Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – #Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Diana Peach

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 author Diana Wallace Peach shares her thoughts on the prompt and how low moments and the high points in our lives are all part of the journey.

I wish I knew then what I know now by Diana Peach

Diana in 1977

The invitation from Sally to share our reflections on “I wish I knew then what I know now” has delivered some wonderful and personal responses from the blogging community.

Most who’ve submitted have confessed to taking some time to reflect. That’s true for me too.

I tend to look at life as a journey, each experience a stepping stone to the next. The low moments—giant mistakes, costly ones, personal ones where my heart was shredded, ones where I left a wake of hurt—they’re part of that journey that also led me to the highlights. My best moments wouldn’t have happened if I’d turned off the path and taken a different route. All my decisions, thousands and thousands of them, large and small, good and bad, delivered me to where I am today. In hindsight, I wouldn’t want to change them.

But… there are some things I know now, that I wish I’d known then.

I was a depressed, moody teenager with poor self-esteem which led to poor boundaries. I wouldn’t want to change that for all the reasons above, but it was tough. During my formative years (as well as today) many women were raised to be pleasers and fixers and compliant baubles. I wish I’d understood that cultural pressure, expressed myself with more confidence, and demanded that others treat me like a valuable human being.

Change required growing up, growing into my skin, and not caring anymore about what other people thought. Those are some of the wonderful things about getting old.
What I know now is that having boundaries makes me less timid, and ultimately a kinder, more compassionate, and more present person.

Another thing I wish I’d known then is that my brother was going to die young, at the age of forty. I just assumed that we’d all live to be old and gray and that we’d have years ahead of us to enjoy each other’s company. Years when we weren’t so busy, busy, busy, where we’d see each other more than just at Christmas. Years to connect as life slowed down and time opened up. All those assumptions were snapped away in an instant without a chance to say goodbye.

What I know now is to gobble up every opportunity to love. Making time and putting our energy into the people we care about is essential, because at some point, those relationships will be gone, and there’s no way to get them back.

And, I must include a thought about writing, of course! I started writing later in life and was utterly clueless. Like many authors, I was determined to find a publisher and I did that, publishing my first 6 books through a small press. I wish I’d known in the beginning how frustrating I’d find the traditional route, and how much I love the immediacy and control of self-publishing. My career wallowed for 4 years before I made the switch, one I haven’t regretted.

That does it for me, Sally. Thanks so much for the opportunity to contemplate and share my thoughts!

©Diana Peach 2022

My thanks to Diana for her thought provoking response to the prompt and the reminder to gobble up every opportunity to love. I know she would love to hear from you.


About D.Wallace Peach

Best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit:
D.Wallace Peach Books

A selection of books by D.Wallace Peach


My review for The Ferryman and the Seawitch 16th October 2021

Wow. This stand alone fantasy novel from D.Wallace Peach is fantastic. The author is known for her world building and creation of memorable characters, and does not disappoint with the worlds above and below the sea, and those who struggle to survive within them.

Deals have been made following a dreadful incident. Innocents must suffer to fulfil the terms of the agreement. A floating derelict world with a queen intent on survival, and a rich and fertile land with an unrelenting king, are connected by one ship and the Ferryman. He bears the burden of keeping to the bargain made to the Sea Witch for free passage between the two realms, and he has sacrificed much over the years to maintain this fragile peace between them.

There is deceit, side-deals and an undercurrent of violence that races towards a deadline set many years ago. Young lives are at risk, as are those who sail the dangerous waters ruled by the Sea Witch. There are heart-stopping moments when it seems that all is lost, and heart-warming interactions between humans and those beneath the sea that demonstrate the power of trust and love. However, those seeking their own version of justice will stop at nothing to to achieve satisfaction.

This is a love story, adventure, mystery and thriller rolled into a compelling and page-turning fantasy. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: GoodreadsAuthors Website: D.Wallace Peach Books – blog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach


Thank you for joining us today and it would be great if you could share Diana’s guest post.. thanks Sally.

274 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – #Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Diana Peach

  1. My dear friend, how wonderful to read your thoughts. Like you, I would not change what was in the past. My decisions, for good and not so good, have brought me to where I am now. My regrets continue to inform and guide my decisions today. Now, I recognize the finite aspect of my journey, which has replaced my youthful understanding of time that believes there will always be a tomorrow. I am keeping this quote near by: “What I know now is to gobble up every opportunity to love.” Diana Wallace Peach.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Sometimes I think we’re two peas in a pod, Rebecca. “My regrets continue to inform and guide my decisions today.” What a wonderful line and great way to make use of our mistakes and regrets. Everything is transformed and lined with silver when you put it that way. I really do think that in some ways mortality is a gift because it reminds us to cherish each day. Thanks so much for the visit to Sally’s. Have a beautiful day, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Diana, for sharing part of your journey with us. It can be difficult to look back and ponder whether we’d change the past (I know I certainly would if I could). I’m so glad you made it through the rough times you mentioned (I’m so sorry about your brother). Your life experiences have made you into the wonderful person you are now, and all of us who know you (even just a little) are fortunate for your presence in our writing/blogging lives. 🙂

