BOOMERBROADcast

Baby Boomer's social commentary on life in OUR sixties for those who rocked life in THE sixties.

Reflecting on what might have been

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So much of what happens in our lives turns on the smallest decisions we make along the way. When confronted with a fork in the road we often givefork in the road little thought to whether we go left or right but even the most simple decisions can dramatically affect the course of our entire lives. Or, as often happens the choices are not in our hands, such as a tragic car accident. Have you ever thought about what your life would be like today if you’d made a different choice many years ago or if events had taken a different turn. While this is a shell game of sorts, I prefer to look on my own forks in the road from a positive perspective. A lot of my reflections on these hypothetical situations arise from my relationships with guys I thought I loved when I was young. At the ripe age of nineteen I was sure I wanted to marry my boyfriend at that time who was sweet, kind and hardworking. As it happens, I moved on and he married someone else not long after. He was not a complicated or professionally ambitious person and only wanted to have a decent job, get married and have a family. Tragically, he had a stroke at the age of twenty-one that left him paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His then-wife left him.

Paris loveA couple of years later I thought I was in love and wanted to marry someone I met while traveling in Europe on my Eurailpass. He was in the American military stationed in Germany during the height of the Vietnam war in 1967-68. A few days in Paris with someone tall, dark and handsome at an age when your hormones are in overdrive is hardly sensible decision-making material. If I’d married him, I’d be living in a depressed suburb of Detroit today as the wife of a retired or layed-off Ford assembly-line worker – if I’d stuck it out, which is highly unlikely. Later on, I almost married an abusive womanizer and that possibility still fills me with horror.

When I left school, I worked for Bell Telephone for six years until one day I impulsively left at noon and told them I wouldn’t be back. I have certainly never regretted that move. I later worked for a much more progressive company that gave me the opportunity to soar. Or what about the decision I made at the age of 40 to not have a child as a single mother. I’ll never know whether I really made the right decision about that one, and even though I look around me at problems faced by friends with grown children and grandchildren, I’m still wistful about the direction I chose.

Many years later my entire life took a complete 180 degree turn in one evening when I accepted an invitation to dinner with my current husband whom I’d known for thirty years at the time. Never imagining the outcome, it was a life-changing event. A friend met her husband in Sierra Leone when his plane was diverted there while enroute to Biafra  for a CUSO volunteer mission more than 40 years ago. That single decision by the pilot during the flight changed both their lives forever.

Life is a series of such twists and turns and while we will never know what might have been, one thing I’m sure of is that those choices and their beatlesconsequences are what make us the interesting, multi-faceted people we are today. We have a few miles on us. Some choices might have been better but even the poor choices are enriching for their lessons learned. When I hear people wish to regain their youth and so-called glory days, I’m shocked. I wouldn’t want to go back even a day. As the old saying goes, we’re still on the right of the sod and it doesn’t get any better than that.

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Author: Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

3 thoughts on “Reflecting on what might have been

  1. I only had two loves in my life. One first went to adventure and a good job in Northern Ontario and we drifted apart. The other was assertive and would not let me get away. He became my best friend and a husband. We have been married now for 34 years and have shared many wonderful adventures together. I also am grateful to reconnect with my first love and hopefully develop a lasting friendship. We may have some control over our lives but a large portion seems to be ruled by chance, circumstance and luck.

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  2. Oh, I certainly went down memory lane with you on that one. I also would not change a thing. Just think …. if I had never met you our lives would be very very different.

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