I realize that I continue to whine about the “Time/Space Crashers” that EA introduces into the game. Whether you are a fan of “Back to the Future” or any other number of time travel movies and books, the fact is…the way time travel is portrayed in popular culture just isn’t real. Altering events from the past…even the smallest diversion from a chance interaction, can have untold ramifications on future events that could be mind-boggling. But time flows forward…not backward. And this is a good thing.
I got the “Younger, more attractive version” of Homer Wednesday. And now, being free of the “Daily Grind” of this event, I have plenty of time to ponder bigger questions…
Looking back, with an option to change something. The that’s a big one.
Yes…there are countless daily decisions that “could/woulda/shoulda” been better choices. But to the contrary, you never know when leaving a few minutes earlier or later to work, may have resulted in you missing getting nailed at an intersection by a driver who is playing TSTO on his phone, while trying to drive (Don’t Tap and Drive!).
So when someone like “Teenage Homer” shows up as a permanent alternate Homer…to wander around interacting with the rest of the “here and now,” it makes me cranky…and makes me look back at my own life in ways that may cause regret or recrimination…
Until I look at ALL of my life after a “life altering event,” and what happened after.
Case in point…and a very personal look at a snap decision that shaped my life forever.
One night, after winning a football game in college, I decided to “celebrate” with a past girlfriend of mine. We had been on and off for a couple of years…and hadn’t seen one another since the previous Spring term. One thing led to another…and in an instant of throwing caution and common sense to the wind…my life changed.
Two months later…I was planning a wedding and dropping out of school for what I thought would be a term or two. Nine months later, I was a father of my first child, and realized that college needed to be on hold, perhaps permanently, to support my new family. The marriage didn’t last…but fatherhood, did…along with another child. The late 70s offered countless struggles during a full-blown recession, without the benefit of a college diploma. Events bore down to make life “interesting.”
That is the first chapter…of what could have turned out to be a modern day Dickens book.
In the ensuing years, I followed my dreams to go back into music and production (a long way away from my original college education in teaching). I met “my REAL WIFE and love of my life, Deb,” who instantly bonded with my two young children. And together, we went on to a lifetime of adventures. Add to the mix three more girls…who have since all been married (except for the youngest) and more grandkids than you can count on one hand. My daughters are all amazing, successful, wonderful people with amazing kids of their own. We love one another and can’t imagine life today, and what the future will bring, when looking back to the “minute in history that changed my life forever.”
None of it would have happened if I had just decided to “hang out with friends” that fateful night in 1974. None of it.
Yes…it took loads of hard work and creativity. And there are countless business decisions, and bumps along the way. But would I change any of it? Nope.
Is there any way to know how one of my grandchildren will shape the world? Or one of my great grandchildren? Nope.
So…when someone asks me, “If you could go back and change anything in your life, what would it be?” I laugh, and say, “Not a thing. Time, Events, and Free Will are too important to mess with. Oh. Wait…I might have had honey on my peanut butter toast, instead of jelly this morning…”
That’s really what life is about. The knowledge that you can only change the FUTURE by every action you take in life. You always have the choice to decide how you react to every curve, every twist, every bump in the road that life offers you. It’s not about the challenges that life throws you…it’s how you react, adapt and evolve to those challenges.
So, when we win “Teenage Homer,” (which many of you have already), you get a “slice of two lives” dialogue that starts the whole, “I wonder if…” conversation in our minds.
Teenage Homer: I fall asleep under our tree and you go crazy. You seem different too. Did you change your hair?
Marge: Our tree? Homie we haven’t been back there since… Wait, you’re not my Homie, you’re from the past.
Homer: Marge, who is this devilishly good-looking fellow?
Task: Make Teenage Homer Make Himself at Home in Simpsons House (4h, Simpson House)
Task: Make Homer Regret Life Decisions at Simpsons House
And later on…
Teenage Homer: Older Marge, cookie dough ice cream, hair! I could learn to love this place.
Homer: Whoa, slow down, handsome me. I’m sure you’ve still got stuff to do in the past.
Marge: But Homie, you just got here. At least stay for dinner.
Homer: Marge, he’s not me! I’m the one who stays for dinner before and after going to Moe’s!
Teenage Homer: I couldn’t disappoint Marge. And by observing Homer, I can get to know myself better while I’m here.
Homer: I don’t want young me watching old me doing me things!
Funny stuff…yet it could also be a gateway to introspection. And at least for me, knowing what I know now, and having lived almost 45 years past that key event that changed my life irrevocably, I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, there is no way I would want to go back to being who I was then. I have evolved, through the choices and actions I have taken since that time in my life. Was it hard? Yes. Did it make me a better person. Without question.
