I Would Like A Do-Over!

Here is an interesting question: If you could go back in time and change just one day in your past, would you? This is tricky because how do you know that if you did change that one day it wouldn’t completely change how your life is today? Would it be worth the risk?

I can honestly say, that without any hesitation, that I love my life today at this moment. I have a wonderful husband, a fabulous house, a great job that I truly enjoy, and I live exactly where I want to live around the people (my family) that I want to be surrounded by! What’s not to love? Sure I have my days where everything seems to go wrong, or when Keith and I get into a spat, but overall on the whole I love my life! Sometimes it is hard, it definitely is not perfect but it is really good.

But, if I had to pick the day to do-over I can pinpoint it exactly. I know which one it would be. Here’s the background: I was in college…fall semester of my senior year. I was seriously involved with a guy (no it was not Keith) and I was graduating in May. I was 22 and Keith at this time was 33 living in Dallas. I went to Texas A&M in College Station (about 3 hours from Dallas and an hour and half from Austin). Keith was coming to College Station to play in a flag football tournament and he called me up to ask me to meet him and watch him play. Keith and I DID NOT date while I was in college (although I wanted to!) He refused saying that I needed to enjoy my college experience and we could date after I graduated. At the time it made me mad…but now I see the wisdom in his thinking. He wanted me to enjoy my college experience and not be in a long distance relationship with someone 11 years older. That was smart! But I don’t think Keith expected me to get involved with someone else. I had been dating this guy for almost 2 years and it was a seriously unhealthy and very BAD relationship. I will NOT discuss the details but it was not good and not in any way healthy.

So, Keith came to College Station and since we were still friends he asked me to come see him play. My boyfriend did NOT like this idea at all! So I “snuck” away from the boyfriend and went and saw Keith play one game. We went to Subway for a quick lunch and I promised to come back later that afternoon to watch him play again in round two of the tournament. I had known Keith my whole life and it was so good to see him and laugh with him. He had a few hours before his next game and he and his team were going to go chill at their hotel and rest. I promised again that I would come back. I didnt. I didn’t call. I didn’t show. I left Subway and never went back. And that damaged mine and Keith’s friendship for a long time. That was the fall of 2002 and Keith and I did not start dating until July 2004. That is the day I would do over. I would have gone back. I would have trusted my instincts and dropped the boyfriend and gone back. Would it have changed anything? Maybe. Do I think it would alter my life now? No. I still think I would have ended up Keith….just maybe a tad sooner. But who knows what that would have meant or changed. Maybe we wouldn’t live in Austin, maybe I wouldn’t have this job…you never know. But I know that I hurt Keith that day and I still remember the pain I saw in his eyes as we talked about it years later. I hurt him and that kills me. I would change that day. That one decision on that one day. I know it may sound like a weird day to chose..but without sharing with you more than I am willing…those next 2 years were hard and I went through a lot. I had a choice that day and I chose wrong.

I know I don’t typically share a lot of the deeper parts of me or my past so why do I tell you this? Because guilt is a terrible thing. Regret is a terrible thing and it can eat you alive if you let it. It can and it will. Wishing to change the past can’t happen…it is impossible to go back in time. But you can move forward and you can make changes today to change your future for tomorrow! So I challenge you to make POSITIVE changes today to avoid regret tomorrow!

What day would you do-over?

What changes/decisions will you make today to positively affect your tomorrow?


49 Responses

  1. You know, there are things that I saw I would changed, but those things (no matter how bad) are what makes me who I am today. I guess the only thing that I can think to do today that will make other days better, would be to always try to find the positive side to life. Live, learn, grow.

  2. i had a roommate who was my best friend for several years. when i started dating nate (my hubby) she got insanely jealous and started playing mind games to get me to stop dating him and spend more time with her. my sister’s volleyball team went to State, and instead of inviting her I invited Nate. the day she found out about that (which she did by snooping on my computer and email, by the way) she said the meanest things to me anyone’s ever said to the point that i was scared to go home. i cried and apologized and tried to make amends, but she didn’t care. looking back i would have just told her to screw off and would have looked for a new place to live because the coming months were hell. i just think if i’d told her what i really felt rather than just try to make her happy i would have saved myself, her, and Nate a lot of pain and heartache!

