Thursday, March 19, 2009

If I could turn back time...

I never thought I’d say this but, I really like a new CBC show. “Being Erica” is about a 30-something woman who feels that her mediocre life is caused by all the bad decisions she’s made in the past. Now she has the opportunity to go back in time, fix her mistakes and, hopefully, change her life. Sure, every week there’s a life lesson for Erica, but the idea of going back in time is what inspired this posting.
What would I do if I could go back in time? To be fair, I have to take the “invest in Google” or “bet on the BoSox” etcetera ideals out of the picture, and focus on the decisions that I made. To be honestly I’d probably still make a lot of the same mistakes over again, after all, it’s those goof ups that made me what am today. Good or bad, I believe this is the person I want to be. But what WOULD I do if I could turn back time?
 Take a ton of pictures! I’d take photos of places and things that have changed over the years: the nursery fields that I played hide ‘n seek in, the old barn we climbed through a dozen times, my old games I played, downtown Fonthill, Diana Sweets, Warren Knit, the buildings they’ve torn down and all the landmarks that are now gone . Every once in awhile I find myself digging through the St. Catharines library archives searching for old photos.
 Spend more time playing cards with my grandpa. I never thought I’d miss him as much as I still do.
 Say thank you to the teachers that made such a difference in my life. I now know how much that means to a teacher.
 Never have given away my hockey cards. Yes, I had hockey cards.
 Hang on to my games Green Ghost and Mystery Date – they just don’t make games like that any more.
 Have watched the entire Rocky Horror Picture Show at the drive-in; instead of spending so much time with my friends doing what teenagers do at a drive-in.
 Go to school longer. I was so anxious to make my “mark on the world” I just wanted to start working. What was I thinking? I should have stayed in school, all the way to a PHD. It’s a lot harder to do when you haven’t been in school for … a long time.
 NOT have drunk so many gin and tonics at my brother’s wedding.
 NEVER have played baseball on the same team as my sister. Big mistake.
 Have kept a journal during the Blizzard of ’77.
 Slid into second in the Nationals semi-finals face first, saved me a lot of rehab.
 Paid more attention in Mrs. Love’s Home Ec class (maybe I’d be able to make a supper now without the smoke detector going off.)
 No matter how much convincing it would have taken, I’d insist my Grade 9 boyfriend didn’t get in the truck after the dance that autumn evening. Maybe he would still been alive today.
 Have kept all my concert ticket stubs.
 Take a year off to travel through Europe, when I was young and had no kids. Now it’s just a dream.
 I totally would have kept my old “Apollo” stereo, it was so cool, at least I thought it was. I still don’t know whatever happened to it.
 Been friendlier to all the geeks in high school, for they now rule the world.
 Saved all the crazy stories I used to write, back when I loved to write all the time.
 Most importantly, I would NEVER have bought my son an Xbox.
That’s a start – one more thing I would do if I could turn back time, and I still kick myself for not doing – that’s recording all the family stories my grandparents told and written them in a book. To quote Roots author Alex Haley, “when an old person dies, it’s like a library burned down.”

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stopping Time

Last week I asked my students –“if you had the choice, would you rather have more money or more time?” Time was the unanimous answer. The question didn’t come out of the blue but it was a reality that had been gnawing away at me for some time. I’d like to say I’d pick money, you know live each day like it was your last, live it up... but honestly, I’d pick time.

Twilight Zone looked at this opportunity once in an episode entitled “A Kind of Stopwatch”.
I don’t remember the whole story, except some guy gets a stopwatch that can actually freeze time, everyone and everything stops, except for the holder of the watch... Imagine that, stopping time to get all your homework, or your housework done, to get to the place you’re going to without rushing. In this episode, the guy uses it to rob banks. Stops time, grabs the money and runs. During one robbery – the watch shatters. And the world is frozen in time, except for our guy – who now has all the money he ever wanted, but no one to spend time with.
“Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.” Patrick Stewart in the film "Star Trek: Generations"
My next posting … what I would do if I could turn back time?