Monday, July 06, 2009

Want a rematch?


Nostalgia has gotten a grip on me lately, and I’ve been thinking about bygone days. As Cindy talked about a while back, I, too, miss Mayberry. When I was a child, I was allowed to virtually run wild. I spent hours outside everyday. Tire swings, horseback rides, snow forts.


I started dating pretty young. I bet I wasn’t fifteen when I had my first ‘beau.’ That was fun, too. Outdoor drive-ins, picnics, riding, biking, swimming, skiing, movies, pizza. Now that I think of it, dating was kind of a kick. All those crazy hormones.



Born in the late fifties, disco was big by the time I was twenty. That’s right, disco. I loved it. In fact, I still really enjoy any kind of partnered dancing. The kind where you have some sort of plan and aren’t just bopping around alone out there like a pea in a walnut shell. Salsa, classical. You name it, I’d like to give it a try.




Like a lot of people I know, I had three children by the time I was thirty. Growing up, I never thought I’d procreate. Kids didn’t appeal to me. But suddenly I was obsessed with the thought of becoming a mother, and, no surprise, I found the experience to be absolutely consuming. Recently I saw a billboard. It had a baby on it and said, “Hope you weren’t planning anything for the next 18 years.” It seemed extremely apropos. I feel very blessed that I was able to stay home and write books through my children’s formative years. Who can think of anything else when their wee ones are learning to walk and talk and…well…in general, just becoming human?


But the world keeps turning. My kids are pretty much grown up, and now I find it’s time to get back to my own life. Surprisingly, I’m rather enjoying my new-found freedom now that’s I’m getting used to it. Granted, when I get together with my friends, we seem to spend more time talking about aches and pains than we used to. True, my com padres aren’t doing a lot of rocking on porch swings. Instead, they’re trying things like hiking the Alps, high speed equestrian sports, and kick boxing. My 53 year old sister is just now getting her motorcycle license. Maybe 50 really is the new thirty. But that’s a subject for another blog.

My question is this, if you had a year to do over again, what age would you repeat? Would you redo your adolescence? Would you return to your dating years? Would you happily jump back into early parenthood? Or maybe you’re a grandparent and wouldn’t change a thing.

What do you think? Are things as good as they get in your world, or would you like another stab at your former life?

23 comments:

Emmanuelle said...

Ough... that's a tough one !!!
Well since my sons are still small it wouldn't be parenthood. However, If I could, maybe I'd choose to re-live my 18-20 yo... This part wasn't as exciting as it could have been and I did make a few mistakes which I'd wish to erase...

jaya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lois greiman said...

Emmanuelle, enjoy the small years with your boys. That's the time I would do again if I could because I enjoyed it so much. But yeah, there are times I'd like to redo just because I made mistakes.

Jaya, welcome to our blog.

GunDiva said...

If I could re-live last year (which was awesome), but combine it with the year I was in the best shape of my life, I'd be ecstatic! Though I've got three teenagers, I'm a terrible stay-at-home mom - I do much better working, so I certainly would not want to re-do those years. I definately think that last year was the best so far...bought the equine love of my life, found the human love of my life, and everything just finally fell into place after that. Made me believe in HEA afterall.

Playground Monitor said...

Ask me this again in 12 months and I will probably tell you 2009 is the year I wish I could obliterate from memory (well, all except the part where I got a request from Silhouette). It's been hell otherwise but I can't say I'd have done anything differently. Just let me survive it and I think I'll come out the other side a stronger, wiser person.

Marilyn

Michele Hauf said...

A person would probably like to think they'd like to erase a bad year or do it over, but...nope. I gotta say, good, bad or ugly, I'll keep all my years.

Helen Brenna said...

Hmmm. I often wish I'd majored in anthropology in college rather than accounting. But, wow, talk about 2 different paths! Who knows how my life may have, probably would have, changed.

I tend to agree with Michele. We are who we are today, hopefully stronger and more resilient, because of all those choices.

But I guess if I were forced to pick, I'd redo college and spend a year over in Europe. I'd have a few more bucks to pay back in student loans, but what the heck!

lois greiman said...

Gun Diva, yay for you.

I told my daughter that lots of people think their college years are the best years of my life, and she said, "That better not be true for me." But then she doesn't seem to understand that whole party-hardy idea. She said she's hoping her 60s are her best. Which kind of gave me hope for me. :)

lois greiman said...

