Friday, February 5, 2010

If I Had It To Do Over Again...

Sweetie was the chauffeur today for our lunch outing with Dad and his lady friend. After a delicious meal and lots of laughs she suddenly grew wistful and said, "Ah, if I had it to do over again..."

Her comments so inspired us that we followed suit. The rule was to not use any statement already said.

Sweetie: "If I had it to do over again, I never would have started smoking."

Dad: "If I had it to do over again, I would have told more people, more often, how much I loved them."

Dad's Friend: "If I had it to do over again, I would have worried less and laughed more."

Me: "If I had it to do over again, I would have spent less on junk and prepped more."

Round two:

Sweetie: "If I had it to do over again, I would have reported more income so I'd have more Social Security now."

Dad: "If I had it to do over again, I would've listened more to my mother's advice."

Dad's Friend: "If I had it to do over again, I would've cared less about appearances and more about playtime."

Me: "If I had it to do over again, I would seek better counsel."

Round Three:

Sweetie: "If I had it to do over again, I would have stayed out of the bars."

Dad: "This is getting difficult. I would've done the same thing."

Dad's Friend: "You guys are cheating. But, I'll add this: I would've dumped more alcohol down the drain."

Me: "This is getting gloomy! You'd think alcohol's to blame for all your problems."

They all looked at me and said, "To a large extent it was." Thankfully, they stopped drinking long ago and dessert arrived!

Later, my Dad said he'd once spend most of a day thinking about "If I had..." and it changed his life. He stopped being angry, stopped drinking, stopped getting even, stopped procrastinating and started focusing on what truly mattered.

Today, the man who was booted out of the Navy; saw plenty of time in the brig during his first Coast Guard tour; spent years in the bars to avoid problems at home; and wrecked four vehicles and six utility poles while driving drunk, has redeemed himself. Everywhere he goes he's either recognized or soon makes a new friend.

Sweetie's history is similar though he claims he shouldn't be alive and the reason he's not in prison is due to "a paperwork error."

Dad's friend was known as a drunk who mixed beer in the pancake batter, the gravy, the soup and "anything else" while caring for six children and a crippled husband. Today her husband's long gone, her children and grandkids and great grandkids adore her. She's an active, vibrant, humorous woman who's always ready to lend a hand or a shoulder. Many, many years of her life were sheer hell but you'd never know it today.

And then there's me. How quickly life has flown by. One day I'm a size 10 thirty-year-old who's "smart, successful and well off" with the wardrobe, job, cars, home and condo to prove it. The next thing I know I'm ill, overweight, homeless, broke and alone. Thank God for mercy, grace, forgiveness and another sunrise!

Today, let "If I had to do it over again..." be your guide to forgiving yourself and others, creative solutions, unimaginably possibilities and clarity.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A lovely post.

LizBeth said...

Sounds like it was a good lunch.

Blessings, Liz

Mayberry said...

If I had it to do over again, I'd be the captain of some rich guy's sport fishing yacht, and I'd be in Costa Rica right now for the winter. Oh, and I'd be rat-holing $50k or more per year (food, drink, and lodging being provided by the owner aboard the boat!). You see, captains get paid about $1,000 per year, per foot of boat (most being in the 50 foot range, or bigger), and they get 10% of any tournament winnings as a bonus (most billfish tournaments having pots of $100,000 or more, up to 1 million). I'd be retired by now... But I let some damned Navy recruiter tell me if I did that, I'd be a "master baiter". Why do we have to be stupid when we're young?!!

I know George Strait's captain (he was captain of another yacht I used to do work on), and he's living the high life now. Salary, company truck, expense account, not to mention all the leisurely travel he can stand. George calls and says "take the boat to Bermuda, I'll meet you there in two weeks". Chris runs the boat over there, stops in Key West for a day or two of partying, then continues on at a liesurely pace to Bermuda. What a life....

Did it MY way said...

If I had to do it over I'd be on 3000 acres with my log cabin in the middle of it.

However everybody says what some of their dreams are or were. If we wanted those dreams they would happen.

Enjoy your loved ones and what God has provided, and all will work out. You said the most important...forgive yourself, and tell those you love that you love them everyday.

See Ya

HermitJim said...

That's more thinking than I want to do this morning...I would change a lot of things, but way too many to even begin to list here!

Thanks for the exercise this morning ( of the grey matter)