I have written before and referenced several times how developing Rheumatoid Arthritis (and Fibromyalgia) gave me far more blessings than they can ever take away from me. This morning I was watching yesterday's episode of "The Talk" on CBS and they were talking about both the tragedy in Arizona and getting your life in order now rather than later and Michael Douglas's fight with cancer and what they would "do over" if they had the chance.
Mulligans- do-overs in golf-speak- are great in the game of golf but I don't know that I would do a lot over. I don't live with a lot of regrets in my life. Our decisions have too much of a spiderweb effect on our lives. It spreads out and touches everything. I don't feel it is positive or productive but I tried to think if there was anything that I would "do over" if I were given the chance.
First I thought "Okay- easy- I would never have started smoking." Maybe if I had never started smoking (I was in high school) my hubby would not have started either. On the flip side- because I smoked, I spent a bit of time in the "smoking lounge" in our high school (no comments on my age please) and would not have met some dear friends who I still talk to today. I would not have bonded with terrific people at different jobs while we were standing out in the cold indulging that addiction. We spent a lot of time really talking while in exile from the world and though I am half a country away- I still keep in touch with many of them.
My second thought was "I would have worked less when I was raising Josh"- but quite honestly, living in a high cost of living area, had I worked less we would not have been able to be self sufficient. We would have had to apply for public assistance-for sure- and we would not have been able to afford to give him the kempo karate lessons that have shaped his life in a very large way. We also would not have met many of our dearest friends and would have missed out on a lot of truly satisfying accomplishments. We also showed our son that hard work is a good thing. A strong work ethic is not a bad thing and too many of the "kids" I see today just don't have it. Too many of them put their social lives before their jobs and don't live up to their commitments and that just makes me shake my head. Now- I am not saying that our son learned that lesson particularly well- but it is slowly sinking in.
Just from these two things I realized that even my "bad" choices have given me some terrific people and times in my life- and if I changed them I would lose out on so very much. I feel that perhaps rather than lamenting on what we would "do over", we should take our bad choices, sad events, and losses and find the things that are blessings in each of them. It can be done- I promise!