  3. ooh i love this story. thanks for sharing. it’s funny to think how differently our lives could be if we changed one day…

  4. I think I would do over the day I had my first sexual encounter with someone I didn’t love. I hate knowing that I had a promiscuous time in my past and wish I had saved myself or at least only shared that experience with Peter and one other person I know I cared for. I think if that one day (night) I had said no it would have kept me saying no in other situations too. But at the same time, I LOVE my life now and I wouldn’t want it to change in the least. So if that means having less desirable parts of my past, so be it. I don’t dwell on it and I love how you included that in your message.

  5. I would do over just about every single day in the last 29 years 🙂
    Actually I can pinpoint many many many…but why dwell on the past stuff , right? I like the clear concept of “forget the past”….”live in the moment”.

    You and Keith seem like such a close couple. Like really in love. Did you take his last name when you married? Kath (I don’t know if you read KERF) asked this on her blog before because she kept her last name when she married and is glad she did.
    People seem to go both ways, so it must be a personal decision that a person would have to feel strongly about.

    You are lucky if the guy has a “good” last name 🙂 no worries then!

    • Thanks!!! I did take Keith’s last name when we got married but it took me a long time. I didn’t change it for about 6 months. But Keith NEVER pushed me to make any changes. He simply let me do it at my own rate when I was ready. So when I knew I was ready…I did it. I kept my maiden name as my middle name though so as to still honor my father and where I came from! 🙂

  6. this is so interesting. thanks for sharing more about the inner workings of kelly!

    i’m not sure what i would redo. my first thought was i’d want to redo my engagement so i could actually take the time to take it all in. i feel like i blacked out & i don’t remember half of what ryan said – though i think you are looking for something more “life-changing” and a situation we regret…

  7. This was a great story, thanks! I’d go back to 2005 when I was working at a job that required really long hours. It was an unhealthy situation, where you’d get scorned for coming in at 8 am and leaving sooner than 9 pm. That’s when my knee pain started up again after being dormant through college. I didn’t take it seriously enough because I had not time. I feared getting fired (or worse: chewed out with curse words and all) for leaving work at 5 to go to the gym and do physical therapy. I think I’d be a lot better off now if I had cared less about my job and more about my health. Oh hindsight.

  8. awww this is a great story! I completely agree with you on changing one thing in your past that could affect how the rest of your life may have been laid out! So glad things worked out for you and Keith! You guys seem very in love and very very happy!

  9. I would do over the day I got hit by a car. I’m not sure how my life would be different but I wouldn’t get asked if I have a cold all the time.

    Then there’s that time I had too much jagermeister and well, lets just say I don’t remember much 😉

  10. That’s an interesting question. Most of my life experiences–as painful as they may have been–made me who I am today. I wouldn’t really change anything except for a few things. One is an ex I dated for a short period of time. I knew in my heart it wasn’t a healthy, positive relationship and there were red flags EVERY WHERE that he was potentially abusive. I wish I had listened to those voices and NEVER got involved with him in the first place.

  11. Hmmm, I am not sure. I think I would want to go back and start at 18 again. I would definitely make a lot of different choices. But I would want to know what I know now.

  12. Great story! I am not sure what day I would do-over.

    I also went to Texas A&M! 🙂

  13. I don’t think I would do anything over. I don’t have any regrets. Sure I wish I had always been healthy and fit, but without the experiences I had being overweight as a teenager, I wouldn’t be as strong and wise as I feel like I am now. I’m a much better person for all of the struggles I’ve had.

  14. I also was thinking of this subject today. I have a lot of regrets not one day in particular, but I know there are some. The day I blew off my biology final in college for something that in the grand scheme of things shouldn’t have mattered. The day I turned down the opportunity to join track. The day I moved to a big 12 school knowing in my heart that I was doing it to try to prove to everyone I could. The days of bad experiences with guys that changed me forever and how safe I feel with a guy. I think we all have regrets no one get through life unscathed. Ask anyone and they will ALL say they have at least one big regret if not more.

  15. I don’t have that many regrets because I am happy in the life I have today. I do have a couple of regrets from before my aunt passed away from cancer. I wish I wasn’t so involved in my wedding/being engaged to realize her health was deteriorating and wish I could have done something to make her go to the doctor before it was too late. I don’t dwell on that because that burden is way way too big to carry around everyday and I was too young to realize what was truly going on.

  16. I dated a guy in college for two years that I totally knew wasn’t right for me…I knew it, but I wanted a boyfriend, so I stayed with him. I really regret not spending that time with my college friends– if I could have a do-over, I don’t think I would have dated him. Sigh.

