Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – #Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by D.G. Kaye

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Today my friend and fellow collaborator here on Smorgasbord, D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) shares her thoughts on the prompt.

I Wish I Knew Then by Debby Gies

Thank you, Sally for inviting me here today to share my thoughts on, I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now. This was an interesting question because of course, hindsight is always 20/20.

I’ve lived my life learning from life – life lessons. These are experiences in life that we could never imagine until we’ve lived through them, that’s why they’re called life lessons. This makes it somewhat like a trick question because if we didn’t experience something yet, we’d have never been able to learn from it, so hence, that’s my answer, it’s really not possible to know then what we know now, but wish, yes. We didn’t know any better or different then that nothing is stagnant, the world is always changing. We followed in the direction that life led us, we experienced and then we learned.

Don’t we all wish that in some of our most glorious times in our heydays, that we knew then that those days could quite possibly become some of the best years of our lives? Did we take those days for granted? Did we think that the good times would always continue to roll unknowing the times would change and quite possibly there may be leaner years? I know that I just took it for granted that the good things would remain and continue to get better. I wish I knew that our accumulated abundance in life was never anything to take for granted, that nothing is permanent, and that we should always keep alert and protective over everything we’d worked hard to attain.

But I suppose back then, as we live in the now and endure new struggles, we didn’t consider that those days of past would become the very days we often long for in the now as this world becomes more difficult to exist in.

I wish I knew, what feels like not so long ago, that I was living in my glory days without struggles of today – not much to worry about, giving not much concern to the coming years, which ultimately became leaner and less. Less tolerance, less love, less acceptance, less understanding, less brotherly love and that it could possibly become more difficult to live with the lesser of these things taken for granted back then as we under-estimated change in the world, thinking life would get even better with progress instead of going backwards.

I wish I knew then that my thinking that the harder we worked and saved for our retirement years would undoubtedly add fruit to our baskets if we saved and invested smart like the generation before us, was no guarantee and offered a false sense of security.

I wish I knew then as we thought we were prepared with our future plans and our false sense of security that the ‘powers that be’ would be making the rich get richer, and big corporations and greed would become as powerful as governments while diminishing the middle class’s ability to stay afloat ( let alone those who already lived back then, and still, in poverty levels) and could possibly threaten our financial futures, and that flying high in the gravy days by no means was any guarantee for tomorrow’s riches.

But as I watch the world change and devolve in so many ways, I can look back on the errors of my ways and I’ve learned to adjust my sails and go with the wind and not against it while keeping my eyes wide open, so I don’t have to say in the future again – I wish I knew then. But, no doubts, I may quite possibly be fooled again and have to repeat those same words – I Wish I Knew Then.

Those Good Old Golden Days of My Free Spirited Twenties

Those were the days of gold, even though then, I didn’t know they were.
The only thing I had to worry about was not getting pregnant.
A decent clerk job with a commission made a half decent living for a single girl at the time.
One could still be stylish if she had a weakness for designer clothes and shoes not on a champagne budget, like I did. Friends in high places.
The days when I could dress to the nines, avoid standing in nightclub lines as the bouncer graciously lifted the satin rope to let me pass inside to my usual Thursday and Saturday night haunt.
The days when parking was free, a glass of white Chardonnay was three bucks and change.
A five-dollar bill was all I needed in my wallet to buy my first drink and leave the rest for the tip, until one of the regulars in the club would show up, invite me to their table, and buy the rest of my drinks.
I had many friends in that club, the regulars as we were known.
Some were there to hunt women, some were there to be hunted. And some like myself, just went to dance and have fun.
Never breaking her policy that she never left the club with anyone other than the girlfriend she came in with.
Those were the days of gold.


My thanks to Debby for sharing her thoughts with us and giving us something to think about. Our journey through life is complex and not always under our control and subject to change and as Debby sometimes we have to adjust our sails and go with the wind.

About D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies)

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.


“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Words We Carry

Luv2read 5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book  Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2021

What starts with the author’s explanation of why she wrote the book: namely to share negative experiences and obstacles in which self-esteem issues and insecurities when faced and dealt with blossom to learning self-love; this is a remarkable revolutionary read.

One I wish I would have read in my earlier teen years when I struggled with my own self-esteem issues. Self-perception baggage from wounded egos, what weighs us down, fester and damage the soul the author writes. So true. This is so well written that it’s not just an enlightening educational tool but a wonderful read from a woman not afraid to show her underbelly, huge heart, and she does it with much authenticity and talent. I resonated with so much of what she wrote in these enlightening pages, but what stands out the most is how I slid down the rabbit’s hole due to my desire to want to belong, to socially fit.