    Sally, thanks for featuring Diana. She’s pretty cool, and it’s refreshing to learn more about the people behind the words. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mike. Since pondering these big questions about regrets, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some things I’d change. But for the most part, the journey has brought me to a good place and I’m satisfied with that, the good and the bad. Except for my brother’s death. I’d undo that in a heartbeat if I could. But life doesn’t role backward, so I try to be “cool” with it. Lol. I don’t think I’ve been “cool” in 40 years! You’re the best! Thanks so much for the visit to Sally’s, my kind and talented friend. Have a beautiful day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. First of all, I love this picture of you in your youth so full of life and wonder. Not much different than i see when I look at you today Diana! Such wonderful open honest shares about what you wish you knew now and so relatable. Life has been good to you and your quest for discovery, adventure and trust in your moment to moment meeting with life as it delivers is a joy. I’m sorry you lost your brother so soon. Thanks for sharing this Sally!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Cindy. I remember being 17. I still thought I was immortal back then! Yeesh! I haven’t always thought life was good, but over all, it was, of course. Good enough that I was able to grow up and develop some perspective and make some good choices along the way. I’m really happy to be in my 60s and have some time left to enjoy. And you’re an inspiration about how to stay healthy and active! I’m delighted to be here and Sally’s and grateful that you stopped by. Happy Friday, my friend.

      Liked by 3 people

      • You’re so welcome Diana! I remember that as well and I’m with you on that. I wouldn’t trade the yeasts for anything but I wouldn’t go back either. We learn, we grow and mature and now it’s our time to shine! Oh thanks so much for saying that and delighted to stop in. Very kind of Sally!!
        Yes, Happy Fri-Yay!!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for sharing Diana’s reflections, Sally. I agree that getting older has its benefits (more mentally than physically). There is no point in regretting the past, how else would we have become the people we are today?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit and sweet comment, Chris. Yup, getting older has lots of mental benefits! The physical, meh, not so much. And you’re right about the uselessness of regretting the past. Better to use those glitches to inform our todays and make better choices. Hopefully our choices will continue to improve right up to the end, along with the rewards. Have a wonderful weekend ,my friend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We would have gravitated toward each other as teens, Diana, for we were alike in those early years. I enjoyed getting to know a little more about you. Your words have sparked a phone call to my brother . Thanks, too, for this topic, Sally.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Sally, I enjoyed reading Diana’s thoughts about life and writing. She shares some wise words about both. If only we had some of that life wisdom in our teens. And I’m sorry to hear about her brother passing at such a young age. Thanks to you both for sharing…💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by at Sally’s, Lauren. Her series about “I wish I knew then…” has been wonderful. I think I’ve caught most of them. A little more wisdom in our teens would have been useful, wouldn’t it? But that’s not how it works, we have to grow into it. I know from your writing that you consciously savor all the wonderful moments of life. What a gift of presence! And thanks for the kind note regarding my brother. I won’t ever take love for granted again. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, we do have to grow into it, oh, those darn growing pains! And thanks for your kind words too, Diana. Like you, I am a late writing bloomer, though not the prolific writer like you, Sally, and many others here in blog land. But I certainly have learned a lot from the wisdom and tips you all have shared and that knowledge is greatly appreciated. I’ve always called this space another classroom. Hugs to you both. 💞

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Judith Barrow and commented:
    Loving these posts.One day,I will write my own,” I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now!” Until then,having missed so much lately I am seeking out all the other writers’ thoughts and memories. Diana’s has given me some reflection.Thank you both..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Beautiful post, Diana. The experiences we endure/encounter through life make us unique- they’re our footprints.
    I wouldn’t change mine either, other than having more patience with my daughter instead of pushing her away.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Sally, thanks for hosting Diana.
    Diana, I always enjoy reading your thoughts. I remember times you’ve mentioned your brother — and the story you wrote as a way of giving him a better life. That inspired me to take on my most difficult writing project and try to rewrite a better ending for my own childhood. I wasn’t up to the challenge really… but I still hope to finish Wheel of Fortune sooner than later.
    Thanks for being an inspiration. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading, Teagan, and what a lovely comment. I’m so glad that I inspired you in some way to write a better ending for your childhood, and I hope that on some level it helped. Because you finished the story! The scars never go away, but I do believe we can find a way to live with them and find happiness. Despite all you endured, you have made positive choices and become one of the kindest people I know. That’s a huge huge accomplishment. Not to mention your talent as an author. I can’t wait to read the ending to Dead of Winter, and I’ll be thinking of your comment here when I do. Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gosh, Diana, there are so many relatable parallels in what you have said. I too suffered from depression as a young woman and wasn’t at all good at asserting myself. I am growing in confidence as I get older! And after working with a publisher I realise how much I miss the freedom of self publishing! I have plans to self publish again! So, sad to hear about your brother, that must be so hard. I have an elder brother who has had a tough life with much sadness to cope with and I am trying to spend more quality time with him. He is now retired. Yes, focusing on love is a wonderful thing to do. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for dropping by Sally’s to read, Marje. I’m finding that a lot of us share those tough teen years. Fortunately with some age and perspective (and some work too), we can find happy and fulfilling lives. I’m sooo glad that you’re spending more time with your brother. Every minute is one well spent. And thanks for sharing your thoughts on the difference between your experience with traditional publishing and self-publishing. It’s pretty eye-opening, isn’t it? Benefits and disadvantages to both, I think, but clearly self-publishing has more freedom to control our work. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, Diana and Sally for sharing these wonderful experiences and lessons. I especially like this, “not caring anymore about what other people thought.” I find it most freeing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Khaya. I’m glad that line resonated. When I thought about how, as a teen, I cared so desperately about what others thought, I realized I was actually being very self-focused. When I stopped that, I could then focus on others and care about what was going on with them. It was freeing, but also opened me up for some lovely long-lasting friendships. Life is so strange, isn’t it? I’m glad you enjoyed the post, my friend. ❤ Have a wonderful week.

