Friday, 12 December 2014

15 Things I Wish I'd Done Differently

I seem to have spent the week having ‘those’ conversations.

What do I mean by that?

Well, sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that makes us dig more deeply into our past than we would like and it throws up regrets, mistakes and lost dreams. I call them ‘those’ conversations.

An interview I did for Daniel Parsons’ blog caused me to stand still and take stock and then when I was already vulnerable, I found myself face down on the physio’s table talking about marriage. I chatted to someone at work having trouble with their teenager and then shot the breeze with a total stranger, ruminating on Christianity and the Church. 

‘Those’ conversations.

So as a well-worn-woman of forty-five with stretch marks and the odd billy-goat hair on my chin, I will attempt to list a few of the things I wish I had done sooner in my life, or completely differently.

1. I wish I smiled more at my husband and children - even if sometimes it looked like a grimace.

2. I wish I understood earlier that life hangs by a fragile thread and when I said, ‘See ya soon,’ I had known that I wouldn't. I would definitely have gone back for that extra hug.

3. I wish I had my nose pierced earlier to enjoy it longer before it became unacceptable and had my belly button done at the same time before my stomach turned into an old sofa cushion.

4. I wish I had run away to get married. My wedding day was lovely, but Gretna Green would have been exciting. I would have loved telling that story to my children because they've never been interested in my wedding photos.

5. I wish I spent more time leaning into the pain of grief and insurmountable emotions instead of investing in a pointless escape plan. Some things you just can’t run from and I could have used the energy more wisely.

6. I wish I had held every moment in my life up to the light and given it perspective, instead of allowing the bad times to bowl me over like a tsunami every single time.

7. I wish I worried less and dumped more on God and didn't spend wasted hours having fake arguments in my head, in which I said such clever things that fortunately never saw the light of day.

8. I wish I had shouted less and my family and close neighbours probably wish I had too.

9. I wish I had been less prideful and asked for help more when my children were young or when I was depressed. It would have saved countless bouts of painful, isolating insanity.

10. I wish I had realised I would never achieve perfection and that imperfection is so much more fun and heaps more entertaining.

11. I wish I judged others less harshly and showed more compassion, because I’ve often reaped what I sowed.

12. I wish I worried less about what others thought of me and did what I knew to be right. Second guessing other people is a pointless hobby - like a million to one lottery in which the prize is a worm farm.

13. I wish I spent less time looking for the manual that came with each of my children. Where do those helpful booklets go and would the Troubleshooting Section have ever covered my particular problem?

14. I wish I learned earlier to count to ten before I opened my Dartford Tunnel sized mouth.

15. I wish I had carried a small notebook and written down every piece of wisdom that someone else imparted to me. And published it entitled, A Handbook for Screw-Ups. It could go on the bookshelf next to, Helpful Things to do with Vinegar.

Feel free to add your own ‘I wish’ in the comments.

For those of us with a few more miles on the clock, it’s ok to realise these things, but it’s also time to change the ones you can.

#KTBowes, #author, #noregrets,

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