a lot of them (i.e., Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Taco Time, Del Taco, Arby’s) over the course of 20 years. If I could return to the past, I would have found a real kitchen to work in many years ago. I’m in no way a chef, but I really would like to have had more restaurant experience. Fast food did give me some knowledge of food safety and whatnot, but I could never take random ingredients and make something from them, whipping up some dish from scratch. If I have a recipe, I can follow it, but that’s as far as that goes.

I ask you, fine folks and readers of my blog, what is something you regret in your life? I know you all have them. I think it’d be interesting to share your thoughts.🤔 Comment on my “Ray’s Rants of the Week” Facebook post where the link to this post is found.

Hopefully, this coming week is a great one for you, with as few regrets as possible. You’re all good people, and thank you for reading my thoughts and words. My readership is small, my blog (like my cakes) is imperfect, and I’ll never end up famous or make tons of money from anything, but I appreciate every last one of you who do read this. It gives me a good feeling knowing that someone out there, somewhere in the world, is actually interested in my thoughts, opinions and rants.

Until next week, be safe and be well.

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