Anyone who has lived a rich, full life, has done so by overcoming adversity, and learning to adapt. Success in life is measured not by what we accumulate, but by how much we are loved, and how much love we give back. For me…looking into the smiling faces of my children and grandchilren make every bit of struggle and sacrifice worth it. And, that is what “fulfillment” is all about.
Being content is wonderful…but constantly evolving, constantly challenging yourself to do more, only lifts those up around you to be better by your example.
Go back? No thanks. And I’m not sure why EA thinks having permanent reminders of “what could/should/may be” wandering around town is a great idea. I don’t believe in pre-determination by a higher power. I do believe that a higher power may have given us the greatest gift of all, Free Will. The ability to make decisions…and then continue to adapt, change, and evolve with every new decision.
Never look back with regret. Learn from your choices and move on. Every moment is a gift…only NOW matters.
And speaking of doing something that could alter countless lives in the future… and is a gift that gives to you as well as those who benefit…
WE ARE GETTING THERE..BUT STALLED!! We need a push to get us over the hump so we can get this done before the term starts (and you can stop hearing about this!).
Please help. You don’t know if your dollars make the difference in the lives of someone who could grow up to change the world! If you want to fight hunger, poverty, and yes…even terrorism in the world…This Is An Easy Start to Something Big! And, no donation is too small!
Your actions will change lives in ways you can never fully understand. Giving offers the best rewards in life…
Wow… what a heart throb you must have been in high school, Patric! A handsome football player… how many hearts did you break? Two unrelated questions… 1. Just won the giant rabbit and can’t find him. He may be in my storage, but I haven’t been able to locate him. Any clues? 2. When the update happened, it must have unchecked my request to be notified before spending donuts. I spent them by accident. DOH! It’s been so long since I checked the box to always be notified— that I can’t find that either. HELP please!
Gosh…blushing…that pic was from college, and I’ve never looked better. Downhill from there.
The Rabbit is an option for Warmongers…it’s in The drop down. The donuts? Contact EA…But good luck.
Ack.. for a journalist, I sometimes don’t make myself clear. Sorry, Patric. I clicked on the upgrade button for Warmongers and got the rabbit, but can’t find him. I was wondering if he hops around the town, or if he’s stored. But I have so many things stored, I can’t find him. I looked on the upgrade screen, and it def shows I got him. But where is he? I bet his name is Harvey.. the invisible bunny! And as for the donuts, I’m not missing donuts, I spent them by accident. There is an option, but I forgot how to get to it, so that you always get a warning that you’re about to spend donuts. I accidentally spent them rushing an event because I clicked on the wrong button, and no warning came up. There’s a box you can check to always get a warning.. but I forgot how to get there. And… Stop being so modest.. you were a hot looking football player in college and are a very handsome grandpa. Debbie is one lucky girl!
Check your email on the wabbit…
The notification button is in your settings…
Click the build icon (hammer/saw), then the little sprocket in the pop up. Then click the notify button…. Ya?
Since patric somehow didn’t answer it, (its okay, hes busy), i got you. Its in the settings, if you open the shop and click on the gear in the corner.
When you were quoting the text, you said “Honer”. Bet you want to go back and change that, don’t you :P. In all seriousness, another great post.
You have hit the nail on the head with keep moving forward. I am 65 grew up with a dictator dad and a mom the was treated poorly by him. A grandfather who was more of a bigot than Archie Bunker who told my mom when she went and had lunch with a Black lady that she was no longer she was no longer his daughter. When my grandma died he wanted my mom and her sister to give up their families to move back in with him and because they did not so he refused to go to my sister’s wedding and died 4 days after the wedding.
My paternal grandmother was my strength and made me whom I am today. In my 1st marriage it became abusive and because I was a vet and so was he I had him put away in Leavenworth after 1 year.
I will be married 40 years in June 2019, 2 kids both vets with the younger in the service for 18 years now. I am disabled now and take help my husband comtinue therapy for his PTSD after 20 years in the Navy and was in Desert Storm from the day before it started and he grew up with an unhappy family life.
Go back in history to change things HELL NO!!!!
I have had a lot of struggles being a female tomboy with skills in many male dominated professions but have accomplished what I needed to prove myself and fit in. The main 2 are construction from my paternal grandfather and dad, and my main interest was flying search and rescue with the Fl Air National guard and spending 30 years in fire / ems (paramedic ) as a volunteer because we have lived all over the world. When in the states I held down management positions in many fields.
Thanks Patric for all the articles you write both funny and true to real live to make people thing. Life is only as good as you make it
Thank you and Alyssa for all the work you put in to the writing I read most ever day. Have a great day.
