What if everyone was given one “do-over” in life? Just one decision you could go back and do differently based on your current knowledge of how it turned out. It could be something really huge like not taking that ride with a drunk friend in high school or a marriage that didn’t last. Or it could be something small that would make your life better today in different ways.
The hard part is thinking beyond the real event and following the long thread of actions that were born of that decision. If you hadn’t ridden in that car, would the other two teens have died anyway? If yes, then how different would your life have been? If you were paralyzed in the crash, your life would be different but what would also be lost? Were there lessons and people who would not have been part of the fabric of who you are today?
If you hadn’t married that person would your lessons of tolerance or self-preservation, the knowledge of just what does make you happy, have come from another source at some other point in history? Even if they are not part of your life today, aren’t there friendships and memories of adventures that would never have occurred?
“Maybe,” you think, “I would do-over losing that friend.” Those don’t really require a do-over unless the friend is no longer living. Reopening a door you shut hardly counts as a do-over, more of a do-again. Of course, if that friend is not here, that would definitely qualify. The more important question to ponder is what would you do differently this time around? If you can think about it without blame then perhaps, the lesson in losing that person was learned.
So to play the game of “do over” you have to think very hard about what holes in your life would occur if you had the chance at change. Thinking of the far-reaching consequences helps put the action in perspective. Would you do-over firing someone? Maybe they managed to do better than they could have foreseen. Maybe you were the catalyst for them.
When I looked up “Do Over” blogs, they focused on very short-term complaints. (or on crafts which was not the context I was seeking!) “I wish I could do-over this day.” “Can we just get a Do-Over for the last week?” I couldn’t find anyone who really had an issue with the larger decisions they made in life.
For me, the only thing I would change was the first time I picked up a cigarette. Would I have lost a chance with the boyfriend who smoked Marlboros incessantly had I not taken up the habit? Probably not, and the butts ruled my life much longer than the relationship.