Friday, August 14th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Starting Over


In our minds we get to start over each January with promises to ourselves that we will eat better or exercise more, or smile more often than we frown, or some other such resolution. It is very freeing for the period of time that it lasts to contemplate a better self.

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had a chance to start over at anything? I have. What if we could go back to that first year in school - or even the last year? Would we take a different attitude, appreciate the learning more, treasure the friendships more, never let them fade away?

Would we seize the opportunity to start over in our marriage, our only marriage or our first marriage or our last marriage? Would we be kinder, more demonstrative or appreciative? Have any of us learned what went wrong, not just with the other guy (we all know that answer), but with our own behavior? Could we, would we, will we start over and make a better road?


Remembering our little children, would we want the chance to go back and do it all over again, but do it better this time? Or did we do the very best we could without today's benefit of hindsight?

Those of us who have lost one or two parents, would we send more roses to Mom when it wasn't 'Mother's Day' or call just to chat more than we did to ask for something? Would we let Dad know we loved him more frequently?

Would we choose to work where our passion led us or follow the dollar? Would we say thank you to those we worked for or those who worked for us or with us?

Would we begin to eat more vegetables and not use salads as an excuse to down a cup of dressing? Can we picture ourselves exercising 12 months out of every year instead of 1 or 2 months out of occasional years?


When would we begin to say 'I'm sorry' - before it is too late? When would we speak up and say, 'I love you'?

Would we go to church because we believe in the 10 Commandments and actually practice them rather than because we look good going to church? Would we set a better example for our family, our community, our world?

If we find ourselves contemplating any of these areas of our lives with twinges of 'if only,' we are fortunate indeed. Fortunate because we are still alive and there is so much we can start doing over. Most of the things we can do to make our lives better are a whole lot easier to do than losing 20 pounds, which seems to be the goal of 97.3 % of the population this month.

Saying 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' are magic. Those words will take more weight off than any amount of exercise. Too often we worry about how someone else will react when all that really matters is how we comport ourselves. And the truth is most often that those words are joyfully received, whether or not that is evident.


Hindsight for what is past cannot change the past but it surely can change the future! We only mature and make progress when we do use hindsight. Every situation is unique in some way but there are principles of behavior that we can apply to situations and relationships.

Those who were unfaithful in a marriage can be faithful in that marriage or a new marriage. Those who were workaholics to the detriment of relationships can work less and start repairing their relationships.

If we always wanted to be a violinist but we are bogged down in a professional career bringing in lots of money we can sell the estate and buy a little place and be happy. Fill in the blanks.

If we didn't spend enough time with our kids when they were young, we can make time for them now. There's no big mystery here, deep down we know where we went astray. It's called hindsight. Let's use it.

Let's take a deep breath and start over.

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.