Fandango’s Provocative Question #162- No Regrets

If you could have a second chance at just one event in your life, what would you choose? What would you do differently? How do you think your life would be different now?

Woulda, coulda, shoulda is the essence of this question. I find a direct answer to this question extremely difficult.
Did I have life decisions that turned ‘sideways’? Countless times. But I’m a ‘what’s done is done’ person who finds counting my blessings such an integral part of my life journey that focusing on regrets is nearly impossible. The ripples caused by life events are also countless. Not all are unpleasant, wrong-headed, or bad. Even what seems regretful, at first, often turns out to have a silver-lining.
Perhaps, my lack of interest in reviewing my past decisions comes from my acceptance that we all make mistakes and none of us has a clear view of the future. I humbly don’t give myself that much credit for my course.
To me, life is a series of reactions to events and situations. I feel no power in directing life beyond trying to react with the best intentions. Gosh, have you ever heard the saying, “Some of the worst ideas come from the best intentions.”? Well, those moments are for learning and growth, IMO. That’s probably why we have a bucket load of bad outcomes when we’re young and tend to do better later on.
So, I wouldn’t change a thing if given the chance. But I feel better equipped every day for making decisions that I can live with. Too bad we all have to learn the ‘hard way’ but I feel I’m happier focusing on my blessings rather than holding on to regrets.
I also believe whole-heartedly in forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves seems our hardest task.

MLMM Photo Challenge #376- Choosing

black and white ceramic figurine

When Michael was a high school senior, he was barraged by advice, especially, the kind that promoted going to college. He felt dizzy the whole year!

Guidance counsellors, teachers, neighbors, and his parents brought up the subject nearly on a daily basis telling him not to waste his excellent academic record on anything else. He dutifully applied to ten different universities and was accepted by three of them.

He was ranked 3rd in his graduating class of 422 so his gang of ‘college cheerleaders’ were a bit baffled that he wasn’t accepted by them all until they found out that many of those colleges were aggressively chasing minority and female candidates before white males.
Yet, Michael wasn’t discouraged in the least by those biased preferences because he secretly hadn’t even decided he wanted to go.

A journeyman electrician had spoken to his class recently and the idea of being a lineman was exciting to him. Except for being an emergency surgeon, there was no more honorable occupation than that. Many counted on electricity for their very life!

One evening, he handed his parents a brochure for a ten month trade school for electricians and appealed to their pocketbook. The training would cost about one third of one year at college and, should he decide to go to college, he’d be leaving in deep debt . He won the argument.
Some of his classmates called him an ignorant rube for making the trade school decision but Michael never looked back.

Eight years later:
He’s twenty-six and has a well paying, exciting job, has bought his own land and built a house, AND he’s debt free. He knew not one of his university classmates who could make the same claim. Who’s the ignorant rube now?

Safe Versus Sorry

Foresight is a wonderful tool…

It had been too long since I had owned a dog. In 2004, I was able to convince my husband that it was not a desire but a need of mine.

Once that was settled, names,activities and breed types swirled in my head.

My sister and brother-in-law have owned many shelter dogs.They specifically are drawn to the older, more unlikely to be adopted ones.

I do family day care. I needed a dog without issues. My sister convinced me to look for a puppy to raise and train. Being home all day was the best situation for puppy training. She had heard of a new litter of Irish Jack Russells. I went to see the newborns but was wary of the breed being fit for a house full of kids and 3 cats.

When I met them, I was hooked!

The mother had a lovely disposition and one very special little guy licked the end of my nose when I lifted him in my palm.

Now to the “safer than sorry” part.

One of my daydreams was to take my dog on morning walks in my neighborhood. I live on a busy street but have a fenced front yard. After bringing Ollie home, I realized he may at one time or another have a chance to get out. I have a lot of “people traffic” through my doors.

From day one, I decided NEVER to walk him across the street.

My backyard leads up a hill straight into the woods.

When we walked and played it was always “up the hill”.

One day, my choice saved my Ollie’s life. He did get out! With 20 yards to the street, he opted to run up hill to the woods where I was able to catch him.


My decision to give up daily walks was proved to be for the better!

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Natural Born Personality

There is something in my chemistry that makes decisions painfully hard on me.

Even as a child, the thought of choosing ONE ice cream flavor was a crippling task. I’d start weighing the pros and cons of my possible choices on route to the ice cream store. Black raspberry? Had that last time. Mint chip? Mom doesn’t like that and I don’t want to gross her out. Peach? Yes, my favorite but they don’t often offer that flavor. Better have a back up flavor.

Then the worst would happen! “You want that in a dish, sugar cone, plain cone or waffle cone?”  Yikes! Never mind! I need more TIME!

This comes from the only/oldest perfectionism. It assumes that every question has a correct answer.

I tend to weigh many of my decisions very carefully. I’ve become quicker and tried to remind myself that “perfect” is unattainable, kinda like the idea that the Golden Gate Bridge never really has one new coat of paint. One end is aging as the other is being painted…the job is never done!

It wasn’t long before I took on the “frustrated perfectionist” role. If I never really tried to have things perfect, then the pressure would be off.

Dirt under the finger nails? Who cares.

Perfect posture? Ha!

Hole in my shoe? Feels good. I like ventilation.

Much has been written about our birth order and how it influences us. I’m sure it does. I’m even more sure that our “natural born” personality has as much to do with how we handle it.