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What would you have done with your life if things had been different?

(87 Posts)
Bellesnan Thu 25-Aug-11 09:58:10

Don't know if this has come up before but thought it might be interesting to see what us grans might have done if we had had the chances/opportunities that kids today have. Or did you achieve your goal? I would have loved to study history and go on archaeological digs. I love all TV programmes about history and Time Team does it for me! Sadly too many aches and pains to do it now...

janreb Fri 26-Aug-11 18:37:36

I wanted to train as a nurse/midwife and work for the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service. Nearest I got to it was being an auxiliary nurse in Cornwall. Now I work for a forces charity.

Jacey Fri 26-Aug-11 18:54:45

Fortunate (???) enough to go to a grammar school ...but not great with languages put in German stream ...not the Latin one. So wanted to learn Latin due to love of history ...upsets me that even now, when go into ancient buildings can't read the memorials etc ...perhaps now is the time to put that right...would have loved to follow a history career ...or a geographical one, as I love using/working with maps.
But that time there were only three career opportunities ...go to university, train to teach or become a nurse ...that is all the advice we were given. sad

kittylester Fri 26-Aug-11 19:31:01

Our school was much more enlightened that yours Jacey, we could also work in a bank!! I did. I really enjoyed it to a point but women got stuck on a certain level (I'm an early victim of a glass ceiling!!) presumably because we would get married and leave. I did that too! There really are loads more opportunites out there now and I think I would have liked to do something more people orientated, which is what I do in my voluntary work now.

mrshat Fri 26-Aug-11 20:03:21

Always wanted to 'go into medicine'! A doctor was aiming far above my skills but nursing was a possibility - however, family circumstances and 'life' decided I was to go down the secretarial route into a good "permanent and pensionable job", which is what I did. I have had some good times but often wonder 'what if? hmm................

Annobel Fri 26-Aug-11 20:22:07

Could have taken French at University with Spanish from scratch. And Law. If only I'd known then the opportunities for linguists that would open up with the EU. Might have been a Eurocrat...or married one!
But I took the soft option and a degree in English which I taught with quite a lot of job satisfaction.

glammanana Fri 26-Aug-11 23:24:57

I desperatley wanted to be a hairdresser but at the time with me being the eldest of 5 there where not the fund's available for me to do the 4 yr apprentership that was the norm then,also my parent's could not afford all the equipment that was needed for me to go to the college,so I went to work for BT as a telephonist in Liverpool,I loved the job the pay was good but I alway's felt I was in the wrong job,things never got better when my sister trained in hairdressing and ran her own business,but I'm over that now,I'm fluent in Spanish and teach Spanish for beginner's at DGCs school I day a week to the 8/9yr olds its lovely to see how easy the little one's pick up new languages,it took me 6yrs after we first moved to Spain to become fluent

fatfairy Sat 27-Aug-11 00:04:43

My parents steered me into teaching ("secure, all the school holidays off with the children" etc) - but I escaped from that when I got engaged in my last year at school. I joined the Civil Service - strictly as a summer job - in 1972. I retired from it just over 2 years ago. Often interesting, and very varied in later years, but really not what I was cut out for.
What I should have done - but lacked the confidence to even think about - was go to art school. Now I spend my days doing all sorts of creative stuff, including some with a voluntary group - very, very satisfying.
Still, if I hadn't got married I wouldn't have my wonderful daughter ... and soon my grandchild.

susiecb Sat 27-Aug-11 09:36:29

I went to a very good grammar school but was a very naughty girl (it was the 60s) and got pregnant at 16 and had to leave school - the baby was adopted so mucked up my chances of being a journalist and writer. After a young marriage (mother was keen to get me off her hands) and the birth of another daughter I eventually met my now husband when I took a part time job as an auxiliary nurse at the local hospital. He encouraged me to take the training properly and I retired two years ago from a successful thirty year nursing career and am now trying my hand at writing and blogging for fun.
Incidentaly the adopted baby 'found' me when I was 50 and she was 36 presenting me with three grandchildren and we all get on fine. It was a hard road which I would never have acheived without my husband but I do wonder what might have been.

Gally Sat 27-Aug-11 10:07:23

Oh susie !
Where would we all be with the benefit of hindsight? Nursing, secretarial, teaching or University for the few was all that was on offer and I had a bossy Dad who pushed me into the secretarial route (you can always fall back on it dear). I wish I had worked harder; I wish I had stayed with the LOML. I wish I had been more adventurous. I wish I could have sung professionally (didn't have Janet Baker's voice unfortunately!!) but we are all where we are now and have hopefully led happy and fulfilled lives and made the most of our lot. grin

