Birthdays make you reflect on life. At least that is the case for me. For most of my adult life, I never expected to live until I was 60, let alone 71. Now I have reached that age, I wonder if I will see 80. But I very much doubt that.
Well, I was a smoker for over 40 years. And a hardened smoker. Strong cigarettes, up to two packs a day. I gave up in 2012, but that was almost certainly too late to do much good.
I worked shifts in stressful jobs. Irregular hours, bad diet, difficult jobs that required putting yourself second.
Since I turned 30, I have liked to drink. Mostly red wine, but at one time, a lot of red wine. I might be down to one glass a day now, but the damage has undoubtedly been done, as it was with the cigarettes.
Two divorces, the loss of savings and equity, the emotional carnage that comes with broken marriages. Starting again from scratch. More stress.
So it is March 2023, and a time for reflection.
Would I have changed anything? If I went back in a time machine, would I do it all differently?
I enjoyed every cigarette I ever smoked. I knew they were bad for me, but I didn’t care.
I enjoyed every glass of wine that I ever drank. I knew it wasn’t that good for me, but I didn’t care.
I enjoyed those stressful jobs. They did some good for society, and made me think I was making a difference.
The divorces had to happen. The marriages could not have endured.
Whatever finally does for me, it will have been my decision.
And there will be no blame, no regrets.