What to do with a do-over?

If I had my life to live over, I might pursue a variety of occupations that I didn’t have time for this particular go-round.
I still would want to be a writer, but I’d start earlier and wouldn’t engage in the distractions of accounting with such vigour, though I do love the math of accounting work, the black and white of it, the rules of it, the staying between the lines, so to speak.
I have fun imagining what I might be given a chance for a do-over.
I might be a carpenter so it wouldn’t take me three days to build a small gate under my deck; so I could quickly and efficiently build a barn-style door for my basement office instead of the staring and head scratching I’m currently engaged in.
Of course, I would have all the lovely tools required to do the job: squares and miter saws, and routers, table saws, and sanders. I’d have to have them all to do a proper job.
I might be a photographer; someone who knows how to capture just the right light, the right smile, the whole story in the frame—and I would take my time until I got it just right.
I wouldn’t mind anything else; wouldn’t feel pressured to snap the shot and get out of the way. I’d linger and I’d get up early and take advantage of the gentle light that starts the day.
I might be a waitress in a restaurant who uses a smile and a friendly voice to change the day to a better one for her customers; a waitress who engages while she pours out the coffee and inquires as to what they might like to eat today, offering a familiar hello to the regulars.
I’d have a hot chocolate with whipping cream ready for Bob when he came in the door and he would nod at me—grateful that I remembered; grateful to be the most important person in that moment.
I could rake hay for a living. The up and down the field, the very repetitive non-thinking nature of raking hay, is restorative, restful, perfectly lovely, the fragrance released from the hay as it is turned over to dry.
The task is somewhat seasonal, though, and it might lead to being a professional snow shoveller in the wintertime (and I’m not a fan of the snow-shovelling endeavour).
I might be a bus driver, one who greets each rider with a boisterous hello. And as we drive down the streets, we’d sing songs from the Disney movies, belt them out with enthusiasm and gusto.
People wouldn’t get lost in their minds on the ride to and from work but instead they’d notice each other; ask how the kids are, ask how the job is going, ask between songs, of course.
I might write music, create a sound that is both soothing and inspiring, that when I play it back to me, life is serene and calm and makes perfect sense.
Music for a cello, a flute, a piano; music for those instruments that tell a story all on their own. That when we hear them, we can’t help ourselves but stop and listen.
I might be a hermit who . . . oh wait, I already engage in that happy pursuit.
I might be many things, but what I won’t be is a painter. Not the artistic kind of painter, but the person who slaps paint on the walls. I have no skill at this task yet I seem to be constantly painting.
I should be an expert by now, but instead I’m anything but. I won’t paint; I’ll leave that for those with patience and a steady hand.
I might be a. . . .
wendistewart@live.ca

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