Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Changing A Small Thing

As part of the concept of "Turning Pro", I have been making more of a sustained effort to write.  I originally started work on more of a longer manuscript but frankly, it feels dead to me at this point. I will try, but after 10 books it simply feels empty to me.

Short stories, on the other hand, have suddenly been presenting themselves.

The one I have been working through currently is something along the lines of having the opportunity to go back and change one thing in one's life - a single decision, perhaps not the biggest or most important to the world, but the one that would internally bring one the most peace and change.

Which makes one think, of course:  Given the chance, what would one undo?

It is the stuff of movies and fiction of course: the businessman who wonders what his life would have been like if he had not concentrated on business, the women who wonders being with the man she wanted to be with (instead of the one she chose), the decision made that completely remakes history.  But I would argue there is a second category of "do overs":  the ones that matter to no-one but ourselves.

These are not the things that would change the scope or course of one's life - like choosing a different spouse or a different career path or not moving or moving - but rather a small decision that would change outlook rather than situation.  Think Marty McFly's father in "Back To The Future" without the romance portion but with the simple change in the belief in self (which really made the rest of it possible).

I know my thing, of course - it is actually the point of the story, carefully hidden away in the midst of a short story plot (okay, less hidden away in the story - but it really happened).  It is not like the major sorts of things I would like to change (yes, I have a list of those as well) - but it is the one thing that, could I go back and change it, would bring me a great deal of psychic relief.

If you had a thing you would change - a small thing or change that really would only be visible to you - what would it be?  

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:42 AM

    That is a hard choice if you can choose ONLY one. The one that comes immediately too mind would likely cause later frictions which was why I chose what I ended up picking.

    The Vulture of Remorse has a Very Sharp Beak.

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    1. Indeed it does Anonymous.

      My own choice - and oddly enough for the category of "Small things that really impacted me" there is no runner up - would have not made a difference to me and possibly 4 other people that I would never meet again for something that was so incidental in the scope of things that it does not matter. But it is easily the one thing I would change in a heartbeat, even now.

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  2. I'd have pursued my pilot's license with the employee discount at Avtech aviation. I don't know why I didn't.

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    1. STxAR - It is one of those things - if you asked your younger self why not, your younger self would have had good reasons not to (I am sure). We always seemed to.

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  3. I wrote mine down on my blog some 17 years ago.

    https://riverbendjournal.blogspot.com/2004/10/open-letter-to-jimmy.html

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    1. Wow Ed. That is a powerful memory. Thank you for sharing. And yes, for me the same (although in a much less significant way).

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  4. When I was 17, I was helping my father paint the house. We had finished three sides, and a group of my buddies came by asking me to go with them to the lake. Instead of finishing up, I ditched and left him to do the painting alone. Looking back, I would do anything to be painting the house with my dad again.

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    1. Just So, I understand that - especially given the last few months. There are a number of things that looking back, I should have done with my father that I did not.

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  5. Anonymous7:53 AM

    I would have found a mentor. I grew up without any kind of guidance or direction. Julia

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    1. Julia, that is a very good one - and very interesting. I do not know that I had a formal "mentor", either then or now. I probably would have benefited from one.

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  6. Nothing specific, but I regret having withheld acts of kindness to people along the way. I was justifying bad moods or imagined offenses at the time, and now I regret not taking control of myself and extending kindness anyway. Small things can make a big difference in the lives of others and I'd rather build people up than tear them down.

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    1. Leigh, that is a good one. Looking back, there are many times where I could have been more supportive or positive than I was.

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