WOULDA, COULDA, SHOULDA

I’m going to share a secret with you.  Men and women are not alike!  When it comes to health care, women excel.  Over the 40 years I practiced medicine, I found that women were much more proactive, coming in early in the course of a disease, seeking advice and treatment.  They are also much better at maintaining their bodies.

Men tend to take care of the car better then they care for their physical or emotional health.  Car vs. bodily maintenance will be a topic of a future article.  For now, I want to discuss the one place where men truly excel.

I’m referring to what I call the “woulda, coulda, shoudla” game.

I loved delivering babies.  I loved going to the newborn nursery and bedside to discuss the care of a newborn.  One of the things I discussed with the new mother was the afore mentioned game.  Becoming a mother is a beautiful thing with one exception.  For some reason, mothers take responsibility for everything, past and present and relive the past over and over again as if they could change it in some way.

The “woulda, coulda, shoudla” game starts here and is one of the worst games you can play.  In looking back over my lifetime, I can truly say that, of all my carefully thought out and researched personal decisions I made, half turned out to be mistakes.  Women look back in time and say; ”If only I had …., I shoulda done …., I coulda done …”. The point is that there is no way to win the “woulda, coulda, shoudla” game.  As a matter of fact, losing the game over and over again is harmful leading to regrets and depression.

Men play the “It is what it is game” and move on.  At the birth of a new mother, I tell them about this game.  I ask them to learn how to play the “It is what it is game,” from their husbands.  

The next time you start to play the “woulda, coulda, should” game, stop yourself.  Recognize that you can’t change the past.  REALIZE THAT YOU DID THE BEST YOU COULD OR IF YOU DIDN’T, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND MOVE ON!

It’s been said that living in the past causes depression.  Trying to live in the future cause anxiety.  Live in the present and enjoy life and be careful not to play a game you are sure going to lose.

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