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Taking The Road Less Traveled And Loving The Trip

Updated on February 16, 2013
The road less traveled.
The road less traveled. | Source
There have been times when that road less traveled was a dangerous path.
There have been times when that road less traveled was a dangerous path. | Source
In the end the road led me to Bev and happiness.
In the end the road led me to Bev and happiness. | Source

I was listening to a friend the other day and he was bemoaning a decision he made that had negative consequences. He was saying that if he had only done this other thing then the results would have been much different and he wouldn’t be feeling like such a loser. I have to admit I have uttered those words myself in the past, kicking myself for some decision I made that had a negative outcome. As you can imagine, an alcoholic has many such moments because a life while drinking is filled with seemingly poor decisions.

After listening to my friend cuss himself out for a few minutes I was struck by the futility of such a reaction. We are, after all, only human and as such perfect in our imperfections. Life is comprised of millions of decisions; some of them work out the way we planned and some don’t. No matter how they work out it is inevitable that there will be consequences. The Law of Cause and Effect takes place every single day; each action that we take and every decision that we make has consequences which of course lead to other actions and other effects and on and on it goes.

I am reminded of an old joke often told around the halls of Alcoholics Anonymous: If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans! So it is with life! We are planners; we go about our lives making plans and then revising those plans and eventually making new plans. This is what we do. We are amazingly resilient in our ability to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again. There is discouragement for sure and often heartbreak and depression when plans we counted on fall through and fail but we keep moving forward.

All of this of course led me to take a look at the major decisions I made during my life and I played a game of what if? Would you like to join me on this trip back in time?

WHAT IF HAD HANDLED THINGS DIFFERENTLY AFTER MY DAD DIED?

When my dad died in 1969 I was a junior in college, entertaining thoughts of going back for a fifth year and getting my teaching degree to go along with my Business degree. I was dating a lovely girl named Eva and we were quite close and getting closer with each passing day. The future looked bright; I had a plan and it looked something like eventually marrying Eva, raising a family and being a teacher for years until retirement. I could easily see us having three children, living in a ranch-style home somewhere and living the family dream.

Upon the death of my father all of that went up in smoke. I went into a depression and broke off the relationship with Eva. Because I had to support my mother as soon as possible I did not go back to college for that fifth year and instead went out and found immediate employment.

I supported my mother for five years and eventually quit my job and went back to get my teaching degree. I felt cheated for years because I had to grow up so quickly and start making adult decisions when I wasn’t emotionally ready to do so. I never saw Eva again and often thought how wonderful it would have been had I allowed her to help me emotionally instead of pushing her away.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Remembering-My-Fathers-Death-January-9-1969

WHAT IF I HADN’T STARTED DRINKING WHEN I WAS TWENTY-FIVE?

Oh my goodness, where do I start? Once my personal devil, alcohol, was allowed to see the light of day my life began a gradual decline. It began with one dark beer but soon escalated until we reached the point where alcohol was my constant companion, my best friend and in time my crutch.

What would have happened if I had made the decision not to drink? I wouldn’t have been divorced. I wouldn’t have lost jobs and businesses and caused so many people emotional pain. I wouldn’t have robbed myself of so many years that were spent instead inside of the bottle.

What could I have produced as a legacy if alcohol had not ruled my life for decades? How much good could I have done if not under the influence? What moments of greatness were never experienced because of the constant state of unmanageability?

WHAT IF I HAD REMAINED A TEACHER ALL OF THOSE YEARS RATHER THAN SWITCHING JOBS SO OFTEN?

Eighteen years of teaching in a thirty-four year span! What if I had stayed with teaching all of those years? How many students could I have impacted during those “off” years? How many lives could I have positively changed? How much change could I have brought about in the field of education? How many more teachers could I have trained?

I bemoan the current state of education in this country and yet I chose not to stick with it for sixteen years and instead headed off on another path, always searching for greener pastures. What does that say about me as a person, someone who had a gift as a teacher and yet ignored that gift at the expense of his students?

