What would you go back and change?

August 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Experiences, Family, History, Mental Health, Philosophy | 9 Comments
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My husband and I were talking today about our youth and about the choices we wished we had made then. We wondered what we would do if we were allowed to go back and change some of those decisions.

You often hear people say, when speaking about their younger selves, “Oh, if only I’d known then what I know now!” Or “I wish I’d done things differently then.”

It is interesting to speculate – since we cannot go back in time, that’s all we can do – on which deed, word, relationship or other thing we would change?

Mostly, we do not realise at the time what importance a seemingly minor choice can have for our whole future. If we knew that our choice led to unhappy consequences, would we change it? And if we knew that, then we would also know what other, happier consequences resulted. Would we be prepared to negate those happier consequences in order to avoid the others?

I can take an instance from my own life where I used to wish I made a different choice.

In 1968, I went ice-skating with another student at my college. It was the first time we went out together. He broke his ankle at the rink. Feeling sorry for him, I visited, to see how he was. I was not smitten with him but, six months later, we married. I knew it was a mistake at the time, but marriage was expected of a girl then and I was a good Catholic girl who had to pay the price for the sin we had committed.

Our marriage had its good times, but was not a generally happy one. I often suffered from serious depression. We fought a lot. We lasted for sixteen years. If I’d known how it was to turn out, would I have changed my earlier actions if I could? At what point would I change my choice – going ice-skating, visiting him, not ‘doing it’ instead, pulling out of the wedding? Any of them would mean my life could have been far different.

If I went back in time unaware of the future, I would still be the person I was then. I would therefore probably make the same decisions I did then.

If I went back in time knowing at least this one future, then I would have to deny the chance of everything in that future happening. So, that adds in quite a few complications – five of them being our sons.

Would I be willing to not have had them, and to know that? Would I deny them and their children an existence in return for an unknown future that may be better, similar, worse, or even non-existent? I love my sons and my grandchildren, and I could never do that.

I would not be the person I am now either; someone quite happy with life. Someone who has grown wiser through the adversities and pain she has suffered. Someone with a second, wonderful husband and a family I am proud of. Someone who is alive, and able to write such a philosophical blog entry.

No, I would not go back and change anything. I am the sum of my experiences and of my responses to them. I am reasonably content with the person I have become, and I do not want to give up what I have earned. If I need to change things, I can do it now or in the future.

My husband said the same thing about himself.


Would you go back and change something that resulted in your life taking an unwelcome direction?

What would you be willing to give up in the life you have now in order to make that change?


© Linda Visman

27th August 2012

The Entrance

August 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature, Tourism | 6 Comments
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We went to The Entrance this afternoon, the place where the scenic Tuggerah Lakes meet the Pacific Ocean.

The tide had turned, and the water was crystal clear as it raced through the deep sandy channel next to the promenade on its way into the lake.

The pelicans and seagulls that rested on golden sand in the middle of the entrance would soon be floating, as the water level rose with the tide.

We ate an ice cream treat as we strolled along the promenade and under the road bridge.

Pelican feeding time at 3.30pm always draws a crowd, and today was no exception, even though it is still winter here. We left well before the pelicans were fed, but there were already plenty of the large heavy-billed birds waiting for their daily treat.

Australia has many beautiful tourist spots along the east coast (all around the long island coast actually), and The Entrance is one of them.


(c) Linda Visman

All photos by Linda Visman

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