You Can’t Rewind Life

So I’m slightly addicted to this thing where you can rewind live television. Seriously. I think it may be one of the greatest inventions at least of this decade.

It works remarkably well if you missed something or didn’t catch a joke or if, say, a cat hops into your face to say hello while your favorite show’s on and you couldn’t hear who done it.

Look, I never said my life was an incredibly stimulating thing, so just go with me on this. My new addiction became slightly alarming this morning when on my way to work, I saw something cute happen and wanted to rewind.

Yep. For a split second, I thought I could rewind real life

How insane is that?

Well, naturally, I had time to think after this little gaffe. The fact that life doesn’t have a rewind button could be a great lesson to impart.

For my examples with this lesson, I’ll use that which is close to my heart — animals.  

It’s hard to take back a wrong

First, you should always try do what’s right because it’s tough to take back a wrong doing.

Let’s say, for instance, you make the decision to hurt an animal. I just don’t think there’s a do-over for that. I’m sorry, but to me, Michael Vick will forever be the man who had a pitbull fighting ring where he electrocuted dogs who wouldn’t fight well and tied the females to breeding stands to get more aggressive pups.

If you’re convicted of animal cruelty, it’s tough for me to believe that you’ll ever be the kind of person who would be capable of loving a pet.

There’s no rewind button for that.

If you continuously return animals to a shelter because they’re “too active” or “too much work” or “too difficult to housetrain” or “have too many issues,” eventually, you’re not going to be able to adopt again. If you show you’re not willing to give a dog or a cat a chance time and time again, then people will stop taking a chance on you.

You can’t rewind decisions made in haste — so try think about what you’re doing and make sure it’s the best for all involved.

Remember to enjoy each and every moment you have — especially with your four-legged family. Our animals won’t be with us for our entire lives, so we have to remember to enjoy them while they’re here.

I think one of the saddest things in life is regret. In high school, I read a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier called “Maud Muller.” There’s a line in the composition that has stayed with me all these years. “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.'”

Look for the Joy

If you live each day looking for the joy in life, I like to believe you won’t have many regrets in the end.

So hug your four-legged babies tonight, tell your friends and family what they mean to you. Don’t wait until you’ve run out of time and then start searching for that remote — life doesn’t have a rewind button.

By the time I had worked through my latest epiphany and made it to work today, this is what I came up with:  do what’s right and make the most of each day and you won’t need to rewind a thing.


Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.