WHAT IF I HAD MANAGED MY FINANCES BETTER AND INVESTED OVER THE YEARS?

How much money have I made in my sixty-three years? We could do some fast math. Let’s say forty-five years of full-time employment and just for this discussion let’s say I averaged forty-thousand dollars per year over that span and that may be a conservative estimate. That comes out to roughly $1,800,000 earned over my lifetime. My current bank account has $200 in it!

What if I had invested $500 per year over that time period? I would currently have $22,500 if I had just put it in savings; if I had actually invested it how much would I have now? It is safe to say I would have more than $200.

AND YET…….

Every action has a consequence, even the insignificant actions of our lifetime. One decision puts into motion other events which lead to other decisions and actions which of course lead to others until sixty-three years have passed and here I am today telling you that I have never been happier. Why you ask?

If I had stayed with Eva all those years ago and married her and had a family I would never have met the love of my life, Bev. With Bev I have found more happiness than I even believed was possible and each day is a new lesson in the true meaning of love. How can I possibly regret any action that eventually led me to Bev’s doorstep? Simple answer….I can’t!

If I hadn’t begun my journey into alcoholism I would have never eventually recovered and learned what is truly important in life. Through Alcoholics Anonymous I learned how to change myself and in the process how to change my self-destructive behaviors. I have come out of that living nightmare a new and improved human being so in truth there are nothing but happy and rewarding consequences attached to my alcoholic journey.

What if I had continued teaching all those years? As I look back I realize that I was a much better teacher towards the end of my career than I was at the beginning. Why? I believe it is because of all the life experiences I have had. Learning new trades, dealing with daily trials, trying new careers and rebounding from setbacks, all made me the person I am today. Without those how could I possibly teach kids about life? I had to live life in order to pass on any lessons about life.

Yes I have made a ton of money over my lifetime and I have owned possessions and play things and it all led me to this point: I now have a true appreciation of life and all it has to offer without money in the mix. I was not happy with money nor was I happy constantly trying to make more; it was a need inside of me that money could not satisfy. Today I do not have that need for false stimulation; money has no hold over me. I have learned to live with much less and in the process learned to be happy and contented. What is the value of that lesson?

AND THE POINT IS…..

The point is, very simply, that all of my experiences, all the decisions, all the outcomes led me to where I am today and that is a place of happiness and contentment. Would I have ended up where I am today if a different set of experiences had happened? I have no way of knowing but what I do know is it would be silly of me to regret a single moment of my past when the final result was happiness and a life filled with love.

I have often heard people say, “If I knew then what I know now things would have been different.” Pretty true words but would things have been better? I have people in my life today who I cherish and for the first time in a very long time I feel loved AND love myself. Why in the world would I long for different decisions in the past which may have led to a different outcome?

Is the grass always greener on the other side? I have taken the road less travelled for a good portion of my life, constantly looking for greener grass. I am finally knee-deep in the most luscious grass a man can imagine and I think I’ll stop looking for a different shade of green.

2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

To order my Kindle book on Lifestyle Choices go to: http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judy, bless you, and thank you for sharing you own personal journey. Six years and counting for me, but it could all be gone tomorrow if I don't keep doing what I'm doing. Thank you!

    • Judy G Gillis profile image

      Judy G Gillis 4 years ago from Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

      I spent a lot of years bemoaning the fact that my husband was an alcoholic and living my life for him, to help him, to protect him, to control him. (Nothing worked of course.) It wasn't until I reached out to ask help for ME that things started to change. I found a new lifestyle - one of rigorous honesty and living in today. Within weeks, my husband came to that same place on his own - without my help! (who knew? haha)

      If it hadn't been for the 12 steps of AA, he and I would both still be struggling and not knowing how to really live life. It's been nearly 4 years since that time and I would not change a thing! Thanks for this most insightful post.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Time, I like the way you said it and yes, I agree. Too many people want to moan about their place in life...well, they are either comfortable in it or they fear change and can't seem to muster the courage to change...I can't live like that...must have been raised well by my parents.

