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What wouldn’t you do?

Someone asked me what I’d change if I could go back and correct some of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.
“That’s a long list,” I said, then considered my answer.
As a child I wouldn’t have felt self-conscious about how most of my clothes seemed to be hand-me-downs or came from jumble sales. I wouldn’t have minded when other kids picked on me.
I wouldn’t have been so lazy at school, or spent most of my time trying to be the class clown when I should have been learning.
I wouldn’t have accepted my first beer at age fourteen, or started smoking at sixteen.
I wouldn’t have left home at seventeen to live in a hostel in London, where I had to share a room with three other guys.
I wouldn’t have got married at the tender age of eighteen, only to split up six years later because I was too young, too selfish and just too stupid to know how to be a good husband.
After my separation, I wouldn’t have let myself go to pieces, or not cared that some of my friends’ friends only knew me as ‘That guy who drank 73 pints in a single week.’
The more I thought about it, the longer my list became.
Then it hit me.
If I went back and changed all those mistakes, I would never have learned from them. Sure, my life would have taken a different path, but then I might never have met Senior Management. I wouldn’t be the person I am now, or have the life I have today. I wouldn’t have a beautiful wife who loves me despite my many faults and flaws. I wouldn’t have three wonderful children who drive me crazy, yet somehow complete me in a way that nothing else could.
So I smiled at my friend and gave him my answer: “I wouldn’t change a thing.” 
How about you?
If you could go back and live your life differently, what wouldn’t you do?


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( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 9th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oddly, I've considered this too. My answer was the same.

I would love a crystal What If ball. Ask what if and it shows you the lines your life would've taken, what it would've been like.

Since I don't have one, I'll just have to appreciate lessons learned and keep wondering about a few special things -- not too many, thankfully.

Good choice!
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I'm not sure I'd want to know about those 'what ifs', just in case, you know ;)
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
I really don't think I would change things at all, despite mistakes in my past and hard times resulting, I have a pretty great life, and I wouldn't want to jeopardize the person I have become.
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
There are plenty of times when I wish things were different at that time, if you know what I mean, but I guess everything we are now is a result of what happened in the past, so it's all for the best :)
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean (& great post, btw). It's so easy to spend so much time focusing on regrets instead of the positives that came about because of them. - Or trying to make a positive out of them.
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
My old gran used to say, "If your glass is half empty, order your next drink now." It has no relevance. I just thought I'd mention it :)
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Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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