If I had to do it all over again…

Let’s face it, we’ve all verbalized that phrase, at some point in our lives. It’s usually followed by some enlightened realization of our past mistakes or incorrect decisions. Something we know now that we absolutely didn’t know then. The words that follow that phrase are things that could have made us wealthier, healthier, more educated and so on and so on. While the observation in itself is probably correct, the information is more personal, it depends on the type of life you’ve had and your perception of the information and how you choose to apply it. 

For example, I riff with a very close friend of mine from my military days on the daily. We have a lot of shared interests and curiosities so one of us is always eager to share the information we have with the other. Often, we relate things of today with things from 20 years ago when we were thinner and had a clueless zeal about life. The stories will pour like whine at a book club in suburbia, one right after the other. And, I can guarantee, with 100% certainty – while those stories are rolling – one of us will say, “If I had to do it all over again….” Those words will fall right out while we try to stop them. Because, we know that we are absolutely lying to ourselves. But, we have also come to know, for all that it’s worth, that we are the sum total of our experiences in life and those experiences shaped our lives in ways we didn’t understand at the time. Those experiences were the catalysts of change in our lives. 

I understand that a lot happens over our lives. We can often find ourselves in places where the obstacles ahead of us seem unnavigable. Someone that has dealt with that a lot in their lives might have a different perspective on whether or not they would change anything if they could go back and do so. There’s always exceptions to the rule and I understand that. It’s hard to see the signs when you’re living in the dark. I know, because I’ve been there. 

So, sure, I would have liked to have been wealthier early on, but I had what I could handle. I probably could have been healthier than I was, but I don’t need to live forever, just as long as I’m needed. I could go on and on. And you probably could too. In all honesty though, the experience isn’t worth regretting something you did 30 years ago, but it is worth the self realization that comes from that. That’s what it’s all about, personal growth. Live, love, laugh and enjoy. 

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