If I Could Start Again by Bill Storie
How many times have you asked yourself that question?
What would you do over again or do differently or simply not do at all? Did you work too hard, or not make enough money, or drank too much, or worried too much?
So let’s say the magic wand appears today in your life and you are given a day to think about everything you would do if you were in your twenties let’s say. You have to think fast because the magic wand is snatched away from you at midnight tonight.
How many times have you said to yourself, “I should have taken that job back then. I should have just told them that I was the best person for the position instead of being self-conscious about it. I should have grabbed the opportunity. I could have been in a top-paying job for so many years that now in retirement I would be living on easy street.”
There’s also the issue of health.
“If I had known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself”. Exercise was always a problem for most people. They simply couldn’t be bothered. Yet, now in their Olderhood Years they think it might have been a good idea to have walked more, or danced more or done something other than sit on the couch and watch TV at night. But too many people followed the Oscar Wilde principle, “Whenever I feel the urge to exercise I lie down until the urge passes.”
Probably drink, maybe even drugs, was something you did in the past. Was it fun? Probably at the time it was and you wouldn’t have changed it, yet now many years later the liver is struggling more than it should. If only you could turn the clock back. Yet perhaps you enjoyed it then and still enjoy it. The point is that it is your choice and frankly if, now in the Olderhood Years, you still enjoy a tipple or three, then who says you shouldn’t do it. If you enjoy drinking and the company in the local bar, then does anyone actually have the right to dictate to you what you should be doing in the twilight?
Eating was another issue that we thought about years ago but probably didn’t worry too much about. The middle-aged spread has become a permanent fixture these days. No matter what we do now, the middle is here to stay. It perhaps is affecting your health today and you know that, but firstly there isn’t much you can do about it to be honest so why be overly-concerned?
I am certainly not advocating you should ignore your heath, or ignore your doctor’s advice, or avoid prescriptions, not at all. But I am saying that you don’t need to obsess about it, leaving aside major illness. You must enjoy these Olderhood Years, and if it means that you should have dessert with the grandkids then go right ahead.
Finally the list of dreams you had years ago of things you wanted to do at some point in your life. Now is the time to be doing them isn’t it? Maybe as you look back, you think that you should have climbed the Himalayas when you were younger (and fitter). It’s too late now so if that magic wand can be activated maybe there is scope for the big climb after all.
If only we could realize when we are younger that when we get older we will indeed look back and be upset that we didn’t do this or that at the time. So perhaps the best we can do is simply to tell our kids, and grandkids that they should, to the best of their abilities (finance, responsibilities, family commitments etc), do some of those things they dream about. Do those things now, otherwise one day they too will be looking for that magic wand.
Now, where are my football boots? I think I’ll go play for my favorite team after all. Woo-hoo.
By Bill Storie