      Thank you so much for a great comment.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 5 years ago

      I have always believe that where we are in life is where we want to be, otherwise, we'd change what we're doing. You obviously agree. Once again, you've created a thought provoking and well written hub. Great job.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sonny! I'm glad you found this motivational. If someone learns from my journey then that is a bonus indeed.

    • Sonny Ellar profile image

      Sonny Ellar 5 years ago from Saudi Arabia

      as what Unknown spy said, this is highly motivational. based on experience, life actually becomes better because of the wrong decisions we have made in the past but on the contrary, we don't have to commit those mistakes in order to be better I mean if we can picture out failure coming in if we'll choose this than that then pick that instead of this for a choice. but then again life is full of uncertainties and we are merely stressing out the obvious here:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Unknown, you are so right. Regret is a waste of time; everything happens so that we become the person we are meant to be. Thank you for stopping by.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      This is motivating. There are so many what if's in our life: our own road not taken. But when I think about the past and my what if's i would say that the choices I've made before, was the one I really wanted at that time. And it molds me to the person I am now.

      Great hub! Voted Up and all.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eliza; always nice having you stop by. Take care and have a great day!

    • ElizaDoole profile image

      Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

      Great hub Bill. I found this motivational and I could relate to all of your regret dilemmas, especially the money one! Voted up and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, that was very kind of you. Yes, I do believe I have placed myself in a position that will not garner a whole lot of hub dollars but oh well; to me this is important and that's why I write. Thank you very much!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      You rarely see a hub like this get such a high score, and I've always wondered why? How to make money, how to make lasagna, where to go in Alaska - are these really the best subjects for hubs? You've written your personal story from a universal point of view. Who among us hasn't asked, what if? Thank you for asking the question for us. We each have our own answer. 100 if ever there was one!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Laura! I appreciate those kind words and wish you peace and happiness.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amaya, no regrets! We do need out past experiences in order to be who we are today. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Thanks billybuc. Given the superabundance of choices we'll all face these days, it's so easy to wish things were different - where we live, what professions we chose, etc. Your attitude (especially given some of the struggles you have overcome) is refreshing and welcome. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Neil and I agree completely! If not for my experiences I would not be where I am now, and where I am now is a very good place indeed!

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      great hub - recently I was pondering what I would have done differently if I could live my life over again.... My answer I posted on my facebook photo album... here was my answer =

      "If I had the chance to live my life over again... I would do it all exactly as I have done. I am here!

      Being comfortable in my own skin, knowing I made it to where I am, PLUS by choice - I am happy. Life is an awesome adventure or it is nothing! Mine has been an awesome adventure and will continue to be.

      Let the adventure continue!"

      Keep on writing - good food for thought hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelley; stay tuned for my next hub on appreciating Hubbers who have supported me. You won't want to miss it!

      bill

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      How did I miss this hub 3 weeks ago? This is another fantastic hub Billybuc! I love the idea of taking the road less traveled. I listen to Steve Arterburn and he always says, Do the next right thing and it reminds me of what you put in this hub! Fantastic job! Take care, Kelley

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Trish, it sounds like there isn't enough coffee in the world to do that job! :) Best of luck waking up; I'm heading out the door to see what kind of fun trouble I can get into. :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Oh my! You are an optimist! It is now 11:21 am and I just woke up. You see, when I posted earlier, I had been up since 2 am. By 8:15 I was falling asleep, despite all the coffee. So I went back to sleep in hopes of catching up. Well, I now have my 3rd pot of coffee which just finished brewing. I'm going to get a cup and see if I can come to some level of alertness. Right now, I don't see it happening :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome Trish! How about a hub about Earth Day? It's a week from now....or a personal experience, always my favorite of topics. :)

      Whatever it is I'm sure it will be quite good; maybe you will have finished it by the time I get home so I have something to read.

      bill

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Thank you so much!

