A sweet sadness.
Disappointment, not despair.
A realized risk reminding you that the game is real,
and that there’s something substantial on the table.
A proper bet.
A contrast for both future and past accomplishment.
Escapes and excuses avoided for fear of dulling a deserved pain;
a pain that you need to periodically participate in.
A practice that defines priority and provides perspective.
A reminder to be modest, to know pride’s pitfalls.
Embrace it, live in it, then move on.