Would you do the same if you had your life to live all over again? I thought this earlier today as I watched dawn break quite quickly and daylight arrive almost as if by magic.
When I passed the scholarship many years ago (a year early at the age of ten) and went to Lincoln Girls' High School, my parents had to sign a form promising to keep me at school until I was 16 (school leaving age was fourteen in 1942). They reluctantly did so as that would mean my father would be retired by the time I left - so there was absolutely no thought of my staying on until I was 18 and going on to University. In fact it never entered my head. I knew that at 16 it was leave and get a job in an office - and this I did. I worked in a Drawing Office for a couple of years and from then on I worked for my brother in law, who was a building contractor and worked on church dilapidations, until I married.
It was thanks to my husband that I progressed with my education - I already had School Cert and went on with his encouragement to take further qualifications through the Open University and then - because we lived near to Birmingham - further qualifications there. My parents thought I was mad and that I really ought to 'start a family' because that was what girls did. But I married early and left having my son until I was 26.
Then when my son began school I went into teaching - I never regretted it - I loved it and quickly rose through the ranks - loved the young people I taught and got pleasure in helping young people, many of whom had come here from the other side of the world with little or no English.
I took early retirement when another Comprehensive school closed and it was offered to anyone who was 50 and over. My first husband was eleven years older than me and had just retired so it all fitted in perfectly. I never regretted it and we had wonderful holidays to places like Samarkand, Bukhara, all over what was then the Soviet Union (and cheap as they wanted our currency) so we could go on the Trans Siberian Railway and tour all over.
This morning I sat looking at the dawn breaking and having my second coffee after my dear carer had gone and thought 'I wish I had studied Meteorology' - because no two dawns are ever the same. The cloud formations vary from morning to morning and the types of clouds vary and apart from cumulus clouds I know none of them.
Where would I be if I had gone down that road? Too late to try now because my brain is not as good as it was at retaining information. Trying to study with a wandering mind would be useless.
I suppose we could all ask ourselves would we do the same if we had our life to live over again. Perhaps it is a good job we can't ........I am certain I could never have had two such happy marriages (1 for 39 years and 1 for 23 years) so maybe it is good that I gave cumulus clouds a miss.
The trouble with doing anything different if one had one’s life over again is one wouldn’t have the people they loved in the new life. I have been with my partner for 48 very happy years, so wouldn’t contemplate doing anything different.
Several years ago I read The Library - a bit corny but a good read - basically Sliding Doors on steroids.
Looking back on choices I made myself then I think I chose the best option given the circumstances and my knowledge at the time. Were they the right choices? Possibly not all, but I would not be the same person had I chosen differently.
Do I wish things had been different? Yes. I was orphaned at 12, but there was nothing to be done about that.
What an interesting question! I wanted to be a nurse from age 4 (why? I don't know), and so that was my aim through school, then my job until retirement. I loved every bit, enjoyed my coworkers and patients, and the work. DH and I married 3 weeks after I graduated from nursing school and have now been together 53 years, almost 52 years after our wedding.
If you have access to shows like Cosmos or StarTalk (with the wonderful Neil Degrasse Tyson) you get lots of amazing information about space, planets, and such. I'm sure there are other series about Meteorology. Seems to me if you enjoy these type shows, that's all that matters!
You are so right that sunrises and sunsets are each unique.
There are a few changes i would have made Pat... But i took two huge leaps of faith in my life and i would never change those... infact i highly recommend doing just that.. But i think i would have gone to college and having a career..even if i have no idea where the money would have come from.. I would have pursued my art more doggedly . Great post Pat.. I say we never stop learning.. You may not make it a career but theres nothing stopping you from learning more about clouds.. Hugs! debs
If the statutory leaving age was 14 your parents could not be forced to keep you in school beyond that age.
A delightful and thought provoking post Pat and to be honest, something I do on a regular basis, all to do with getting old and looking backwards I guess. Anyway, I wouldn't change anything of my long route through life, except I wish badly, that I had stayed throughout it all, with my first wife, rather than some of the bad choices that came after.
I have always thought it would be nice to live your life and then be able to live it over again to see what you would do differently and how that would turn out. Sadly, this is no rehearsal so we have to make choices that we hope will be beneficial to us, not only at the time but for the future. As I get older and life seems to be speeding up a few notches and I am more hesitant when making a choice about something - I feel life is too short now I am approaching 70 to make too many mistakes. I think you have lead a wonderful and fulfilling life and wish you many more years to come and thank you for sharing your life with us.
