18-Month Do-Over

Have you ever wished you could have a do-over?  Go back and undo something you did, however large or small, and just make different choices?  It’s something we used to holler as kids “Do-over!”  Now here I am as a 41-year-old adult feeling the same way.  If I could go back and redo the past 18 or 20 months and make different choices how would life be for us?  How much of the present trouble could we have avoided?

We couldn’t likely have avoided my wife’s medical crisis.  Signs of that impending issue were evident months before we moved.  It would have been dealt with differently in some ways, but much of that issue would have been faced the same as here except for a closer network of family and friends to provide support.

We probably would have yet to live in a house, which changed our perspective on housing forever.  We just adored it.

The restlessness and stagnation of life we felt before we left St. Louis might be worse.

I might well have still lost my job at the unnamed company I telecommuted for. 

We’d still be in Saint Louis for one thing.  And having lived there for 9 years, the support system we’ve found there is wider and deeper in many ways than anything we’ve had time to establish here locally.

We wouldn’t have our beloved dog Amélie or cat Doce, whom we adopted from shelters in El Paso.

There are people here we care about whom we wouldn’t know.

And there were some classes I taught in Juarez I wouldn’t have been able to teach.

Overall, though I still wonder what would life be like?  Would I be unemployed?

Would I have written the two novels and dozens of short stories I’ve written?

Would I have made all my Twitter friends?

Would I have gone to the conventions I attended?

I would not have had the stress my challenging part time position has brought to my life.  There are benefits of experience as well as some songs I wrote through that which might not exist, but I do think our life could have been just fine without that stress.  The only thing is, again, I met some fine people whom I think the world of and wouldn’t have had the chance to know without that.  Those would be a loss.

It’s hard to say, looking at all of this, if I’d really do it or not.  I think I’d make a few different choices, and I think I’d put my foot down stronger in some ways and places also.

For one, the friends who never called us at all despite all our difficulties, never offered help or encouragement, whom we only heard from to criticize us for something they found disturbing in a FB post or blog, etc., well, I’d stop thinking of them as friends.

For two, I’d stand up more firmly to both recently employers far sooner about issues which ultimately backfired by getting fingers pointed at me undeservedly.

For three, I would have made sure my wife got to do some fun things she’s wanted to do since we came which I never made time for and we now can’t afford.

I wouldn’t stop being honest about the troubles because I’ve heard from many who face similar situations whom it has helped and I’ve heard also it helps those who haven’t been through such situations to empathize more with those who have.  Empathy is a very good thing.

I wouldn’t stop using Facebook and Twitter to mention things I find ludicrous.  Even things from my daily life or relationships.  That’s what those are for.  And commiserating with those people has been a true pleasure and support.  I wouldn’t change some of the friendships I’ve made, although I might have considered them at different levels than I had been thinking they were (so they’ve proven to be).

So would I really want a Do-Over?  On specific bits and pieces, yet, but overall, probably not.  After all, how could I live without my Amélie and Doce?  And not without the true friends I’ve found along the way.  Sometimes I just wish there were more of them.

For what it’s worth…