Life Choices from Hindsight: "What if....?", a poem

A YOUNGER ME - Age 30
A YOUNGER ME - Age 30 | Source

"What if...?" A Reverie


If I could only be again

the girl who once was Me

with youthful air of innocence

and laugh of gaiety


If I could just retrace my steps

to the place I was back then

and have the chance to alter

the way my life has been


Would I do other than I’ve done,

a wiser pathway go

to realize all ambitions?

Alas! I’ll never know!


(But...,I think not.)




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The "me" I am now

Source

© 2011 Jaye Denman

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Comments 35 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Au fait - Thanks for the votes and sharing. As for having your bags packed, just don't leave the station before the train with your stamped ticket arrives!

Ideally, I think we should live every day as though it's our last since we don't know that last day's date. Any time I feel I've wasted a day (by 'wasted day', I don't mean resting when the body needs it or taking a day to relax, read, recharge or visit with the people you love), but actually getting through a day and realizing I'd only been spinning my wheels, I feel guilty. I'm happier when I don't fill up my time with 'busy work', but strive to make the hours and minutes count for something.

Take care.....Jaye

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lisa - While people my age often look back, when I do so now it is mainly to cherish a past memory, not to feel regret. I had my chances, made my choices and now live with them. But, yes...I think everyone has a time when she or he looks at the past and thinks, 'what if.....?

Regards....Jaye


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

A great poem. Something to think about if you could turn back time would you do things differently?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Forgot to mention, voted up, interesting, and awesome. Shared on HP. No, I've had my opinion for many years and nothing much ever changes. My bags are packed . . . but thanks for your thoughts. :)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Au fait - While I look back and realize with hindsight that many of my life's choices could have been better, I also recognize that the path I've traveled made me what I am now and also gave me my family. This means I've learned some lessons the difficult way (by making mistakes), but perhaps those hard-won lessons helped me avoid similar mistakes going forward.

I believe life is truly a journey, one which teaches us as we traverse it. At the age of 71, I'm in no hurry for it to end (and hope you feel differently tomorrow), but want to live the rest of it in the best way I can. By the time one reaches my age, some wisdom usually accumulates and makes the road smoother.

Blessings.....Jaye


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

We all think back sometimes about how we might have done things differently, especially if we could go back with the knowledge we have now, but for me, I just want it to be over with. I don't want to go back to anything. Jacqueline Susann was wrong, once IS enough.

Fun poem!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Stevie. The earlier photo was actually taken in 1973. As far as mistakes and poor choices, I made more than my share of those, both in younger days and in my middle years.

I hope that I've learned from my missteps--after all, they and their results constituted a large part of my life--but even if those lessons took longer than they should have to sink in, I don't allow myself to fret over the 'what's-done-is-done' part of my life any more. I try now to live in the present, making it and whatever future is left for me worthwhile and happy.

Have a lovely weekend.....Jaye


Stevie Cenko 2 years ago

Ah, Jaye. what a treat to get to see your photos. The earlier one looks like the 70's and you look great in your current photo too! It pains me to look back at many things in my younger life (mistakes I made and mistakes others made towards me), but a lot has to do with environment. It's how we learn and grow (hopefully) into becoming better people. Lovely poem.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Aunt Jimi - Your comment is insightful, and most people would probably agree with you that once is, indeed, enough. While we may wish we'd done some things differently, it is better to accept where life has taken us and live in the moment than to waste time and energy in focusing on the past.

Jaye


Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 3 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

Without a doubt if I were could go back in time with the knowledge and experience I have and do things over I would make many and major changes, but I can't and to be honest, I wouldn't want to. Jacqueline Susann was wrong, once IS enough. Very thought provoking if one truly digs into it. Voted up, interesting, and useful.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, rajan jolly....I can't say that nothing went my way, for many things did. However, the hindsight (and, hopefully, wisdom) that comes with age allows me to recognize that some of the choices I made during my younger years were not good for me.

Jaye


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Looking back? Well, I believe many of us do ask this question of ourselves especially if things do not go our way.

Beautiful poem. Voted up.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Peggy....We wouldn't be human if we didn't sometimes ask the "What if...? question. Glad you liked the poem and my profile page. Thanks for the vote and feedback. Jaye


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

As Eiddwen (Eddy) said...we can do nothing about our past...but it cannot make us wonder sometimes if we had turned this direction or that, if it would have been different. Our futures can be affected at least partially by what we choose to do and how we act. I liked reading your profile page. Up and interesting votes on this poem.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Ah, yes...we do live and learn, often via the most difficult route. My late stepfather always referred to the mistakes of youth as "going up Fool's Hill."

Thanks for reading.

