You must remember the rewind button that was a feature of those old VHS machines. With the tape cassette inside, simply by pressing the rewind button you could power back through the videotape to get back to where you wanted to be.
I have often thought how splendid it might be if we had rewind buttons for life itself. Most certainly, I would have used my button for a good number of things.
Take road accidents for example. In my life, I have been involved in five minor collisions and one nightmarish incident where the car I was travelling in turned over at a bend on a country lane in Perthshire, Scotland. This was at two thirty in the morning. How I clambered out of that car unscathed I shall never know. With a rewind button I could have erased the minor collisions and saved myself a lot of connected hassle and the scary incident in Perthshire would never have occurred.
Looking back, we all say stupid or regrettable things - especially when we are young and still finding our way in life. With a rewind button we could say different things or say nothing at all. Then those wrong words we recall would not continue to echo in our skulls years later.
There are much bigger things we might address with the aid of a rewind button. Earlier in our lives we reached crossroads concerning education, work, ambitions and relationships. Rather like the speaker of Robert Frost's famous poem, "The Road Not Taken" we perhaps found that "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" and we chose one ahead of the other. But what if we had taken the other road - the road that was more travelled? How might life have turned out then?
In that bigger regard, I have often wondered how my life might have turned out if I hadn't gone into teaching. I put my heart and soul into it - so many nights, so many weekends, so many working holidays, so much energy. How might it have been if I had put that energy, that dedication into some other line of work? Because when I look back, my often unseen labour was about developing the sons and daughters of other people, not about growing myself. In lots of ways, it was thankless and that's the truth. I had almost forty years of it.
With a rewind button, I could have phoned my father and my oldest brother Paul on the nights before they died and told them how much they meant to me and how I loved them. And of course I could have travelled back in time with the winning National Lottery numbers!
And what about you? If you could press your own rewind button, what might you change?