    It’s strange to think about do-overs…I try not to play that game, because it’s so dangerous to dwell on the past. My present is pretty great, and that’s what’s important 🙂

    • Very well said…the “do-over game” can definitely be a slippery slope! It IS best to focus on the present and thankfully mine all worked out like it should have! 🙂

  17. You two were meant to be! A good happy ending!

  18. I’m glad that it ended up working out for you two, even with that mistake! You are a lucky lady!

  19. That’s such a great question. It’s easy to make a snap decision and say “no, I wouldn’t change anything because it made me who I am today.” However there are small things that I would have liked to change. I think overall, I would have changed my way of looking at life from age 17-24. During college I never really just let go and have fun. I always wanted to make the “right choices” and “get school over with.” I would like to go back, party it up, and just relax a little. Right after school I moved to Maui to live with my boyfriend. I always felt so “stressed” about “not living my life a certain way.” I wish that I would have just relaxed a little more and taken in all that the beautiful island had to offer. Recently, I kinda snapped my view into focusing in on living my best life NOW. Thanks for the food for thought!

  20. There are plenty of things that I would change, but no real big defining moment of regret.

  21. March 9th, 1999. My dad was in a head-on collision and now has a serious brain injury. Every bad thing in my life (save for things like someone getting the flu, etc) happened as result of my dad going to work that day. My sister’s behavioral issues, our money problems, my mom’s health (she stopped taking care of herself to deal with two kids, ages 5-7, and a brain-damaged husband)… It’s not really a regret because I didn’t really have any control over it, but I’d do-over that day in a heartbeat and convince him not to go to work. 5-year-olds can be convincing, so it may have worked. If not, at least I could have said good-bye.
    But it definitely shaped who I am today, because it forced me to grow up way too fast. People always tell me how mature I am, and that’s because I had to deal with very serious subject matter before I could even spell the word “serious”. I do enjoy being told I’m mature (who wouldn’t? 😉 ) but I’d trade maturity for a happy childhood any day.

    Sorry for being depressing. 😛

    • Mo…you are an example of a real life role model for me and for many others I am sure. You are well beyond your years and right now I want to reach out and give you a HUGE hug! 🙂

  22. In golf, it is called a mulligan

  23. Wow. This was powerful and gave me chills. I know you are SO happy now, but I HATE (repeat HATE) that you lived that many difficult years. I would redo a night my junior year of college when my ex boyfriend broke up with me. I would have accepted it for what it was, which was an immature relationship that had lasted too long. I practically begged that we stayed together and lived my own personal hell for the next 3 years that culminated with him breaking up with me in a public place 3 years later (for a total of 6 years). I think back on all the wasted time and it makes me sad. BUT, I would only want to take it back if I were gaurenteed to meet Mr. KD because now my life is just as it should be!

  24. I don’t really believe in regrets. I think everything that has happened has made us stronger. BUT there is only one thing that I would change if I could. My WEDDING!!!!! My dream wedding was to get married on a beach somewhere hot and beautiful but to make parents and grandparents happy and since DH and I were the first of the siblings and cousins to get married within both families it was a huge pressure to have this huge European style wedding. So we caved and did it the way everyone thinks it should be. Don’t get me wrong, I did love my wedding but it wasn’t my dream wedding! So in 2012 it will be our 15 wedding anniversary and we are off to Hawaii with our DD to renew our vows, the way we orginally wanted to get married!

  25. Kelly, you are so remarkable. I love you for sharing this and for confirming what I already sensed about you- that you are a tremendously caring, loving person with a heart the size of the state you live in. The fact that you even still think about having hurt Keith years ago is a testament to how much you care about him and others.

    I have one single regret and it occurred about a year before my dad died. He came to pick me up at school and he was riding an old, beat up bicycle and wearing the oldest, most worn and ugly hat I’d ever seen (but it was winter so he needed a hat). I was so embarrassed that I wouldn’t walk through town with him. Gosh, just writing this makes my eyes well up. I can’t stand to think of that day. It’s the one regret that I’ll carry with me forever. He may not have ever remembered it for longer than a few hours on that Tuesday, but I wish I were a better person then, more aware of how precious our time was and didn’t care about being cool. Oh well.
    Thanks for such a great topic. It’s so important to try to live and love without regret! I try to seize most opportunities and act in a way that I feel is good and with integrity. It’s not always perfect, but I’m happy.

    • Oh Andrea…I am sure your father knew how much you loved him and how you didn’t really mean it! You are one of the most special people I have virtually met and I can’t imagine anyone with a sweeter heart than you!