      Here it is, another Saturday and I'm sitting here with my coffee, trying to catch up with HP. Time to put on another pot of coffee and do some reading as i wait. I'm hoping to get inspired to write something to publish :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Trish! You have certainly become a regular in my day in a very short period of time. It is awfully nice to see your comment as I begin the day and know I have a friend in far-off New Jersey. Have a blessed day my friend and as always, you are appreciated.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      Yes, you got her name right, it's Sherri.

      I sure understand the celebrating of 60 degrees. We do that sometimes in our coldest winters when it climbs to 30.

      I'm sitting here with my first coffee of the day, so I will be back later to continue reading. I'm just waiting for the cobwebs to disappear from my head :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish...if I'm not mistaken Sally's Trove is Sherri although I'm horrible with names and could very easily be wrong. I will have to thank her for the recommendation.

      Our weather has been bizarre to say the least. We had over a foot of snow in late January and that hasn't happened for decades. The spring has been extremely cold and wet and we celebrate when we crack sixty degrees.

      I look forward to your comments about integrity. It is for sure a difficult subject. If taken literally then no one is a person of integrity because we all have some area where we slip on our morals or ethics. Still, I would hope that I am judged for the whole picture and not just my years when I was going steady with Jim Beam.

      Thank you and I, too, am glad to have a new friend.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Oh Billy,

      You're so lucky you don't suffer the major heat waves like we do here in NJ. Last year we had a cornucopia of weather. We had a tornado, an earthquake and a very large hurricane. Thank goodness, after two brutal summers and two brutal winters in a row, we got by this past winter with negligible snowflakes. Some pretty cold days, but nothing like the previous years. I'd like to think we'll get by with a not so hot summer this year.

      Yes, I find you to be a deep thinker. I read your hub about integrity, and I found it to be not only deep and thought provoking, but also a rather difficult thing to discuss, as there are no clear-cut answers. I know I will re-visit it when I have some calm time and offer my thoughts about that topic.

      I am so happy also to have made your acquaintance, and I have my best friend to thank for that. She is Sally's Trove here on HP. Her and I have been friends since we were 5 years old :)

      She asked me had I heard of you and I said no. She said you might want to check his hubs, I think you'd like him. I know she left a comment on one of your hubs, but I don't recall which one.

      One cannot have enough friends. It makes the world a nicer, smaller place. I am glad we are becoming friends :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish, I do believe I agree that Fall is my favorite time of the year although in Washington it's not like we have any major heat wave in the summer to find relief from. :) Deep thinker? Me? Probably, but then I go all helter-skelter because my brain can't handle the deep thought. :) Thank you so much; I do believe we are forming a friendship and that makes me happy.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      I agree Billy. There are actually three other Libras in my family that I didn't mention.

      It is one of my favorite signs. I also find myself drawn to Aries and Aquarius folks. What I love most about being a Libran, aside from the wonderful qualities we share, is that time of year. Autumn is my favorite season. It rids us of the heat of summer and heralds the beginnings of cold temps and falling snow.

      I can definitely relate to what you call your helter-skelter approach to life. I find myself in that mindset more often than I like. I do feel that Librans have that tendency, as well as being what I like to call deep thinkers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish, we Libras seem to sprout in bunches; my son was born on the 23rd and I on the 13th. Thank you for taking the time to visit me; I happen to like people who give some serious thought to life and their actions; they tend to nicely balance my helter-skelter approach. :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      I like that,,a veteran. After reading your profile, I was surprised to see that I am exactly 3 days older than you ;) Libra is a wonderful sign. I was born on the 10th, my best friend on the 9th, my mom on the 12th, my daughter on the 11th and my brother on the 19th.

      I told a dear friend my thought about how I happened to meet my English friend, and his comment was, you think too much :) Which actually, I do. I tend to think things through to their nth degree.

      Yes, I also agree that often, the tiniest thing can produce amazing results.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish, I will leave your last question for someone far wiser than I to answer. Your point is well-taken however; seemingly inconsequential events end up producing the largest impacts in our lives. It is a magical mystery tour for sure and never dull. Thank you for your meaningful comment and I appreciate such a veteran as yourself stopping by to read my work.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      Sometimes I sit in amazement at how random life is. I had a dear friend for many years, who hailed from England. She has since passed away, and I miss her a lot.

