If you had to do it all over again, what would you do?
Hindsight is always 20/20, and I think this is one of the most common questions people ask themselves. What would they do if they knew everything they do now? Would they live their lives exactly the same way? Would they choose different careers, or live somewhere else, or take more risks, or not get involved in that pyramid scheme?
Of course, people always look at the big picture. What if you had your whole life to do over again? They never ask, what if I had to do this week over again? That’s kind of funny, since our lives are made up of a whole bunch of weeks we’d probably not want to re-live. Just this week at school, I broke up a fight, was spit on, cursed and yelled at, hit and kicked, and physically carried five children where they needed to go. Such is the memorable life in the behavioral disorders department. Would I re-live the week? No. But I’d have to in order to do my life over again.
Anyway, in the spirit of another week gone by, I ask you: what if you had to do it over again?
Me? I’d do a lot of things…
I’d be a food critic.
I like teaching, and I’m following a calling that I love by being a pastor. But I figure being a food critic would be a perfect job. Eat food, which I do all the time, and nit-pick it. My wife and I do this already. I’d just like to get paid to give a restaurant my opinion. How could you hate your job if you were a food critic?
Wife: “How was work today, dear?”
Me: “Worst day of my life. You’d think these idiots didn’t even know what sea scallops with black truffle oil was! Then, the creme brulee was just the icing on the cake. What a terrible experience. I could’ve gotten a better meal by statching an egg salad sandwich from a constuction site lunchpail.”
Exactly. Even a bad day as a food critic is still…well…a day as a food critic.
I’d be hard to get.
It’s a known fact that when a boy likes a girl, he becomes immune to any of the advice of friends, brothers or dads, all of whom have been in his shoes. This, invariably, leads him to make himself look like a pathetic lost dog and a complete weiner in the quest to win the affections of the girl. Boys just have to learn by failing for themselves.
I don’t know how girls do it. How are so many of them born with an innate instinct to play “hard to get,” to ignore boys? Why are boys left with only their leftover hunter-gatherer instincts from our caveman days? The only thing boys have an instinct for is persistence.
Caveman: “Mammoth look tasty. I get mammoth, bring home…Mammoth awfully big…need more spears and rocks…I try again.”
Boy with crush: “Girl look good. I get girl, make her like me…Girl no pay attention to me…need more gifts and jokes…I try again.”
Eventually, boys learn that girls like guys with spines…Sadly this is never learned in time. Those of you girls who don’t know how to play hard to get, I suggest you learn. There’s no point in throwing yourself at someone you like. It’s just not feminine. It’s definately a guy thing.
I’d say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ a lot faster.
If you think I’m the type of guy who doesn’t get his toes stepped on by others and speaks his mind all the time, then congratulations to me, for I have tricked you. It’s all a rouse. I’m actually very mild mannered.
There’d be a lot of people I’d say ‘No’ to a lot faster. Starting with that bully in middle school, and going right up to that client who hired me to create a terrible design idea. I’d learn that being a pastor isn’t about saying “Yes” to everyone. I’d be telling people ‘No’ when I meant it…immediately.
But I’d also say ‘Yes’ a lot faster. Since I was a little kid, I was stubborn, and my parents struggled to get me to do anything I didn’t want. There was the day at the pool when a thunderstorm was rolling in, but my mother wouldn’t let us leave until I had jumped off the (low) diving board. I would’ve done that a lot sooner in hindsight, and a lot more things too that ended up being good for me.
But to be honest, I really wouldn’t change all that much. I’d still do all the things I did, because I value the relationships that came out of all the places I’ve been. I’d still go a Christian college I didn’t really like, transfer out, go to seminary, be a pastor, marry my wife, write a blog, and be totally awesome. Things have a funny way of working out.
But I’m still young and relatively naive. What about you? What would you do if you had it all to do over?