One thing I forgot both of my boys were raised with no prejudices of any kind. A person should be seen as who they are inside not by color, ethnic background, religion and such. Racism angers me so much and have been bullied by those who practice racism .
Overcoming…moving on…evolving. All good!
I love this concept. People often say if they could go back in time to change an event they would, which as you say would change the future.
From my point of view, the past has happened – it’s quite literally history and the future is known, however I don’t think it’s uncertain. I believe that the future is as fixed as the past and we only travel there along the now.
Consider, in the future there may be some great earth shattering event, another world war, the people in the “now” experiencing that event may wish to travel to our “now”’to change it, the same as we would to stop WW II. But the paradox for them is the same as for us.
I think that my journey from the past (birth) to my death (future) is pre-determined, all the choices I made by “free-will” were already set before I made them.
Basically, the future is as hard coded as the past, it’s just with the past we can see it, but the future we can’t until it passes through the now and becomes the past.
This may be a bit deep, but the theories around time fascinate me.
On that, we will disagree. Predetermination would make one simply sit back and watch as an observer. If you are really interested in the power of free will…look into studies of large groups being able to alter outcomes in tests by random number generators. And…without trying to “go there,” if life is being manipulated by an outside force, or pre-stamped script, I’m not a fan of the “script writer.” Random horrible events to good people, while bad people walk free, put the entire “there is a plan” in question for me.
I just think that we all make decisions based on our personalities, history and the environment when the choice occurs and we would always make the same decision in the same circumstances at that point in time – no matter how many times we repeat it.
When you add hindsight it may make you change that decision.
On regrets, we definitely agree – you should never carry these as they will gnaw away at you.
Well…that is great in theory, but I do believe we are abl3 to change as we evolve. It is the very definition of the word.
If a child countinues to do things that are harmful to them, they won’t be around for long. Same can be said for adults. We are cast in clay…not in stone.
If you apply your example to my thinking, then the child will encounter let’s say something sharp for the first time and if the child is inquisitive it may hurt itself. But the next time, with the hindsight it will be more cautious. However, if the child lost its memory of the first event it would probably hurt itself again.
There are many philosophical theories, and I am no philosopher lol
But yes, we are clay and parents use their hindsight to mould their children to develop their characters. However, I will still live in the now and not regret the past or worry about the future – except making sure I have time to complete Act 3. 😂
“But time flows forward…not backward.”
Or does it? I thought so too, but this theory turns that on its head. I readily admit I don’t understand it, but it’s fascinating nonetheless:
I’m familiar with this theory…but feel that it is more what I wrote. Every event is marked…as an imprint…outside of this space/time, that can be called back for review, but not altered. I don’t believe that any future event is written with indelible ink. Logic would contend that altering even the smallest ripple of the the could creat tsunamis of ramifications In the future.
Going forward would be better,. Just to get next week’s lottery numbers, lol great post once again.
Thats a sensitive subject for me. I would give anything, including myself to go back in time. Change the way two tragic nights unfolded.One I didn’t see coming. The other haunts me everyday because I didn’t take her keys away.
Well… at some point, you need to forgive yourself. Knowing that the outcome can’t be changed, but your future actions can.
My hope for peace in your life.
Peace. In all it forms seems is contridictory too human nature. History repeats. However here’s hoping!
Yep. Basically mankind is as dumb as a sack of hammers.
The great thing about “now” is that it doesn’t really matter if it’s a good now or a bad now…like the weather, give it a few minutes and it will change, and so will we. To me, the unknown is the greatest gift of all…how boring our lives would be without surprise.🎉🎈
I love your write ups, Patric! Thanks for sharing the photos too–what a lovely bunch!! Also I am a big supporter of if everybody donates something, great things can happen. Even though things are incredibly rough on my Family right now, I still donated to your cause as I also believe as you do that we don’t know what the future holds and an opportunity given to someone now may change the world. Thank you both for your writing and doing such good for humanity ♡
Thanks! And I can assure you…generosity is rewarded. It is amazing…but true.
Too true, Patric. I also belong to the school of thought “what happened in the past made me who I am today, so I wouldn’t change a thing”.
Well…to paraphrase a great man, “Regretting what we can’t change, or worrying about what has not happened, adds two burdens to what is happening now. Learn from mistakes, and you will be assured a happier future, by living a more present today.”
Now. Go and have lunch, grasshopper. Life is rewarded by every moment that you are offered…if you choose the right meal.
ENOUGH DEEP THOUGHTS? LOL!
Teach me your ways, O Wise One! 😂