Thinking about what he would do if he could do it again is one of Hubby’s favorite musings, and sometimes he drags me along. So I wasn’t completely unprepared for this week’s GBE2 challenge. And I’ve decided I wouldn’t do very many things differently because then I’d be a different person than I am. And I’m pretty happy with who I am now.
But there’s the catch—who I am now. So I’d hope I could do some things at least a little sooner so I could arrive at where I am now maybe 20 or 30—or more—years earlier.
I’d try to be kinder to people, and more patient. When I think back to some of the things I’ve said to people over the years, I’m nearly brought to tears for them. I wish I’d learned sooner that kindness costs you nothing and heaps untold riches on those you interact with, no matter how fleeting that interaction might be.
I’d travel as much as I could possibly afford as soon as could afford it. The world is a beautiful place filled with fascinating people, and we are poorer in spirit if we fail to experience as much of it as possible. Eventually I took time to visit Yellowstone, learn about St. Augustine, and travel to Scotland, but by the time I did, I could no longer walk the miles I wanted to cover, take the photos I wanted to take. I will probably never get to Machu Picchu because I waited too long.
I’d worry less about what people thought and just do what gave me joy. Although I loved my job and found it very satisfying, I spent way too many hours working instead of writing. But I’m thankful beyond measure that I lived to see the world of publishing open up as it has. It was in a very unhealthy place, under the control of too few people. Authors like yours truly would never have had the opportunity to share our work with others if that situation had continued. I just wish I had more completed to share.
So all in all, not too many regrets. But I will leave all you young whippersnappers out there with one bit of advice: Don’t wait. Right now you think you have forever, but forever ends much sooner than you think it will.