greenmossgiel Sat 27-Aug-11 10:13:53

susiecb, my younger life was something similar to yours. I became pregnant at 15 while doing not so badly at a good school. Had to leave (no choice in the 60's), and had my daughter at 16. My parents, having unsuccessfully tried to 'bully' me into going into a mother and baby home, insisted that the baby was to be adopted, and that I wasn't to see 'it' after the birth. However, a young nurse presented her to me one morning and that was it. I defied my parents and was determined to keep her, although she was fostered for a few months. I had to move out of the parental home and went to live with a school-friend's family, who were very supportive. I did marry the father but this eventually ended in divorce after having had 2 more children to him, (one, a little boy, died of cot-death). In the meantime I worked as library assistant in the earlier years, and picking up a bit of work here and there later on. Really, when I think about it, I wish the father hadn't happened, because he was a horror, but if he hadn't then I wouldn't now have those 2 lovely girls, and their own daughters. I may have worked myself into a really fine career though, as I loved working in the library and would have probably progressed along those lines if fate hadn't made me turn direction. I'm now quite happy with what I've done, because I think I found my real niche. smile

absentgrana Sat 27-Aug-11 11:18:59

Of course, if we had done things differently, we wouldn't be the people that we now are and nor, perhaps, would we have the same children and grandchildren. I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I had accepted the offer of a (very high-powered) job in New York that was offered to me. My daughter would have had an American education and probably become an American citizen. She probably wouldn't have gone to New Zealand, married and settled there and had the four lovely children that she has. In any case, I suspect I would have been a disaster as I find office politics tiresome in the extreme – it's one of the reasons I'm self-employed – and they were rife in my business at that time, especially among women executives in the US. In the unlikely even that it would have worked out, I would be a lot better off. You win some, you lose some.

supernana Sat 27-Aug-11 12:26:29

If I was able to return to my early teens, I would take myself less seriously and behave in a more light-hearted fashion. In my twenties, I would attend art school. In my thirties, I would travel. In my forties, I would "settle down"...but then, I wouldn't have the family that mean the world to me. I rest my

glammanana Sat 27-Aug-11 14:14:22

supernana so well put Que Sera Sera What Will Be Will Be

supernana Sat 27-Aug-11 16:29:29

glammanana A song that my mother loved to

Bellesnan Sat 27-Aug-11 17:19:26

Supernana - your right. Life would have taken a different turning - would not have met himself and had the family I love so much. Will satisfy myself just watching Time Team.

glammanana Sat 27-Aug-11 19:29:20

Supernana mine to Doris Day 1956

em Sat 27-Aug-11 19:46:59

Annobel I've said it before and I say it again - we have some spooky coincidences in our lives. I took French English and German at school (plus Spanish at O grade) and loved languages. Degree in French and English at
St A but married straight after uni. I've often said that if I could rewind the tape of my life, I'd have gone for work in the EU too. Ended up in teaching but couldn't bear the idea of teaching the same subject all day every day to different classes, so opted for primary teaching instead which seemed to have much more variety. Also enjoyed part-time work in local uni library so that's another way I might have gone. However, as so many have said, I wouldn't have the wonderful family I have today. Susie and greenmosgiel that includes my 2 lovely adopted daughters so I've experienced the adoption process from the other viewpoint. I am so glad things worked out for you the way they did. DD1 has also 'found' her birth mum.

greenmossgiel Sat 27-Aug-11 21:16:49

em, it's a funny old life, but a good one. I consider myself a very lucky woman. smile

goldengirl Sat 27-Aug-11 21:46:05

I've thought hard about this. I don't think I'd have done anything differently. I've taken opportunities that appealed when they've arisen and if I've wanted something I've found a way of getting it even if I've tripped up along the way. If something hasn't worked out I've moved on. I've never been one to go with the crowd if I didn't want to and this has been both to my advantage and disadvantage. I've never found life easy but I have tried to make something positive out of the awful bits and have attempted to make the most of the good bits - for someone who is a glass half empty person, that's not too bad on reflection [thoughtful smiley]

supernana Sun 28-Aug-11 13:24:34

susieb You, like the rest of us, are totally UNIQUE....something to be celebrated. wine

harrigran Sun 28-Aug-11 22:18:21

I would not have done anything different. I always wanted to be a nurse from being tiny, about three, I imagine. When I found out that I was actually born on the same date as Florence Nightingale then I was convinced I was right. I made enquiries about the QAs and was going to apply but I met my DH and stayed in my home town instead. I might have travelled more in the QAs but I do not regret staying and getting married.

Hunt Sun 05-Feb-12 23:45:42

Headmaster said did I want to go to Goldsmith's or RADA? Chose goldsmith's and became a teacher. What would have happened had I chosen RADA? I'd either be 'Judi Dench'or a complete unknown!

Quiltinggran Mon 06-Feb-12 10:33:49

This thread just reminded me of this piece by Nadine Stair which I copied and gave to my mother and friends a good few years ago now. It said a lot to me then and still does!

If I had my life to live over.

I’d dare to make more mistakes next time, I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things sensibly. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice-cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

syberia Mon 06-Feb-12 10:43:08

I am with you on that, Quiltinggran the family have always laughed at how I am always prepared for any eventuality!

I would have delayed having my wonderful kids,
I would have got a passport and gone to Morocco in the 70s (my friends asked me to go)
I would have travelled more
I would have worried less about things that "might" happen