      I so loved her accent and one of her favorite expressions, bloody hell. She was a wonderful woman who spread cheer to everyone and always fought for the underdog.

      One day I was discussing her with a friend, and I said wow! My friend said wow what? I said do you realize that because her husband brought her here, and they happened to move to my neighborhood, and our respective kids didn't get into a bit of scuffle, that I would never have known she existed? That still boggles my mind today.

      And so it is with everyone and everything that has inpacted my life. All seemingly by chance, or is it design? :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Golden, I would be happy to! Thank you for stopping by and I'll be over to visit shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder, you are very welcome. I hope I am still learning forty years from now. :)

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for being so open with your life journey. There is so much we can learn from each other. So glad you found love and happiness.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, thank you! I find great comfort knowing that I no longer have to live in the past. The present is a wonderful thing and I love residing there. Bless you and thank you for your continued support.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hi billybuc another wonderful hub. How many times have I thought the same thing? I can't even count. I wish to go back in time and change this, and change that, but it can't be done. So, let the past go and look at the future. Look at what God has given us, by letting the past go. Wonderful hub!!!! Thank you so much. Your hubs are wonderful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always, I appreciate you greatly. I no longer look at the past as mistakes; they were just actions that had to be taken in order for me to get to where I am now. Thank you for following along on my journey. Wishing you a very happy weekend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I think every person reading your story can relate. I know i can. What can be gained by looking back and wondering what if? It only makes you feel sad. I like to look forward, believing i have learned from my past mistakes. I know you are in that mode also. I really enjoyed reading about your journey into enlightenment. Thank you again for sharing...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dim, thank you...maybe I'm not brave but foolish? :) Whatever, I truly do appreciate your support.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I'm afraid this weekend will be dominated by doing taxes but I'll try to be as silly and wonderful as possible while doing them. Thank you for dropping by; it's always lovely seeing your name awaiting me.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

      That was a very inspiring hub. You had a wonderful story to tell, despite the bad times.

      Not all of us are brave enough to put our lives into print, like this.

      Awesome read. So much wisdom came through. Thank you.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Hi billy. I guess everybody has the woulda, shoulda, coulda moments. We have to make choices for the moment without worring about the outcome. We grow along the way, and eventually find ourselves.

      My pastor says: If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

      Have a silly wonderful weekend with Bev.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'm sure that's exactly what I will write in response to your hub and I will read it shortly. Thank you my friend and have a lovely day yourself.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, I agree completely and thank you for that great quote. I'll be using it for sure.

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      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Very meaningful hub, Bill. Your sentiment and reflection, having had the same, is what led me to write "If", which I've had published and is posted here on HubPages. Check it out, if you're so inclined. But I think you may, once again, accuse me of saying in a few words what you said in 1500! Ha ha!!

      Have a Great Day!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      "If the grass looks greener on the other side fertilize your side", has been a good way to live. Thank your for your, "no regrets", encouragement. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, thank you so much! So much of my past was spent regretting and playing the "what if" game and I simply won't return to that life. It's all positive now and if my words help others then that is a huge bonus.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy,Bev is the gift I deserve for finally figuring out what is important in life. I love everything about life now and to look back and regret would be to discount those feelings of gratitude and I won't do that. Thank you kind lady and have a marvelous weekend....and you own a motorcycle? Hoping the weather co-operates so you can ride the backroads.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pan, I love that quote...so much to do...so little time. I love my life and I am quite certain you love yours as well, and isn't that a lovely reward after years of struggle? Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tams, I love to hear from you and I'll give you a sneak peak into my next hub about hubbers who have supported me....you are in it. Love those songs by Garth and love your comments. Thank you my dear and I completely approve of you ideas should you win the lottery.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      What an inspirational hub for others to read and know that life's road is rough, but it there is always hope. I love the true saying that God is a God of second chances. The path we traveled may have had some poor choices and bad experiences, but if we learn from them we can make life better for us and others. Now you stand in waist high, rich green grass and that comes from a person who was determined to remain positive and choose the good light of life! Lovely song on the video. Voted up and shared.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh Bill I can relate to so much of what you have written here.

