Bob Lowery, over at "Satisfying Retirement," has a most provocative post. What if you could do some parts of your life over? Would your choices be different the second time? Do you regret some of the decisions you made the first time around?
This particular exercise is only for those of us over fifty, because only then do we have the distance and experience to see the consequences of our earlier decisions.
Personally, I have often felt that I didn't so much make decisions as allow life to carry me along. I regret not taking charge a bit more.
But hey! Let's go way back. My first big regret is not paying closer attention to Tommy S. I took him to my 9th grade Sadie Hawkins Dance and he took me to the Sophomore prom. We were both losers who felt sorry for each other. Who knew he'd grow another foot and a half, clear up the acne, and start riding motorcycles in college?
I regret not working harder at writing science fiction--I've been in the same writer's workshop for thirty years. I've sold maybe twenty stories over that time while many of my fellow workshoppers have written books and some even make their living as writers. I keep thinking that I will write more NEXT year without realizing that NOW was the time.
I would love to go back and redo aspects of my parenting. I feel like my first two daughters had to grow up along with their mother. By child #5, I had a much better sense of what I was doing.
I wonder what my life might have been if I'd remained in New York City to practice my profession instead of returning to my hometown. I don't regret that choice so much as speculate about what might have been.
Then there's always the question of marriage. Would my life be more financially secure if I had married? Or would a divorce have cut even deeper into my finances? (Never mind that I cannot think of one person I've met with whom I'd really want to spend my life!)
Enough of my regrets.