I suppose all of us who relate to this unfolding have a personal story of our own. Mine was rooted in a family dynamic that made it difficult for me to have friends to my home and consequently I missed out on social bonding that helps develop a strong sense of self. It wasn’t until later in life, in high school and university, that I encountered warm satisfying friendships. By then the damage was done. I just wish I had this book in my earlier years to have helped my younger, more formative self.

Thankfully, it’s never too late to unwind wounds and deepen self-love, which is another thing I found from this beautifully powerful read. In summation, let me say I am grateful I had this recommended to me by a friend, someone whose words I respect. This gem of a book did not disappoint. Highly recommend.  

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye 


Thanks for joining us today and it would be great if you could share Debby’s post… thank you Sally.


149 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – #Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by D.G. Kaye

  1. I couldn’t wait to read this, Debby, and what a glorious photo of you – such a stunning beauty. You’ve made some very profound points here, and I have to agree with you that many things back then were very good, even if we didn’t always appreciate it! Hugs, my friend. Toni x

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I agree with Toni – profound thoughts including the taking for granted what we then look back on as the more carefree, fun times of youth. You’ve barely changed physically and it’s still easy to see the beautiful, strong woman that you are now. I loved the advice about adjusting your sails – it’s the only sane approach to some situations – and congratulations on that lovely review. ♥♥
    Yet another very different take on the prompt, Sally! ♥♥

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Adjusting your sails is profound and wonderful advice, and especially with keeping your eyes open. Lovely post, Debby. Thanks for sharing. Hugs 💕🙂

    Sally, thanks for sharing a wonderful post series. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Learning from “life lessons” is spot on, Debby. If we don’t, it seems impossible to move forward. I can vouch for that. Great article, great advice, and a fabulous photo. Thanks for sharing your profound insights with us. Hugs
    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ah the days when chardonnay was three bucks a glass, Debby. I hadn’t a care in the world – maybe it’s better NOT to know what’s coming and enjoy life as it comes!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. A lovely post Debby. I, too, relate to adjusting one’s sails along the way, it’s the only way we survive really. Move ahead, recalculate, change course, or just stop. Thank you for sharing, and to you Sally for this remarkable series!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Those were the day when we could be carefree and stay safe far safer than the girls are today…I like that you go through life adjusting your sails..goof advice…great review 🙂 x

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I miss the carefree days of dancing all night as well, Debby! Life lessons aren’t always easy, but those are definitely the lessons that stick with you. Great piece, Debby! Thanks for sharing her thoughts, Sally! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Sal, thanks so much for having me over again today. This series has been most enjoyable for me and most here I know. Thanks for the opportunity to share a little more of my world. Hugs ❤ xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A lot of truth in this, Deb. For me, it was all about work. I was afraid to run out of money so I worked as much as I could. And saved. I don’t think anyone would have called me a ‘free spirit’.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. First let me just say, what a gorgeous photo of you, Debby! And you are right in that we can’t know what we don’t know and that is why life is one continuous lesson. Adjusting ones sails is almost a daily occurrence. I love your “Good Old Golden Days” poem. Fantastic post! Thank you, Sally, for being such a gracious hostess!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I enjoyed this post, Debby. When I was living the good old days a thought always came up wondering if these were going to be the best days. I’m so glad to know for me they weren’t. The best days continue to be lived.. Your poem was terrific. Thanks to Sally for having you here today.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. What a beautiful photo, Debby 🙂 You are so right about needing those life lessons. Your insight as to where and what the current lesses are were spot on. I smiled about the golden twenties and the ease of it all. Great post! Xo

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I so much agree with you Deb, we took those days for granted, not knowing they would change but isn’t it good that we lived happily in the glory of those days and have joyous memories to share? What a wonderful conclusion you have written for this post Deb… so positive and prudent! And what a beauty you were in your golden days! Not that you look any less now! Thanks for sharing a lovely picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Debby – I came back to to read your thoughts a second time. I especially appreciated you words: “I wish I knew that our accumulated abundance in life was never anything to take for granted, that nothing is permanent, and that we should always keep alert and protective over everything we’d worked hard to attain.” I agree wholeheartedly that nothing is permanent – that we must keep alert and protective. We feel the external changes of societal values, community and economic shifts. We experience internal changes of health and aging. Most of all, we experience the loss of those dear to us. We live in an existence that only allows us forward momentum. You have inspired me with your enthusiastic acceptance of all that life has given you. Your writing as a memoirist encourages me to look back and celebrate. I am glad that we connected. Sally and you are a dynamic and unforgettable duo.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Lovely photo, incredible poem, and heart-tugging wisdom — wow, Debby. Thank you. Time offers perspective, doesn’t it? We see what we didn’t notice years back and begin to cherish the moments, all of them. Thank you, Sally, for featuring beautiful Debby. A blessing to all.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Time does change our perspective and hopefully our decision making. Experience is truly the best teacher, yet some continue to make the same mistakes again and again. Most adjust their sails because that’s what we need to do in life to pick ourselves back up when things don’t go our way. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have friends to help us through those difficult times, but ultimately we are the captain of our own ship.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. This with adjusting the sails is a wonderful metaphor, and you gave me also profound thoughts with this posting. Thanks Debby, and i am sure i have had seen this photo with the pretty blonde woman on a blockbuster advertising. 🙂 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Definately a profound and thoughtful post.
    Indeed living in the moment you don’t realise this is the time you will lok back on and see the changes.
    You don’t see that you are living in a time that will become a memory.
    (My mum , in her 90’s, is enjoying looing back and reflecting on her life. with photos and time to explore these she has enjoyed her lockdown. I think she has lived through many events and didn’t know that the memory would be as important as it is)

