What Would You Change?

Recently I saw a question on Facebook that gave me pause. It read:  If there is one thing you could change about your life, what would it be?

After giving this some serious thought, I concluded that I’m not sure I would change anything. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, one person/one experience/one life event affected every other one, and each one continued to make its own impact, like dominoes falling one against the next. Had I not gone to the college I chose, I would not have met or maintained friendships with some of my closest friends. Had I not worked in all of the different jobs that I did, I would have missed out on meeting MANY wonderful people – staff and clients, both – who had an impact on my life. While there are many ways in which I can still work to improve myself, I kind of like the person I’ve become. If I changed any one thing in my life, who would I be instead?

There is one thing that happened years ago that has continued to affect my life. I stopped to reflect on whether or not I would have changed that. It was the death of my father when I was only fourteen. That had a huge impact upon me. It caused me to curl up in a shell for many years. Where I might have been encouraged to be more outgoing, more creative, more assertive…I was not. Choices I made through college and years following may have been very different ones had my father lived longer. On the other side of the coin, I watched my mother decline for years with dementia. I was closest to my dad, and it would have broken my heart to see him decline like that.

No, I don’t believe I would change a thing. I have made choices, met amazing people, had experiences both good and bad that have formed me into the person I am today. I am not perfect. I haven’t become anybody great, but I like me, and I am satisfied with my life, and those who are in it. Regrets? Yes, as the song goes “I have a few, but too few to mention.” I’ve discovered that life is a process, a journey. Each day is a new adventure. “Do-overs” would be nice, but we don’t get them. This life is making me into a better person. I hope and I pray that what I have learned, along with my efforts to get better and to keep growing and improving, are the things that will count in the next life. Besides, I am unique. There is no one now, nor will there ever be another person, who gets to experience life exactly as I have or have the same thoughts that I do. I want to continue to get to know me, and to share that me  with all the world!

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The Prisoner's Prayer Book

Louise is author of The Prisoner's Prayer Book which evolved as she became a volunteer in prison ministry. Retired from a career in social services, Louise resides in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.