If you could do it all over again, what would you do? I recently saw the movie “Peggy Sue got married” and I thought to myself if there are things that I did in the past that I would change. I am sure that we all have had such thoughts. We always deliberate on the mistakes that we feel we have made and that given the chance we would erase from our memory.
How do we view the things that we have done and the things that we could have done that we did not do? Would we not have chosen the partner that we chose and therefore not have the kids that we had with him or her? Would we have gone to another college instead of the one we went to? Would we have avoided getting in our friend’s car to avoid the accident that left us with a broken leg? Would we have gone to study abroad when we were given the chance? Would we have married Charlie now that we know he is a successful man compared to when we knew him as a nerd?
So often, we wish that we could take back what we said, that we should have moved on when we had the chance, that we should have accepted the engagement ring when it was offered, that we fail to see the other side of the coin. A good friend of mine used to tell me not to use the word “if” in front of him. His statement was always accompanied by “if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle.”
He was right. The past is the past and it needs to be left standing tall as a marker in our life. The steps we took when we were 18 denoted our level of maturity at that time. At 18, we may have been foolish, adventurous, crazy, devilish, senseless or even cruel and gotten into many scrapes but these scrapes are exactly what cushioned us for later pitfalls. Many others may not have had the opportunity to be foolish early on but became so at a later time in their life.
The steps we take in life are meant to be taken exactly when we take them. We need this particular lesson for one reason or another and no matter how many times we blame our stupidity we cannot take it back. It is done. It is over. We have to learn to live with it.
I often read articles where it is mentioned that earth is a school ground. I sincerely believe it. I myself know that I would not be who I am today if I did not make all the “mistakes” I made in the past. But were they really mistakes? Weren’t they necessary in order to groom me, to train me and to prepare me for the future? I believe that steps are teaching tools and they are there to change us from chrysalis to butterfly. For good or bad, we are stuck with our choices.
Often we spend time commiserating on how things used to be and how we wish we could go back to the past. How do we account for progress? Time moves on. I frequently receive emails stating that the things we remember reflect our age. I laugh when I get them because when I mention those items of the past to my daughter she gives me such a clueless face that I am indeed aware of my age.
All the “mistakes” we have made have led society to what it is today. The same applies for what we do today will be reflected in the norms of tomorrow. From the minute action to the grandest accomplishment, the moment in time when it occurs is the determinant of its time period.
The goal of errors is to redress and prevent us from taking the same road. The past can be remembered with nostalgia, with sadness, with fear, with love or with tenderness but it is wise to move on. The present is the most important period in one’s life. It tells us about our future. Every day that we are alive shows the future that we are working on.
Time is of the essence. Let us address our daily accomplishments one step at a time. Let us focus on the good we can do today.