I was surfing the NPR web site the other day and came across a book called "Replay", so I ordered it. It's "Groundhog Day" on steroids...I don't mean to sound flippant, but it is the big "what if" question. What if you got to live your life over again, knowing the mistakes you made before? It is provocative, absolutely. In reading it, and I am not very far along, I can see how it will go for me as the reader. The first time he dies, I feel sorry for him he seems like a nice guy. The second time he is living, I don't like him very much, he is taking full advantage of his knowledge of history, profiting greatly, and likely ending up empty emotionally is my guess. Each time he lives, the time he has to redo his life is shorter, so he has to do it better...the perfecting.
So...what if? I think what if I had my life to live over, and I knew the mistakes I made, what I would do? I can tell you I wouldn't be an alcoholic. I would take the incredibly valuable lessons I have learned, and the principles I now live by, through the help of AA, with me into the next life and make better choices. I would cherish the friendships I have, the relationships I said I valued but took for granted...and love more. I would skip the selfish, self-centered, self-destructive part of who I was; the having to rebuild from absolutely nothing, while trying to physically and emotionally get well. I would never hurt the people I hurt the way I did and create the wreckage and do things that I have to live with that cannot be repaired. I wouldn't live my life in fear of so many things, only to have to face them, walk through them, learn the lessons and assuage the fears through substance abuse. I would live more, love more, experience more, travel more and be more, be better, be thoughtful...be all of the things I haven't been.
This book is a great read for me. The truth is I still have a chance. Because I am sober now, I have the opportunity to live the life I have always wanted, but didn't give myself the chance to live. Sadly, it will not include some of the people I would like it to include...but because I am who I am in my physical and emotional sobriety, I know that my heart has room enough for everyone that enters my life for a short time or forever.