      Liked by 2 people

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  13. Life is a never ending process of becoming. Diana and everyone I’ve met in this wonderful community of ours is a good /person/, someone I’d be proud to call friend. -hugs to all-

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Thanks, Diana. It’s so difficult to know what will be truly important when time passes. I’m sure your publishing process also helped give you a clearer perspective and more knowledge when you went your own way. Thanks for sharing this and thanks to Sally for coming up with this inspiring series!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Your thoughts are so wise, Diana, but no surprise there. No, I’d never guess you were a depressed people-pleaser when you were younger, but as you say, some of that is cultural and how we were raised. Girls didn’t rock the boat. They rocked when the boat told us to. Oh, the pain we went through, but as you explain, the pain raised us to be authentic beings who found their own voice. Thanks for sharing these personal reflections, Diana, and Sally, thanks for sharing this with all of us. I’m having SUCH A FUN time with your “Just an Odd Job Girl.” Brightens up my mornings, when I read a chapter with the early birds. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The term “internal validity” is bandied about often with regard to books and authors. People define or explain it differently. For me, however, I’d sum internal validity up by saying it’s whether a story and its characters feel real or not.

    I have always felt, then, that an author’s ability to write characters that feel real must come from a place of being real people themselves. We are all real people, of course. But I think many writers haven’t reached a place where they’ve been able to fully embrace all the complexities of themselves first and to then draw on that as they write their characters.

    If I haven’t found empathy for myself and others in real life, it’s unlikely I’ll write characters for whom readers feel any real empathy.

    If I’m trying to portray a public version of myself that is mostly unflawed, I’m unlikely to tap into what makes a character relatable.

    If I haven’t spend some concerted time considering my own “character arc,” it’s unlikely that the characters I create will have a compelling one either.

    I have always loved the commitment you have to authenticity in your writing, Diana: trying new foods, sailing on giant ships, exploring unusual environments—all of which you then incorporate into the worlds you build. But I’ve been most moved by your ability and willingness to explore and share the realities of yourself along the way. I truly believe this is a large part of the magic behind your magical worlds.

    Sally, thanks for also sharing of yourself so freely and providing both a plate and a prompt for people to be fully themselves with one another.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the beautiful and kind comment, Erik. I’ve loved this whole series from Sally, and the posts have been incredibly poignant, many bringing tears and a deeper sense of connection. So I think we have a bunch of authors here on WordPress (and that includes you), who are willing to go to that real place, share themselves, and bare their honest truths.

      I think, like you, that authenticity is an essential part of writing real characters and touching our audiences. Aside from our physical circumstances and adventures, we are more alike than unalike when it comes to our inner human experiences, and that’s the part we can tap if we choose to connect. First we must “know thyself” and that’s a life long endeavor as we continue to grow and change in a changing world. A sense of “internal validity” sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Though, I have to admit that most of the time I feel like I’m just moseying along, trying to figure it out like everyone else. Lol. Thanks again for stopping by Sally’s, for reading, and for the thoughtful comment. Happy Spring! Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Being honest about the “moseying along” is part of it. No one has it all figured out. If we’re doing things right, we’re continually in the process of self-discovery, learning and change.

        I do want to add, as I said in the first chapter of my 2020 book, TRIED & (Still) TRUE, “Know thyself” doesn’t mean to just keep finding the next flaw. It equally means identifying and fully owning our strengths with neither arrogance nor awkwardness. If we don’t know our strengths, we can never make the most of them. And when we’re left perpetually seeing ourselves as a sum of our faults, there is no motivation to change.

        I’m sure you know and celebrate your own strengths. (But if you ever forget, drop a line, and I’ll remind you.)

        Liked by 1 person

    • As a fan of Diana’s writing and character development I agree with you Erik about her books. I think what is also interesting is that many of the authors in our community began writing later in life when layers of experience and interaction with many other humans provides that authenticity. I am looking forward as always to Diana’s next book and if I can provide a platform to share great writers then I am very happy… ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve always found the blogger community to be kind and generous. The relatively new phenomenon of the 24-hour news cycle seems to magnify hate and selfishness. But then I look around, and my own experience tells me there is plenty of goodness to be shared. Thanks for being an active reminder of that.

        Liked by 1 person

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