Goodness me, yes, I wish I could go back and change some things but too late now. My life didn't turn out too bad though so I am happy.
Not long ago our friend Yorkshire Pudding blogged about the same subject. There was a lot of food for thought, and most who commented agreed that their experiences made them what they are, and it is mostly good that we can not turn back time.
Your life turned out very different from what your parents - and probably yourself - envisaged for you when you were little. You did well, finding work that you loved and happy and loving marriage not once, but twice.
PS: There is nothing to stop you enjoying those clouds, with or without the background knowledge.
I often r was your blog but seldom comment
As I write I am sitting by my husbands bedside in a local
hospice . We have been married for 32 years. He is dying and my thoughts are full of what could have been - I will take from your post the thought that I should celebrate what is and has been .
My heart is breaking
I think there is a certain amount of rose tinted spectacles. In reality not all is good but if you like to see good memories then that is the way it should be for you.
Your story shows a wonderful life. You made good choices at every step along the way. I also have no regrets and live quite comfortably with no significant worries. It is still snowing lightly in Massachusetts. The plow has come by twice and I shoveled walkways and the patio. The stillness and white snow cover makes a lovely Winter scene.
I am so sad for the lady who's husband is dying. My thoughts are with you Siobhan.
My husband and I would do a lot of things differently, including aspects of child rearing, particularly teenage years. It seems you learn as you go, and then that phase is passed and you're onto the next before you can catch your breath!.
My daughter and grandaughter are lovely people, so we must have done something right.
Hindsight is a very illuminating experience as you age, but every day I'm thankful our family was born in a democracy and a land of decent people overall, and fascinating and precious wildlife. Some people live in circumstances overseas where they have choices forced upon them. In retrospect, they'd probably like the opportunity to kick their oppressors to the curb. It is a blessing to say one has lived a wonderful life, or provided well for their family.
Thank you for an interesting post. You always get us thinking. - Pam, Aust.
I regret that I didn't have more self-confidence when I was a teenager and young adult. I married the wrong man because I wanted to be married - that's what I thought girls were supposed to do back then. But then if I hadn't married him, my 5 children wouldn't be in my life so... Too late now anyone, no use crying over spilt milk as we used to say!
My heart is with you. What a difficult journey for you. Hugs and prayers from the US.
Mine has been an interesting journey. Would I change it? I think I would change one aspect: I wish I had learned better financial management! That aside, I have been fortunate in many ways, and have never been bored. I did many things backward--like quitting high school to get married, then taking night classes to graduate, starting college at the same time as my oldest son, etc. I do regret not traveling more when I was young, but that financial management thing! And having 4 children by 22 certainly put the kibosh on travel.
My belief system is that this is but one life and we will be back if we so wish, or stay in other dimensions that are easier to exist in than here on earth. So start wishing what you would like to be in your next lifetime. I think about this every now and again and I think I am ready to go to the other dimensions when my time comes, rather than to the earth plane.
Here I am with few regrets, and those cannot be rectified.
I would do my teaching career over in a heart beat. However' being male and young at one time' I did many stupid and dangerous things. I would like to take those back. I would like to do my courses over and really work on them rather than play around and get very poor marks.
I've probably made so many unwise decisions that I wouldn't know where to start. However, it's all been great fun, and I've managed to keep up a decent standard of living.
There are things that I would change, but I often wonder, if these things were changed, would I be a happier soul? The knee jerk response would be 'yes'. But then I start counting all the things that would not have happened if I did it differently and I'm not at all sure that I would want to change things.
I know exactly what you mean when you say you look at the sky and wish you understood more. I had the same feeling and began studying meteorology as part of my university course. However it soon became clear that looking at the sky hardly came into it; it was mostly a matter of incomprehensible mathematics which you could do indoors without even looking out of the window. Don't be fooled by Carol Kirkwood standing under an umbrella to deliver the forecast!
I'll tell you whether or not I would live it all over again when it is almost over. That shows a degree of hope, I suppose. It might be almost over already for all I know.
Thanks John for wise advice.
Interesting views Marlane. I am a Humanist and just think this is it and hopefully I have done my best.
Siobhan - my thoughts are with you and I am sure the thoughts of all my readers
Thanks everyone - glad I gave you all a bit of food for thought.
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