Second Thoughts, oh I have had a few. I don’t regret many of them because living with regret is not productive. I live with the mistakes, I accept that I made them, especially when they are pointed out to me. I even try to fix them but I just don’t let regret to take over…well not for long anyway.
I had second thoughts all the way through school, I was in the top 10% of students by the time I finished but I hated school, I hated the rules, I hated the discipline. It got to the point where just about every thought I had I had at least twice, the first one the thought about how it should be done, the second thought about how I was going to do it. Sometimes the third thought was whether there would be ramifications of that thought but that didn’t happen often.
At some point in time I’ve always had second thoughts about the jobs I’ve had, (don’t we all?) even working for myself I’ve had second thoughts as to whether it’s the right thing to so. I’ve had second thoughts about buying big ticket items. I’ve had second thoughts about friends and I’ve had second thoughts about life.
(When I say second thoughts about life I don’t mean taking my life. I long ago gave up thinking about that kind of thing and even in the past 10 years when things have been so far down, when I’ve been so deep inside my own head that no one else existed I never thought once or twice about taking my life, only about life itself.)
I suppose one of the longest second thoughts I’ve sat on and regretted was starting a family. I was adamant we couldn’t have kids while I was working shitty hours and I kind of regretted that, but I still believe I could not have been the father I ended up being if I was working the stupid hours I was. That and the lack of sleep would more than likely have caused accidents. To my wife’s credit she didn’t push the matter that hard while I was working but I could tell she was disappointed.
With our second child it was second thoughts about timing and affordability. One reason I wish I didn’t have second thoughts there was because if we’d got pregnant when I first thought about it we could have sued my wife’s employer for sacking her while she was pregnant 🙂 in the end it was forced redundancy and I stupidly shut up about a second child and my wife thought I didn’t want one. By the time number two arrived I was again working shitty hours (although they were daylight hours) and physically screwed every day.
As I said I don’t regret things too often, or for too long, and I try to see something positive to stop that regret, but there has been some residual regret in having second thoughts about having our second child purely because by the time it did happen I’d basically put myself back into the position I was in that made me want to delay our first child. Screwed up hours, physically wrecked and mentally screwed. Had we had number two earlier I wouldn’t have allowed myself to get into that position with work. Instead I proved my point (something I’m not proud of) I couldn’t be the father I wanted to be while physically ruining myself at work.
However there a times where I’m glad I didn’t have second thoughts. In 1997 a friend and I took down an internet troll (before the term was fashionable), a sexual predator who had preyed on a friend of ours for months after they dated. Her father was a senior officer in the NSW police force and while he was able to stop the guy with AVO’s etc he could not stop the guy online, the laws just weren’t in place. So between us we not just stopped his internet trolling we took him out, virus’, bugs, scripts, self destructing computers, all in our repertoire. Eventually we frustrated the guy so much he broke a law the police couldn’t ignore and he ended up locked up and away from our friend for ten years.
I’m glad I didn’t have second thoughts the day I turned up at my wife to be’s house to meet her for the first time. I’m glad I didn’t have second thoughts the day I fell asleep doing 110kph down the highway in the truck, a second thought would have killed me. I’m glad I didn’t have second thoughts on the day the police asked me to be part of a line up. I was innocent but what if the eyewitness was an idiot?
These days I think twice about a lot of things, not because my first thoughts are wrong but because my thoughts these days always involve and affect more than just me. I still make the wrong choice more often than not (I am male after all). Even after a second thought some how I can still manage to make a decision that doesn’t look well thought out and I have even been told I over think things. But each thought is always accompanied by a second thought and sometimes a third and fourth about how the decision will effect those close to me.