QotD: Once More, With Feeling

Posted: 2007-09-07 in General
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

   What one year of your life would you like to re-live, if you were given the chance? 

    Submitted by Ross

I actually debated submitting this QotD for a while.  I was sure some people would treat it as a springboard for arguments about the paradox of changing your past and therefore not experiencing your current present.  I was sure many people would respond with some variant of "I wouldn't change a thing".  And I was hoping some people would interpret the question differently and go off on tangents that were both interesting and introspective.  Only time will tell if any of these actually come to pass.

However, the way I wanted to answer this question, if it ever came up, was to focus NOT on re-living a year to change my actions and experiences, but to re-live a year to relish those same actions and experiences.

With this in mind, I considered my Freshman year in high school.  I had just moved to a new city, knowing absolutely nobody in the area.  I tried out for and successfully made the varsity squad of the cross-country running team at the school, and suddenly had friends who were Juniors and Seniors.  I went from a 100 pound weakling to a 145 pound runner and earned three varsity letters for Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track in that first year.  I earned good grades and was introduced to a lot of great literature.

But even though this year shaped me as a teenager, it was only partially responsible for shaping who I am today.  My Senior year in college, I balanced my time between school, friends, delivering pizza, and DJ-ing for a local radio station.  I came to love music more than I ever thought I could, and learned the real pleasure of spending money I had worked my butt off to earn.  I started to realize that priorities were a good thing and that even though I could survive on a 36-hours awake, 12-hours asleep schedule, it wasn't really conducive to an educational environment (or many other environments, for that matter).

Or maybe I'd like to re-live the year I got married.  Wait…wedding planning plus grad school and masters' thesis project…okay, the wedding and honeymoon were great, but I'm not sure I'm willing to re-experience them if it means I have that other stuff to re-do too.

Or the first year after my daughter was born, watching her turn from a small wriggly newborn into a beautiful baby and a happy little girl?  Sounds great, and I would pick it in a pinch, if it didn't come with the 6 months of colic-y crying and the worries about not getting her to sleep in a crib.  No, I think I'll pass on spending nights sleeping on the couch next to the battery-powered baby swing.  I'll save those for this next baby, if they're needed.

It's really hard to pick just one year I'd want to re-live.  I think in the end, I'll have to pick my 8th grade year when my family was living out in Camarillo, California.  Since we knew we would only be there for a year, my family packed in trips and activities throughout the entire year.  I spent my summer on the beach, getting baked a deep brown by the sun as I learned how to surf in the Junior Lifeguard program.  I hiked through parks and biked to school every day.  I won my school's spelling bee and got 6th place and an almanac at the regional competition.  I graduated as valedictorian of my middle school and wore bright red pants for my commencement speech.  I ate dates that fell from the date palm in my front yard.  I played hours of Sonic the Hedgehog on my friend's Sega Genesis.  I learned how to play roller hockey, even if I was never very good. 

I spent each day that year living in my own little world, but it was okay because my world included all the parts of the real world that really mattered.  I think if I could re-live one year again, it would be that year, if only so those memories were refreshed in my head right now, fighting the fading that occurs from the passage of time.  But looking back on this entry, I think re-living that year is what I've just done this morning, while writing this piece.

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Comments
  1. [atropos] says:

    [isto é bom]

    Like

  2. crankypants says:

    that was how I read the question first, this morning. Then of course re-reading it I started to think about all those years I could have done differently—what to choose, what to choose.

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  3. marc says:

    thanks ross for sharing your question and writing.

    Like

  4. Jan says:

    I just replied to your comment in my blog about my response to this QotD, and got curious about your blog. I came here and discovered your tag line, "Straight from The Keys." You know how, in my answer, I mentioned the year I moved "somewhere exotic" and stayed for 12 years? Guess where… ~8)

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  5. IceCookies says:

    Great question Ross! Love it. Now I'll be adding to my blog today with a response to this question. Thanks for creating it.

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  6. Eileen says:

    Sounds great, and I would pick it in a pinch, if it didn't come with the 6 months of colic-y crying and the worries about not getting her to sleep in a crib.
    I'm still dealing with the worries of sleeping in a crib with my son, but I don't think it's enough for me to not want to relive. In my response, I chose this past year, beginning September 1, when I first discovered I was pregnant – not to do anything differently, but to cherish it a little bit more.
    But after reading your own response to this question, I just realized that I only need to read my pregnancy journal and my son's first four baby books to relive this past year. Sure, I can't go back and take more pictures (as if we need more of the baby), but that's what second kids are for, right?

    Like

  7. Ross says:

    That's funny! Obviously a different sort of key, but a great coincidence…

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  8. Ross says:

    Yes, and I was embellishing a bit for writing's sake…the lack of sleep and stress over the baby aren't enough to make me not want to re-live the first year of my baby's life. And I do cherish every day I've been able to spend with my daughter, and will for each day to come, too.I've heard you tend to take less pictures of baby #2…hopefully I can prove that "general knowledge" wrong 🙂

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  9. Alli says:

    This was a damn good question and I'm glad you submitted it or we'd be stuck with something about our favorite way to eat kumquats. Even though I always knew the answer to your question, and I would have to think a bit about the kumquats.

    Like

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