Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Choose your own adventure

I'm not sure what prompted it, but I was thinking the other day about do-overs: Not regrets--it's much more a matter of curiosity than of sadness--but idle wondering about what ifs. What if I'd stayed in France the summer after I studied there instead of going home? What if I'd hired a midwife for my first pregnancy? What if I'd bought that apartment in New York at the bottom of the market (OK, I'm pretty sure I know what would've happened there, and I try not to think too much about the bajillion dollars I could have made)?

I've been blessed with a lot of good fortune in my life. I look back and realize that events that seemed upsetting at the time, that seemed not to be going my way, in the end turned out for the best. This has given me the confidence to realize that some combination of fate, luck, smarts, good parenting, karma, and who knows what else is taking good care of me. This, in turn, frees me from quite a lot of worry. (It also makes me sound like a Pollyanna. I'm not so naive as to think that bad things don't happen, or could never happen to me; I realize that my view is colored by the fact that I haven't yet experienced any personal tragedies. I'm just convinced that I cannot prevent them from happening by worrying. So I don't).

Do you wonder about any do-over moments of your own?

*

Read about some people who are taking the leap to find out what if, and how you can help.

14 comments:

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I loved those Choose Your Own Adventure books! When the WWW was first invented it seemed to me like a giant digital version of those books.

I had a few do-overs in mind until I read that post; after reading it, they seem incredibly trivial.

Christina said...

I actually try not to think about the do-over moments in my life, because some would honestly drive me insane. Many could have ended far worse, but there are many of those turning-point moments that could have gone so much better with a different choice.

Magpie said...

What if: I'd gone to law school, I hadn't stopped playing the flute, I hadn't met my husband, what if? It's not about regret, but it is curious to think about.

Lene said...

My DH and I had a conversation about this the other night. Those books were so fun to read.

I was comparing it to real life and all the changes that we will be going through in the next year. Hopefully, they won't be as dramatic as the books - wrong choice and you die! ;)

bubandpie said...

I wonder about the midwife thing too, mostly with my first delivery, which was an induction and eventually a forceps delivery. How much of that was the medical system and how much was inevitable?

Other than that, though, having children has cured me of the what-ifs, because if you change anything, you end up with different children, and I want the ones I've got.

niobe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
niobe said...

While it's absolutely true that you can't prevent disasters by worrying about them, it's never stopped me from trying.

Lisa said...

The biggest do-over moment of my life is when my husband talked me into having us buy a Curves for Women and that I would operate it. What we didn't know is that its one of the most ethically- challenged organizations I've ever been in contact with.

Unfortunately you don't find out how slippery they are until you sign your life away... And I couldn't bring myself to do business the way they wanted me to.

It was the WORST two years of my life and the damage it did to my marriage and our finances took years to repair. And career-wise, I shudder to think...

Yes, no question... I'd give anything for a do-over with THAT!

L.A. Daddy said...

Yeah, I go over these every know and then. But I think like you - I've found that a lot of the stuff I wanted that never worked out... always seemed to end up being the best thing.

"I didn't get that job, but I did get THIS job!" That sort of thing.

mothergoosemouse said...

You mean like that junior 4 in the east 80s we could have had in 2001 for $350K?

As you know, I've screwed up a lot of stuff in my life, but I guess I must be a cat. (A cat who doesn't lick her butt, that is.)

Mayberry said...

No, I'm talking about a 1BR on East 78th for $93K in the late 90s. I WISH I WERE KIDDING.

(PS my word verification is bnutacy!)

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I need to think about this one and get back to you. I try not to because I think all your choices shape you, etc. But it would be fun to look at some decision points. (and I *loved* those books too!)

Kelly said...

What if I'd stayed at the first college I attended in OH? What if I was never suicidal? What if I'd chosen another job after my breakdown?

All these question lead me to the fact that I probably would have never met my husband, never had these two darlings that I can call my own.

What if...

Karianna said...

Absolutely! And unfortunately, I usually know the answer. (Left a party too soon to run into a famous person, decided to change my lottery numbers right before my original ones won, etc.)

Of course, for those things that would have a neutral or negative answer, I don't dwell on it because I made the right choice.

But hindsight is absolutely 20/20, and there have been plenty of "oops!" moments, particularly those in which the "right on the surface" choice turned out to be completely WRONG. Road to hell paved with good intentions and all that... ;-)