Jaye


2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I have the same sentiments. Hind site is always 20/20. It only through knowledge and experience do we realize the folly of our youth.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

DREAM ON...I doubt there lives a man or woman who at one or more "forks in the road" of life hasn't made the wrong decision--whether willfully or because of not having knowledge necessary for a wiser choice. The best we can do is learn from our mistakes and not make the same one twice. We can also use our lessons learned to teach others, particularly the young, in hopes they will be spared some of the "bumps" we experienced along the way.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Jaye


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 4 years ago

I first want to thank you for finding me.Then like many people I have lived with knowledge I thought to be the right information.To only find out later I was wrong.The I have made the wrong choices where I should of seen the right path.These lessons I live with and keep trying not to make the same mistake twice.Then I have a thirst for learning and an insatiable appetite for knowledge.It takes me in both directions some good some bad.Off to read and enjoy more.A wonderful hub.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, LaThing....I doubt there are many humans who don't ask themselves that question at some time in their lives. Those who have no regrets at all are extremely fortunate ... and rare.

Jaye


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

This is a wonderful poem and thought provoking! We will never know and how many of us wish to go back and change things! Voting up....


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, molometer. If life is a journey from which we (hopefully) learn, I've had my fair share of lessons along the way. While we don't get a "do-over", second chances abound that allow us to make better, informed decisions as life goes on. From my vantage point, it's never too late to either get it right or, at least, get it better!

Regards,

Jaye


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Ah! what if indeed, I like the way you write.

We are what we are, the sum total of our experiences and learning. Good, bad and indifferent.

Voted up awesome and beautiful.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Pastella....This was just a little poem expressing my own "what if" and "if only" thoughts. Glad you enjoyed it. Jaye


pastella13 5 years ago

What if? And - if only!

We could have all had different lives if we had made different choices, and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if ...

Well written, Jaye.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, saddlerider. Your comments are appreciated.

Hindsight and maturity show us where we might have made better decisions in our lives. The key is to learn from all experiences and choose wisely in the present and future.

JAYE


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Very well conceived Jaye, I think every single one of us wonder about what if's or maybe's in our life would we have changed, I must confess there is not much I would have changed about myself other than not been born into a family with abuse problems. I liked your structure, well done. Bravo, and remember we can't turn back the past, yet we can alter our futures by being the best we can. hugs to you.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Sunshine. Remaining youthful--especially the mind--has distinct advantages. Jaye


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Beautiful poem Jaye...it made me think what I would do different, I can't think of anything BUT I also realized I'm still never going to grow up! Hahaha! Voted UP/Awesome


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for your comments, Marie. You're right that our life experiences--especially the difficult ones--help us learn and grow. I now take the view that everything that has happened to me in my life thus far has made me...ME. All the good experiences, but also the not-good experiences, contributed to the person I became.

I hope I keep learning and growing until the end of my life. That, I believe, is what every person should strive to do. No one can escape sadness, and very few escape making misguided decisions, so it is good that those things that hurt and dismay us find fertile ground to grow something positive.

JAYE


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

We tend to ponder about our past..... What if? Somehow I found peace in the knowledge that I would not have been me if everything was not exactly as it was. I did not learn any substantial lessons during the times I was happy and successful. Only gathered some nice memories. The meaningful lessons I’ve learned was before, during and after failures and during extreme sadness. They forced me to grow. I’m glad I’ve found you again, Jaye. I enjoyed your post in Novelty and was sad when I saw you’ve left. Take care.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I'm glad you liked this little poem. I think many people change priorities as we mature, which is one of the perks of growing older.

Thanks for your comment about my hubber name. Another of my impulses. It just jumped onto the screen almost before I knew I'd typed it! JAYE


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Like Eiddwen, my favorite line of this poem is the last one, "But....,I think not.)

For myself, joy has grown through the years, as I've gained the "wisdom" to recognize and fully appreciate the simple things in life such as hugs from loved ones, beautiful sunsets, freedom to spend one's time as one chooses, freedom to make a difference in the lives of others. These are the things that make me feel light and joyful even though I'm old and gray.

By the way, I love your hubber name and the reason you gave in your profile for choosing it.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Suzanne...I understand what he meant. There are many things I know I could have done better, though I did gain a lot of life lessons...the hard way!

Thanks for stopping by. Jaye


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

My father always used to say, "If I had only known then what I know now!"


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Eiddwen, for stopping by and reading my little poem. I'm glad you liked the most important phrase....

I do hope you'll read more of my hubs, which are a "mixed bag" of topics and types of writing. I appreciate the encouragement and inspiration of other Hubbers.

Jaye


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A clever poem and thanks for sharing.

I especially liked the 'but I think not'at the end.

We cannot change our past but we can our future so why waste time and energy on the former.I rate this one up.

I now look forward to reading more of your work.

Take care

Eiddwen.

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