      I particularly liked you telling us that if you would had stayed with Eva you would never have found the love of your life;Bev.

      This is how I look back n my life also.

      "If I had never married the ex then i wouldn't have had my kids ;my grandchildren and all the joys they bring into my life."

      On most of my life I say "Well if I hadn't .....then I end with a positive "I would not today..........!!

      You make connections so easily Bill which in turn makes you an inspiration to others also.

      Enjoy your day my friend.

      Eddy.

    • Pannonica profile image

      Pannonica 5 years ago

      Hi billybuc, Another thought provoking hub thank you, how true are the words from my favorite poet Robert Frost. I firmly believe that fate guides us through the pathways of life and it is how we learn and use the knowledge we gain on that path, that shapes our very existance.

      I'm not a 'What if' person, I'm a 'If only I had more time' - another quote sums up my life: "And miles to go before I sleep"

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      The two most overused, powerful and unanswered words in the English language... What If? I'll tell you what if... What if I knew the winning lottery numbers last week? There wouldn't be over 500 million on the line for this week's Mega Million and I sure as heck would be helping all sorts of people right now. Now that sounds ridiculous doesn't it. So does kicking ourselves in the heads for what happened in the past. Fact is, we all do it from time to time.

      This reminds me of 2 Garth Brooks songs, 1)Unanswered Prayers and The Dance.

      I believe we all need to stop and look at our actions and how we could have changed them, but eventually we need to realize we are only human and continue to look forward. The lessons learnt are sometimes hard but it is what we do with them which matters.

      Great hub Bill - as usual! You may not have remained a teacher in the school system, but you have remained a teacher in the truest sense of the word.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lord, there are truly no guarantees in life. I have come to cherish the uncertainty of it all, the mystery of it all, and that is a huge relief because there was a day when I wore myself out trying to control every thing. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a meaningful comment.

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      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Hi Billibuc,

      The road less traveled cannot guarantee anything. You can win tomorrow those half a billion dollars and will have to dissapear from the world. real states agents, lost relatives, all at once will be at your door. I t depends of how we face life and live with what we have learned through the years. Your hub touches home and we can relate with some of your stories. What ifs abound, but is up to us to make it to the side that will keep us happy and... healthy.

      LORD

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seeking, it was my pleasure and I love your outlook on life. Regrets are the chains that prevent growth and I will no longer allow them in my life. I appreciate your openness and willingness to share a part of your story and now I think I will come visit your site if you don't mind. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fennel, that is so kind of you. I gravitate towards people, like yourself, who have lived life in a very real sense, not all sunshine and roses but rain and thorns as well. It was all part of the experience that led me here and I do not regret a moment of it. I truly appreciate your comments and I wish you continued happiness as well.

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      SeekingMJ 5 years ago from Bryan, Texas

      billybuc, Thank you so much for writing this. It truly brought tears to my eyes. As the mother of a recovering addict, I found peace with your openness about your own recovery, and how it has helped shape you into the person you have become.

      I too have my regrets. I could go on all day listing them, but if I would have not made the choices I have made, I would not be here with two lovely sons and a wonderful husband.

      I wish you all the best!

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      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      This is a incredible story Billubuc and full of wisdom. The wisdom begins at the heading "And Yet...." I don't think we can regret no matter how dark our past because as you say of your experiences...."all the outcomes led me to where I am today and that is a place of happiness and contentment"

      After 52 years of life filled with wrong decisions and devastating loss, I am only recently beginning to understand that I cannot change anything that has been before, I can however appreciate every one of the many lessons that I have learnt through these experiences because like you I am also now "knee-deep in the most luscious grass".

