Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. Yep, I have it. It's not contagious. The symptoms are feelings of regret, yearning, disappointment and a real big 'darn it'.

"I wish I had been more adventuresome," my daughter said while watching a movie of a young woman traveling the world. Yep, she has the signs. This disease might actually be contagious.

My friend posted pictures of her trip to Indonesia. Exotic, exciting, pictures of a world I've never seen. Last summer she went kayaking and mountain climbing. She has posted pictures of her standing by a glacier and sitting by a native hut. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.

I can blame it on the fact that we didn't live in an atmosphere that promoted adventure. Women weren't really given those dreams when I was young. We were just starting to think that we might have more of a career than secretary and housewife. It was the 60's and time of change. I would never have gone out on my own. I didn't know how to do more than I was already doing. We didn't have money for adventures. We didn't have exposure to those doors that would encourage us to step into the world beyond. We could do service for our church. We could be missionaries. Only Lowell Thomas and National Geographic gave us that view of a world we couldn't see.

Perhaps I didn't expose my children to that world either. We didn't have money to travel, take trips around the world. Our vacations revolved around vacations back to Ohio and the farm. I was as ignorant to the opportunities for my children as I had been for myself. One first step beyond occurred when my son went to Chicago, away from home. Suddenly his world opened up in new ways.

I want more for my granddaughters. When we talk about what they can be someday, we talk about exciting careers, those that can make a difference in the world, those that fit their interests and natural talents. We encourage them to find themselves. We allow them to see a world beyond.

I think this might be the cure for Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda. Everyone has regrets, but maybe we can minimize the effects. Each time I send out something to be published, I erase one of those Couldas. Each time I do something on my own I eliminate a Woulda. And for all it is worth, I will not let a Shoulda add to my life. 

The world can only be better when we all find our natural path. I'm still working on mine.


  1. I always wanted to travel, to see those places that I read about in our World Book Encyclopedias. When my kids were little, we didn't have the money to do much traveling, but we did manage to take them to quite a few national parks and monuments. We camped to cut down on the expense, and I got to see some of those places I had dreamed about. I may not make it to Machu Picchu, but I've been to Yellowstone twice!

  2. Susan, I love that you have been to Yellowstone twice! We went once and it was our exotic place. I am thankful for what I have seen, but I still dream of places with strange sounding names.