Second chances

If you had a chance to try something again, what would you try?

The Today show and several news outlets in the Philadelphia area have run stories recently about a local man who retired from his nearly four-decade-long stint at the U.S. Postal Service to go back to school at Montgomery County Community College and pursue his lifelong dream of playing college baseball.

In the story, Jim Fullan, 56, talks about being mistaken for a coach or a parent, but it was always his dream to get an education and play at the next level. After graduating high school in 1984, Fullan married, joined the Army for two years, and started a family. After a lifetime away, he’s now playing a sport he loves with players less than half his age.

Image by Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels.

My own athletic skills have long deserted me, but I must admit to being fascinated by the story and second chances. I’ve heard the question asked differently. Instead of second chances, it’s asked this way: If you could try anything, what would you do? In the 2009 movie, Up In The Air, George Clooney’s character asks this of J.K. Simmons. I can think of a few ideas:

  • I’m not sure about going back to play baseball, but I would go back to being a student in a heartbeat, to be on a campus and learning would be very appealing. I have interests in Psychology, Sociology, Theology, History, Political Science, Photography and Graphic Design, and Biology and Astronomy. I could even envision going back and earning a masters of fine arts degree in creative writing.
  • I have an entrepreneurial bent and would love to start my own business (with lots of help along the way.)
  • Travel around the world.
  • Learn to play the piano.
  • Spend six months living and working in a new city.
  • Lock myself in a bed and breakfast or an airbnb for four to six months and write my book, send my manuscript to a literary agent, and try to get published.

Who knows what the future holds? If you could try anything, what would you do?

37 thoughts on “Second chances

Add yours

  1. What an inspiring story, Brian. It really is never too late.

    I love what I do now but if I was offered the chance and finances were not an issue, I would go back and get my teaching degree and go into teaching – and with a focus on working with neurodiverse kids.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Interesting question! I could probably think of quite a few things I’d like to try (aptly, more like to change), but there is a part of me that recognizes that any of those things has the potential to change who I’ve become, and I’m not sure that’s something I’d be okay with. Maybe if I could have a limited amount of time – a day, a week, a month – and then revert back to where I am, I’d be more tempted.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am blessed and thankful for my life and would change nothing that would alter where I am today. But on the fantasy wheel of ‘what if’…1) I would have accepted the opportunity to go to England 2) I would have studied the piano early so I could play for pleasure 3) I would love to go back and travel more 4) I would love to have enrolled in a 4 year art school.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a great list Maggie. I’m like you, I don’t regret a lot of things. I try to look forward and keep a growth mindset on things, but yes, there are a few things I would probably tinker with, if I had a chance to go back to Fantasy Island or some variation of that. I like your list. I love to travel so I can definitely relate to 1 and 3. I never learned piano, but I would love to know how to play. I probably wouldn’t go back to art school, but I would love to know more about graphic design, photography, and Art History, all three interests of mine now. Thanks for commenting. Interesting to see how folks think about these topics!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Brian, there is so much I would love to do if the opportunity arose: be a dancer, time travel, be a perpetual college student and learn everything about everything, travel the world…the list is endless!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m not sure I would change much, if anything. But then again, I’ve already done that … changed career and now love what I do. I’m developing my writing skills which is possibly one of the few other things I wished I’d explored earlier.
    There are some other things I’d change, but they are already within my control.
    I guess I’m really quite content with life. The other things – they were and are outwith my control so no point regretting those. Accept and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love your list, Brian, but I’m not sure what I would’ve done differently. It sounds so silly, but I think I’m mostly where I was always supposed to be, life-wise. But I’d join you in the pursuit of more education…so many topics of interest! 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a fascinating story! I must admit, I can’t help worrying about the safety of a 50-something playing alongside competitive young men. I hope they can all have fun and not get hurt.

    I love you list! Personally, I think I would learn piano and back to school for engineering (if money were no issue), though I’m pretty content with my lot in life, overall.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If I could get a do over, I’d try to be an fbi profiler. I wish I’d known about that back in the day because I think that would be my dream job

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and me both Bruce. If it were basketball, everyone else would be in the other end of the court and I would come running down three minutes later. If it were baseball, my swing would be so slow, no way of contacting with anything. Ha, ha, good luck to the guy though. Better him than me!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I wouldn’t mind turning back the clock and getting a second chance at married life — correcting all the mistakes I’ve made the first time around. Love at first sight, as the novels portray, is great. But why does it take decades to learn how to behave and get along in that loving relationship? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this post and your list, Brian. I also love all the answers from people who are pretty happy with their lives. That says something too.

    I’d like to be an FBI agent – doing the putting together all the clues part but not the danger part. 🙂


  11. There are still places I’d love to see, but I’m kinda having my second chances right now. After the worst of fibromyalgia stole writing from me for several years, the brain fog began to lift. I published my first book at age 75, and now there are three! The fourth one is underway. Aging gratefully.


    1. That’s awesome Joy! Yes, fibromyalgia is no joke, glad to see that you’re figuring out your way around it. And yes, that’s awesome on not one, but three books. Quite an accomplishment in its own right. When’s the fourth coming out? Still early? In any event, Congratulations!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thoughtful post! You’ve listed many things here Brian that I would do. Some I have ticked off my list, but as we get older and children fly the nest, it seems like there is so much more time for the things we want to do, rather than what we need to do. The question is, is it because we have more time? Or because we’re running out of time?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: