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When I was younger, I had the impression that life was a series of endless do-overs. When and if I made a mistake, I could simply recalibrate and no harm done.

With age I have found the idea of unlimited do-overs is an illusion, perhaps fostered even more today with grades, tests, and other once hard lines always open for “a retake.”

I would caution young women to avoid the do-over mentality, and to instead view life as a series of largely one-way choices. Choose well, and you will have a good and happy life. Choose poorly, and you will more than likely struggle and not have a good life.

Decisions such as when and with who to be sexually active, for example, are huge. Girls losing their virginity young, before they truly understand that sex is meant to be a sacred experience you ideally have with your one true love and should save for that person, are making a decision they can’t ever do-over. And they are opening themselves up to being used, pumped and dumped, hurt, and discarded.

Don’t. You are worth more than that. If you have already taken this path, stop. You can’t go back but you don’t have to keep going forward. Be good to yourself. Wait for someone who will love you, care for you, and not leave.

Likewise the choice of when and who to marry is not to be approached with a do-over mentality. If you are entering marriage with the thought, “well, if it doesn’t work out we can divorce,” you are making a huge, huge mistake. Don’t. Wait. Wait for the one you will stand by and who will stand by you without question thru thick and thin. Through anything. Through everything.

Obviously, children are not a do-over either. When you have them know every day and every decision and every moment is building them into the adult they will become. Make sure that’s a happy, healthy, functional one. While it can feel at the time you will have them forever, you won’t. Make the most of that time even if you must sacrifice your needs and wants at times to do so. Even if you didn’t have a happy childhood, your children can. Giving them that will in turn heal you, too.

Experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and other unhealthy addictive behaviors is also not a do-over. Being controlled by something rather than being in control sucks. It destroys your life and the lives around you. Don’t. Just don’t even go there. If you are there, stop. Seek whatever help you need to do so.

Likewise, financial choices are often not do-overs. Live below your means. Save for a rainy day. Avoid the huge trap of debt. Give yourself the gift of financial stability by starting to save just 10% of every check you get, and then doing so for life. Small daily choices can make a huge difference in financial stability vs. disaster.

See, these types of decisions are not really do-overs. They are once and done. Love yourself and those around you enough to make good healthy choices. You will be rewarded with a good life filled with no regrets.

Let those with ears hear.