    Liked by 2 people

  20. You share great wisdom, Debby. Your poem from your 20’s is spot on. Thank you for this! And, have you decided to go blonde? I took a double take. Love it!

    Liked by 2 people

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  22. Such a touching post from Debby and a poignant look back at the “good old days.” I also took them for granted, but then I don’t know if we can truly appreciate them without the benefit of hindsight. I do hope that we’ve learned, Debby, and that as we look back on today from the future, we do so realizing that we embraced what we had at the time. Hugs, my friend. Another great share, Sally.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. A lovely photo, Debby, and very wise words. I don’t think we would have enjoyed the good old days quite as much if we had been aware that they would not last forever (even if we knew deep inside). Thanks for the advice. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Words of great wisdom, Debby – being aware of the ‘now’ instead of being in denial about it is a good plan! Love the photo 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  26. HI Sally and Debby, a lovely post with some wonderful memories. We all take youth for granted and it passes very quickly. As Debby has said here, we have to learn as we go along so it is hard to say what you would have liked to have known as a youngster without having first lived your life. I suppose that is why this is a backwards reflection.

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  27. Wonderful reflections and true words, Debby. Very well written, too! While I try to convince myself that I never want to regret anything, life doesn’t allow that to happen. It’s depressing and sad to think and believe (and be convinced) that our younger years were better. And, in many ways they were. If for nothing else for our loved ones that were still alive and our carelessness that made us happy yet “privileged.” But I also like to think that age makes us wiser and that should count for something, right? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The great summation Liesbet, age does make us wiser – or, it’s supposed to :). That’s why hindsight is always 20/20. I remember hearing when I was younger, ‘youth is wasted on the the young’, lol, some truth to that. Thanks for leaving us your thoughts here my friend. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  28. You were- and still are- a real beauty, Debby, and I think a lot of that comes from within.
    My dad died suddenly when he was fifty-seven of a massive heart attack. It devastated me. My hero, gone in the blink of an eye. It was then that I decided we were not going to spend the rest of our lives working to pay for things without any real meaning. I made a plan to downsize, and though it took a few years, we’ve accomplished our goal.
    Do we have everything we want? No. But we do have everything we need, and that’s what counts. {{hugs}}

    Liked by 1 person

  29. A great article and thoughts Debby…. Life has a strange way of leading us to make the choices which best suit our needs at the time..
    I wonder just how many more of us have said exactly the same thing..
    In hindsight… with just a few exceptions… I would make the same choices.. and what we could call mistakes.. But then some of those mistakes, have been my biggest lessons, that have moulded me to who I am today..
    Excellent write Debby.. and Hi Sally…. Sending love and hugs to you both ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Wise words, Debby these posts are all different and have given us lots of different takes on what we saw as essential but you are correct we have to have experience to learn on what is important 🙂 x

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  31. So much truth in your words Debby. Even now I am saying I wish I knew… ha! Life is a funny business and all we can do is ride the tide of highs and lows as best we can. It certainly gets harder as we get older. And worries pile up… But there are still moments of gold to be treasured. I hope life is kind to you going forward Debby. 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Excellent lessons to be learned from the past! Brilliant idea for a series, Sally. And Debby makes some valid points. Those glory days did not prepare many of us for the current harsh realities.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. What a beautiful photo, Debby. You are still a stunner. ❤ I love your philosophy to 'adjust your sails' in life and suspect that has saved your mast from being snapped in two many times. A wise post, our UB and thank you to Sally for such a lovely series. A rising tide raises all ships….Much ❤ to you both and to every lovely soul who has commented here. ❤ xXx

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