Marilyn, here's to a better 2010. Have you heard back from Sil yet?

Kylie said...

I always say I'd like to go back to 38. Can't really recall exactly what was going on in my life then, but it's the number that appeals, LOL. Not yet forty. Wiser than thirty. Perfect.

I would not, however, care to repeat the years of putting up with my two oldest sons' antics their last two years of high school!

We had the oldest two grandsons last week. They're nearly 4 and almost 3. It was a wonderful week but I'm exhausted! Children really are for young people!

Things are pretty good in my world now, but of course they can always be better, LOL.

Debra Dixon said...

To be honest, without even blinking my mind went straight to the year Daddy died. His death was unexpected and while we had a terrific relationship, I'd like a do-over on that year.

I don't expect to be able to save him (aneurysm) but I could squeeze a few more great moments out of that year.

Keep in mind that was the same year of the remodel-from-hell and two serious surgeries (one surprise and one follow-up) for my husband...all at the same time.

But Daddy was the best ever and I'd like to go there again.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, shades of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," except we're still alive. What an incredible play.

I would relive the summer of 1969. Have I mentioned that was the summer I met Clyde?

Lois, I'm deeply into nostalgia, too. There's an old saying--time adds romance to the past--that is just so true. But remember how slowly time passed when you were a kid? Summer was a long time and Christmas was always coming and you were 12 forever.

I loved college, and I was not a party heartier, although I loved to dance, went to some fabulous concerts--all the 60's greats--but most of all I loved school. Those 4 ivory tower years were a wonderful wallow--books, the best faculty, the most interesting ideas, students, discussions. I loved school from day 1 (except the last month or so of 1st grade in Alabama, which was a different kind of education) throughout my life. Still do. I'd go back in a minute.

Yep. I'd live that summer of 1969 all over again.

lois greiman said...

Helen, I wish I had done more traveling with friends. Your post about Michael Jackson was very evocative. Those years are impossible to replicate.

lois greiman said...

Oh, Deb, I wish that you had another year with your father, too, now. But how wonderful that you had a good relationship. Nice dads are hard to come by.

Christie Ridgway said...

I don't want a re-do, but I recall with great clarity my college years in Santa Barbara. I knew what a beautiful place it was and what a wonderful time I was having. Didn't worry about the future, just enjoyed each day.

And anyone who would jump back into early parenthood needs a mental health check! Though I confess, I always have had serious baby lust.

lois greiman said...

:) I know I need a mental health check, but I'm scared to get one. Still, my babies' early days were fantastic for me.

Estella said...

I would stay right where I am. I am a retired grandmother.

lois greiman said...

Oh, Estella, that's so sweet. I love to hear that.

Playground Monitor said...

No word from Silhouette yet. I've heard this editor can take a while, plus she requested 11 fulls that day. So I imagine her plate is full.

Marilyn

lois greiman said...

Marilyn, how on earth do you know she wanted 10 other mss?

Kathleen Eagle said...

I would do more traveling early on, too, but I wouldn't give up jr year on campus or the summer of '69 (which I wouldn't change a minute of). When would I do the traveling?

I took a 3 week European tour with a bunch of teachers and my mother summer of '84. That was a difficult decision because that left Clyde with the 3 kids--youngest was 5! Clyde and his brother took the kids to Yellowstone. I had that wonderful time with my mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in '86. As it turned out, it was the right time for her to take that trip.

Deb, I would relive a day with Daddy, too. One of the days I had him all to myself. There were a couple of times he let me spend a day with him at work when he was in the Air Force. And we went to Boston for the day when I was in high school--I'd won an award presented by the governor. A whole day in Boston, my choice of sights and restaurants.

Memories, pressed between the pages ...

Playground Monitor said...

Marilyn, how on earth do you know she wanted 10 other mss?

It was an online pitch contest at eHarlequin. You had to send in a 1-page synopsis and hope to be selected to pitch to the editor in the chat room. There were 11 of us selected to pitch and because we were all in the "lobby" of the chat room during the whole process, we knew all of us got requests for fulls.

Marilyn

susan said...

If I had one year to live over..I would finish high school when I am suppose to and go to busines school right afterwards. I graduated from high after I quit and after I was 3 years into marriage and than went to business school when my oldest child was a junior in high school. I held two jobs, night school and raised 4 kids by that year. HOW DID I DO IT?? I have no idea but I did and finished business school second in my class. susan L.