  26. great story and great question kelly! honestly, i love my life but i would be lying if i said there wasn’t a day i would change because i can think of several days … the day i signed for the car i couldn’t afford. the day i decided to drop out of college. there have been moments when i’ve said things i’d love to take back but the reality is you can’t turn back time. every action has a reaction. knowing this made it very hard for me to come to terms with having to have labor induced with all three of my children. i was terrified that if they weren’t born on the day they were “supposed” to be born on because of my choice to plan their births i would forever alter their life path. lol … luckily they seem fine so far!

  27. This is an amazing post Kelly. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Ive made a lot of mistakes. Seriously, a LOT. Ive been sitting here trying to figure out just exactly what Id take back. I know there are a lot of big things that I should want to do over, but I wouldnt.
    My mind keeps going back to one night though, so Im going to take that as a sign.
    My ex boyfriend (if you can even call him that) brought out the worst in me, and I brought out the worst in him. It was toxic. I had finally started to get control over my ED and I hadnt seen him for probably a year. He came back into my life and at first it was perfect. He said everything right, he did everything right, but I knew better. Of course, it didnt stop me from pretending like everything was ok.
    The last time I slept with him is what I would do over. And by do over, I mean I wouldnt do it. It was a great night, we actually had a really good time together. But sleeping with him that night is the only thing in my life that I wish I hadnt have done. I felt horrible about myself afterwards. It was also the last time I ever saw him, so I guess that tells you how much I mean to him.

  28. That story gave me chills. You two really were meant to be.

    I don’t think I can pinpoint a day that I would change. I really think that it is the little things that can change or shape our lives in unexpected ways. Have you seen the movie Sliding Doors? It’s two stories about a woman who did and did not miss a subway train. It really shows how little things do matter. I think there were probably countless moments like these in my life.

  29. […] also want to say thank you to everyone who shared their stories yesterday on my “Do-Over” post. Some of your stories blew me away and I couldn’t help thinking that I have the most […]

  30. Kelly, thanks for sharing that story! You’re very encouraging.
    I would do-over the day my boyfriend was in a fatal car accident. It was 3 years ago this month- back in 2007. We had just finished a long run at our area park. He got in his Jeep, I got in my Jeep, and I never saw him alive again. If I do it over, I would have just held him, sweaty and all – just a little bit longer.
    I couldn’t run again for the longest time. But (thanks to YOUR blog) I started up training again several months ago. And I now sense Tyler when I run. It’s the coolest thing.
    So I guess sometimes things do work out in the end.

    • This made me tear up…thank you for such a wonderful comment. I am so glad that you have found peace and are able to run again. I feel so blessed to be able to reach you on an inspirational level although your words have now truly inspired me.

  31. Great topic! I wouldn’t change a thing because I love where I am in life right now, and everything in my past has made me who I am today. 🙂

  32. Aw, we do all have those moments that we wish we could do over, though I’m glad that in the end it all worked out!

    I have way too many regrets and days that I’d like to do over…I need to get over that.

  33. I love this question you pose. I often look back and wonder what would have happened in my life if I’d done things differently here and there, most specifically that year I wish I had spent in Aspen after I graduated from college. I still ask myself why I didn’t pursue a career in health and wellness in my 20’s as opposed to now. But recently, there has been a decision which I deeply wish I could “do over.” We purchased commercial real estate 2 1/2 years ago at the height of the market when our marketing business was booming. With the recession has come business challenges, not to mention the value of the property now dropped in half. I never knew a piece of property could cause so much strive! And if we had only leased, things would be so different today. But I’m sure I will look back 5-10 years from now and see the experience as a good one for learning. Just not there yet.

  34. I’m a little late on this but wanted to respond to thank you for openly sharing that regret. Amazing strength and courage to share something that is pretty personal with all of us. I really appreciate that about you! I agree, actually with Heather (where’s the beach) – any regret I’ve felt (and thankfully, I have not had too much regret, to date), you learn from and you move on and you’re a better/stronger/wiser person for it. Sucks at the time while you’re in it though, that much is true.

  35. […] thought about all of this when I read my very good friend/one of my biggest support systems Kelly’s blog yesterday where she asked what you would do-over if you had the chance.  I would redo that […]

  36. I can always think of September of my sophomore year in high school. I canceled on a babysitting gig in order to go to the dance after the football game that Friday night, hours before I was supposed to show up. It sounded important at the time.

    I left my clients in the lurch and worried that something was seriously wrong. My parents found out at church that Sunday and I was grounded from the Alanis Morissette concert that night.

    Was the dance worth it? Hell no! That was just a stupid thing to do.

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