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Texas, United States


What if.....?

We all have reason once in a while to ask, "What if things had happened differently? What if I had done something other than what I did? Would things have worked out better?"

Then I ask myself, "Better for who...better for me or better for them?" That's a hard question to answer. Actually, I usually find it impossible.

But as "they" say, hindsight is 20/20. I don't find it so in certain situations. I still puzzle at what might have been if that wasn't said...or this wasn't done.

I do know for certain I am my own worst critic. I beat myself up when things don't go the way I wish they had, thinking, "I should not have done that or I should have done it a different way."

When I can finally stop my mind from whirling around all the "what ifs" and let it focus on the present and all the blessings I have to be grateful for, the past becomes less bothersome. It's keeping it there I have problems with.


Jon said...

Deep and thoughtful post Anna. I can relate to it.

To me, it seems that if I were to repeat the past 1000 times (with no memory or awareness that it was a repeat) I'd do the same things each time. Because the same things that led me to make the decisions I made would again push me in the same direction. If that's true, there's nothing to regret because I did what 'that' Jon was going to do at 'that' moment. And I'm still here to tell the tale. :)

DMS said...

What an interesting post. I try not to regret too much because I figure everything I have done I did because I wanted to (or the person I was then wanted to). I am not the same person now that I was in the past, as we all keep changing. :) I try to live in the moment, but sometimes we can all look back and think things could have been different.

Happy weekend!

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jon. You are correct of course. When I give it enough thought, I know I would have done it the same way again since I had no idea at the time how it might turn out. We are the captain's of our ships...the masters of our souls, and sometimes we simply set our compass on the bumpy course instead of the easy one. :)

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jess...and true...wasting time on regret is wasting time and energy. We were who we were back then and it's useless to waste time rehashing what might have been.

Bouncin Barb said...

Hi Anna! Good to hear from you. I have no regrets about my life except for 1 thing. That I didn't get rid of what was making me unhappy sooner; i.e. Bruce!! I keep looking back at that and see just how much crap I really put up with for way too long! But, that is history!! YAY!

Anna Maria said...

You too Barb...and I agree. Sometimes is easy to look back and see why you are happy you don't have to deal with that pain in the backside again. :)

oneperson said...

Thank you for sharing your wisdom Anna! Refreshing it is. :-)

Gratitude is a powerful tool. That may seem call it a tool...yet, it is a perspective that can open doors to possibilities and to hope and to generosity.

I too think about the million-billion incidents and decisions (my own and my ancestors and beyond) that have placed or allowed me to be in the moment in time where I find myself. It makes the world large and small, all at the same time.


I have mixed feelings about those "think positive--no regrets" messages. My parents listened and heeded those words flawlessly Neither has a single regret about the way they messed up their children's lives. "It was in the past."

While we can't undo our past mistakes and bad choices, we can and should think about the ways we may have harmed another by our actions or words and do everything we can to make it right. An apology can go a long way.

Great post, my friend.

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Carol and Grace for your thoughtful comments. I wrote this the week after my brother Robert died. I hadn't spoken to him in 13 years since Mother's funeral. Not until the day before he died did we finally get to see each other and profess our love....way too late.

The thing that hit me hardest was that he and I had never had a quarrel our whole was his wife I had the problems with between the time my Dad died and my Mom. She and I have remained close since Robert died. It still hurts to think we wasted 13 years simply because none of us wanted to pick up the phone first.