Hypothetical Question: Do overs?

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If you could go back and change an action in your life would you choose to do that?  Here’s the catch, if you choose to go back you have to go through your life all over again taking the risk that whatever you change might change everything else that came after that event.  Years ago I read a book called Replay, by Ken Grimwood.  Jeff Winston the protagonist a 43 year old radio journalist dies and wakes up 18 years old again, he gets to redo his life while still remembering his old life.  He gets to “replay” his life several times at different ages too each time starting older than the one before.  He memorizes airplane crashes, stocks, tries to save a friend from suicide and things like that.  The book was one of the most insightful books I have ever read.  I would love to re-read it now and see how I would feel about it.

I used to believe that if you make your own decisions you should have no regrets and that even if you think you made a mistake you should be proud of it, make it right and move on.  I remember having this discussion when I was 23 with someone at work who was 10 years older and he said that he used to think so too and that when you get older you do have regrets even if they are small ones or trivial ones.  I think now I sort of agree but I still think that if you hold yourself accountable for your decisions you should not have many regrets just perhaps nostalgia for what should or could have been.

“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” Harris, Sidney J.

Would you want a do over?  What would you redo?  Would it be worth the risk?

6 Comments

  • At 2008.10.29 09:25, mona said:

    I don’t think I would, I’ve seen too many time travel movies and I know you mess with the time-space continuum and you never know what could happen.

    • At 2008.10.29 10:06, Cesario said:

      There was a period in my life when I kept wishing for a do over and of course it didn’t happen. Now, when I think of my life, I realize that because of the mistakes I did, I became the person who I am today. All my blunders shaped my personality and I know that if they didn’t exist I would have become a completely different person; a shallow one and for that I don’t want a do over. I regret things of course, but I know why I regret them and I know that right now I am trying to fix them. I expect bigger mistakes and greater regrets as I grow old, but it’s just part of life.
      We always think we’d do things differently if we had a second chance at life, but I don’t know if we would. You also realize that we would be totally different people and in your do over, you won’t remember the mistakes you’ve made, so you’re probably going to make them again.

      • At 2008.10.29 11:17, inas said:

        love my self i love my life i dont think i hade rong dicisions or mistake it may seam so but it is only destiny which i cant change but i can live with it .

        • At 2008.10.29 22:01, S.A said:

          if i can go back i would change evrything and i mean it everything…i wouldnt be responsable, would have studied a little less, wouldn’t have done the right thing all the time, would smile and laghed went out lived for my self (not that am not doing that already ) but i would have been CARELESS AND SHALLOW.
          i mean isn’t it a bless not to know everything, those things you know makes you deeper you worry more and you get older IGNORANCE peaopl is a bless.
          why do i have to be right all the time i want to be wrong for once, i mean i do mistakes but even while doing them i know they are mistakes.
          walahy dont lagh “as7ab el 32ool fee ra7a” bas begad i reached a point that no body impresses me now i respect no one for his brain and that makes me an unhappy 22 yearls old girl i want to stop at this point befor getting more older more mature, i even cant find a guy to love cause i dont respect any, its bad i know but i feel i can be the upper hand with everyone i meet wich i dont respect in a relationship.
          i dont know if am complicating things but i dont find that heroic figure in my life to follow as a teacher or a person who deserve to be admired for that way he is deserved to be followed not in colledge not anywher, i mean mum dad i love my parents but they are perfect peopl but wher is that person now tht makes you wana be like them.
          and for all of that to answer your question i want to rewind my life to be the shallowest careless irresponsable girl ever….maybe then i will be HAPPY :)))))

          • At 2008.10.29 23:34, Solace said:

            This is something I think about quite often. I do have many regrets, but mostly I think a lot had to do with doing what was right and not what my heart told me.

            At the same time I believe that regardless of the decisions we make the end result of our lives will be the same….

            • At 2008.10.30 23:25, jessyz said:

              @mona: how rational!
              @Cesario: or perhaps you would make even worse mistakes. Our actions and decisions shape us for better or for worse, growing up means accepting that and learning from it.
              @inas: I think the only thing you could have done differently was love yourself more.
              @S.A.: I am not sure if being shallow or irresponsible would make you a happier person. I think perhaps you need to look inside yourself and find happiness. I have found that knowledge and depth are the truest and fastest ways to happiness and contentment.
              @Solace: I sometimes think so too, this is exactly what happened in the book, the protagonist tries to save his best friend from suicide, succeeds temporarily but his friend ends up dead in the end anyway. Fate is tougher than time travel :-D.