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If You Could Do It All Over Again, Would You Change Anything?

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If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? Would you change one or two things? Would you go to a different college, marry a different spouse, have kids sooner, have them later, or really be smart and not have any kids and just travel? (That last example was a joke.)

I have pondered this question before. But I wasn't pondering it while sitting in a canoe in the middle of a peaceful lake as Mark, my one and only, was rowing and smiling at me and simultaneously confessing his love for me!

No, it usually comes when the kids are screaming, Mark and I are disagreeing over something stupid, or I am dropping off the kids in the carpool lane and I have waited for ten minutes to get to the front and realize the mother two cars ahead of me has gotten out of her car, zipped up Johnny's jacket, kissed him ten times, checked his lunch, combed his hair, given him another hug, and done one more homework check. That is when my kids say, "Mom, please don't say anything, you will embarrass us. Mom, please just roll up your window, we're right on time." I reluctantly shut my mouth even though I want to scream out the window, "Listen lady, this is a drop-off lane – your kid gets out; you stay in and drive off." I never do, for I know a battle of words would ensue and God forbid I don't get the last word in.

In all honesty, I ponder this question when reflecting on my mistakes, my poor judgment, and my downfalls.

People tend to hang on to the bad stuff and forget the good stuff, especially if their lives have been overcome by negativity and turmoil. If that was your life, you're the type of person who really doesn't know how to enjoy a sunny day; instead, you are always waiting for the thunderstorm to arrive. That was me for a long long time.

Humans are creatures of habit, and I was used to chaos, not peace. I am sure many of you are nodding your heads in agreement. You ask, how do I embrace who I am and the hand that I was dealt? You look within and realize what those experiences have taught you and try to see all the good that has come out of your life, not the bad. Let the bad go, it does you no good!

When I think about all the wrongs that have been done to me, I remember all the acts that I committed in anger and revenge, and then my self-hate begins. Where does that get me? It gets me to my pity party and I am the only guest. Who wants to come party with a downer?

I made it through a lot of adversity. You could call me a survivor, and while living the life I was meant to live I begged God to take me away or at least drop me off somewhere else. But as an adult I have embraced my mistakes, and learned to let go of the past and live for today – not yesterday, not tomorrow, but for today.

Anyway, after much pondering I have decided I wouldn't change a thing. I would go through everything I have gone through all over again because it made me who I am today. I am proud of myself; I am forgiving, empathetic, caring; I love myself, and I respect myself. I do feel I am strong and I know there are very few situations you could put me in that I wouldn't come out of rockin' and rollin'. I am not bragging, I just feel that it took me a long time to get here, I worked for what I am and who I am, so why would I change it?

I hope you all would say the same thing. I hope you all love yourselves and realize what powerful, strong, smart, beautiful, kind, generous, empathetic and loving individuals you are or you could be. If you don't realize that yet, it is only because someone did a number on you and you still haven't gotten their number. One day you will come out of the fog to see the light and realize who you are. We are all the same. No one is better and no one is worse. We just all get to our destinations at different times. I believe the ones who haven't arrived at the arrival gate will get there as long as they keep hope and faith alive.

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About Heather Hogan

  • And yet… some people are just jerks. Whaddya gonna do?

  • Heather Hogan

    Yep, some people are just jerks and there is nothing you can do about it, except move on without them!

  • Great words, Heather. Regret is okay only if it’s a passing sport.

  • Great thought – your line about having a pity party and being the only guest. Nice. I’ll remember that when I’m having too much whine with my cheese. Enjoyed this essay.