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Monday, November 10, 2008

Would You Do It Over?

It's an age-old question. If you had a chance to make different choices in your life, would you change things? If you knew then what you know now, would you do things the same way? It's interesting to ponder these things, and it's probably a difficult decision. After all, we wouldn't be who we are now if it wasn't for the events that shaped us.

I think about this at times. There are many, many times when I regret my decision to become a veterinarian. Over my years of practice, I have found it harder rather than easier to handle the serious or life-and-death decisions. I get very tired of dogs and cats trying to bite and scratch me. Things that were once fun are now tedious. I've also discovered other interests and abilities. I've learned that I have great natural skill as a public speaker and teacher. I've grown a great interest in history and religion. And I've even stated that if I could do it over again I would become a college history professor instead.

But would I really? As much as I hate my job and even profession sometimes, I wouldn't be the same person without it. I wouldn't have had a reason to move to where I met my wife, and wouldn't have my perfect partner and two beautiful children. For all I know, I'd be writing a blog about how much I hated history and wished I had pursued my interest in veterinary medicine. In the end, though it's speculation, and a bit of a fruitless excercise since we can't do anything about our past.

What about you? What would you do differently if you could? And looking on how it impacted on how you turned out today, would you really change it? It's said that those who don't learn from the past are destined to repeat it. What can we learn about what went on in our personal past to help guide us into the future?


  1. my my! we are very pensive of late, are we not, dr. chris? well, there are definitly things i would change about my past. i would've started hanging out with mary alot sooner when she moved in upstairs from me, cause she has been a super big blessing in my life, and i got so little time with her as things turned out. i would have been more outgoing in highschool, and wouldn't have given nearly as much heed to what people thought of me. there are others, but the main point i think is that the point is moot. we are who we are, and there's no going back to change things. better to look ahead to the infinitly fuzzier future, and try to make it better than our past which is 20/20 sharp. ;)

  2. Yeah, I've been very introspective over the last few days. And you're right Liz. This is kind of an intellectual exercise, and we should concentrate on guiding our future rather than lamenting our past.

  3. Hi Dr. Chris! I feel foolish coming back to it because it's what I posted about before, but one thing I've learned with Bailey's cancer is to live in the moment. And that's really hard to do. No looking back, because that can't be changed. If this moment doesn't feel right, then look to the future to see what you can fix.

    I think it's also important to say that the work you do as a veterinarian is REALLY important. In the past few years, my veterinarian (Dr. Blakelock) has been my dog's doctor, my therapist, my friend, my counselor, my guide, and my hero. She's talked me down from the ledge when Bailey was really sick. I can't say enough good stuff about her.

    There is a special place in Heaven for the folks who take care of animals. I don't know you, but I bet you're one of those folks.

  4. Hi Chris been having a read at the blog. I agree about the work, l think l would get out of it but not sure into what. I do fancy a couple of things but to much effort.

    Veterinary work can be and is, dirty, depressing and full of sick humour probably why l enjoy it.

    The good times do roll round every so often and cancel out the bad. Although a basket of fruit makes such a nice change to a box of chocolates :-) (broad hint to anyone that wants to get vet staff a pressie as a thank you)

    Steady on with the heaven bit Bev thats taken up by Tony Boardman MRCVS who has a home there as of several years ago when "him upstairs" needed a good vet to deal with some problems.
    However if Chris applies to move in anytime l will ask Tony to put a good word in for him.

    With what we wish we could change...
    That l had better teachers that inspired me instead of blocking me as l asked "why" so often.

    If l changed much though l would not have the family, husband and friends and background l have had. I do wish l could have changed some things though. (won't mention them as very personel)

  5. I have the best of both worlds. After 20 years in practice, I became involved in training vet nurses... and have done courses on adult teaching and deigning e learning. I maintain links with the Veterinary Association and local practices, and have input into veterinary nursing training for the whole of New Zealand. I have often been asked if I miss being in practice... hell no. My work is fun, interesting and allows me to be in clinics and with students. Much more varied and I get more holidays :)
    I think a lot of vets I work with envy the transition! You are not alone in these thoughts.

  6. Fi, I definitely envy you! That's exactly the kind of job I'd love to have. I've taught college courses, but made about half as much doing that as practicing medicine. If I could do what you're doing and maintain my salary, I'd do it in a heartbeat.


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