If you could go back to any point in your own history and relive your life—knowing then what you know now—how far back would you go?
Would you go so far as to be a child again? Would you go back to your young adult days—perhaps to a time when your body was healthier and more attractive? Would you go back to a time shortly after your kids were born, just to be sure you wouldn’t miss out on them? You could be a child genius, or see deceased relatives, or avoid a disaster. You could decide whether to marry your spouse again, knowing exactly how he’ll turn out. You could change your entire career path. Oh, the possibilities!
I know the exact date I’d return to. And if I allow myself to indulge in this fantasy, I know exactly what I would do: I would build up my husband constantly, knowing how important this would be to save my marriage; I would savor every minute of my children’s lives, knowing they grow up too fast; I would play racquetball daily and eat right to maintain my figure. I’d go back to school and get a doctorate; I’d live near family; I’d team up with Tim LaHaye and write a fiction series about end times. (Just kidding, Jerry!)
Here’s the thing: I don’t need to go back in time to do these things. I can build up my husband today and savor every moment with my kids now. I can exercise, and go back to school, and live near family, and write a novel. If I’m not doing those things now, what makes me think I would do them if I went back in time?
Regrets are pointless. Wishing we could go back and do things differently only makes us neglect our present responsibilities and opportunities. Instead, let’s learn from our mistakes and embrace these moments we have now. Otherwise we may look back someday and say, “If only I could go back to 2011 and start again.”Leave a Comment