      I wish you and your most beloved Bev continuing joy and happiness. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing journey to contentment. All my votes and best wishes and SHARING.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cloverleaf, thank you so much and I agree completely with your words. When we make a decision it is the right decision at that moment based on our beliefs and circumstances or whatever; it may not be the same decision we would make in ten years but at the time it was what we were capable of. I love who I am not and it's all because of a million decisions along the way.

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      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Wonderful hub. I think everyone plays the "what if" game, but it doesn't get us anywhere. I myself have always taken the road less traveled, and at times it wasn't always easy. Ah, but it made me who I am today. I appreciate that. I feel like everything happens for a reason. We may find out the reason, or we may not. A friend once told me "no decision is wrong for the moment it was made". He told me this when I was questioning a break up with a boyfriend. I listened to is words then, and I still listen to them when I am having a hard time making a decision.

      Decisions aren't always easy, but I do think that each one leads us to the path where we belong.

      Thanks so much for the wonderful hub. I enjoyed reading it very much. Voted up, useful, beautiful, awesome and I shared it. Your wisdom will help someone else.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, you are a very kind human being and I thank you! There was a time in my life when I regretted everything. Today I celebrate everything that has happened to me because it all brought me to this point in life....life is good my friend!

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      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Beautiful hub Bill. I wish the Almighty would listen to our plans of life but, he has BETTER plans for us...lol

      I liked how you took us into the past and then brought me into the present of your life with a positive attitude. I feel whatever, happened happens for good. In the end...you are a mature individual to write such beautiful and heart rendering hubs and getting appreciated by all :)

      Wishing you loads of success in every way possible, my friend!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, we do what we can, or must, and we move on. Learn from it and move on! I have no time in my life any longer for regrets or second guessing. I have great faith in you and I know things will work out; you have paid your dues many times over and it is time for the positives to start flowing in your life.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrine, I need to tell you this now before it slips my mind: what I greatly appreciate about you as a follower is your willingness to write meaningful comments. I know how much time it takes to do as you do and I for one am very appreciative of that. Thank you kind lady for always being here!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I am so excited for you that I don't know what to say other than hooray for you. Life is too damn short to be unhappy at a job; you know it, I know it, and now you have made the decision and it is scary and exciting and soon to be liberating. Thank you dear friend and I'm here for you if you need to vent or ask questions or whatever.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      AnGela, wink back atcha! :) thank you my dear; I only know one way to write so that's what I'll do...from the heart. I greatly appreciate you!

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      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Wonderful piece, I really appreciate it. Having recently been questioning a decision I made last year and regretting it, I came to the same conclusion that you have. Voted up up up!

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      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      We make decisions every single day. Some of them need a great deal of thinking and analysing, and many of them we just make subconsciously without giving them too much thought. We try to make decisions based upon the current state of our mind and our best abilities at any given time. So, what today seems like a great thing to do, tomorrow may not so. From every outcome of every decision made we should hope to learn something and improve upon it. Asking 'what if...'does spring to our mind, but what if we had taken another route, who knows what our life would be today? Nobody, because we just never know what tomorrow brings. Past actions cannot be undone, thinking about them is good in a way of trying to find the best way to move on, we should always try to appreciate all the experiences, be it good or not, and build our present upon the recognition of understanding our past. But we should not hurt ourselves because of past actions, what's done is done, it does no good spending too much time on it.

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      The video is great. The hub is great. And I...took the road less traveled. That has made all the difference. It's a sign, billy. I'll take the leap. I'll do it. ;)

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      Angela Martinez 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Simply said straight from the heart ending up so beautifully. Nice hub Bill...gives some sort of solid justice to people who knows how to live LIFE without regrets. It does takes courage of doing things differently but arriving to the better side of the hill. *wink

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Gypsy and thank you! You are oh so correct! Having someone by your side makes it so much easier and all worthwhile.

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      Gypsy48 5 years ago

      Very relatable hub and great read! At times I have thought of the shoulda, woulda, coulda's in my life. My life might of been better but who knows. Life is a journey and we are always learning no matter what path we decide to take. Having someone to share your life with makes everything so much better.