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Final Answer(s)


We have arrived at the final question in Carrie's ginormous Get-Away Give-Away contest at The Slow-Dripped Life.  In reality, I love to ask questions, and I love to answer them... it's that Aquarian curiosity thing I guess! :-)  I'd be happily playing along even if there wasn't this amazing prize for the winning, and I'm going to miss the contest when it's over.  But back to the task at hand...  This week we had a choice of two questions to pick from.  I think I'll answer both! :-)

1) "If you could be locked in somewhere overnight, where would it be and what would you do? Would you be by yourself or with someone, and if so, who?

It would be at a lovely little cabin like this, nestled in the woods, with my husband, my dear friend Annie, and her husband.  We would spend the night sharing good food and drink, and lots of laughter... visiting by fireplace light, talking about old times, and life now, and listening to her husband play all the songs of our generation on his guitar.  I know that when they came to let us out in the morning, no one would want to leave. :-)

 2) "Many of us have that one moment or decision that, if we could go back, we would choose differently.  If you could go back and get a do over, what would you do?"  

I had to think a bit on this one.  If I took an undo of either of my first two wedding days,  it would also mean that I wouldn't have one of my two amazing children, so guess I'll have to keep those.  (Could I keep the kids and undo the relationships with their dads? :-) 

I would love to do an undo of my decision as temporary acting director of a human services agency to rehire an employee who threw a tantrum and walked out over my appointment to the temporary role.  He returned at my request, and along with his side-kick made my life a living hell for the next ten years.  Undo, please! My heart was in the right place but his obviously wasn't.

But... the more I thought about it, there is one day, one decision, I made that has impacted every single day of my life since.  That one was when I was twenty two and decided to withdraw from college to chase follow my first husband's dreams and schemes which would soon take us to another state, and then another, and then overseas, where I finally dissolved the marriage.  If I had opted/insisted instead on staying in school and finishing my degree, I would have had so many more options in my life... a career that was meaningful, a way to support my children and myself so I wasn't stuck living with rats, and I probably could have been retired by now instead of working my butt off in a low-end job.  In other words, I could have been a contender!

It seemed like the easy answer at the time, and I believed that I would be return to school in the future.  Easier said than done.  Silly me, I should have seen that freight train derailing!  That's why it has been so important to me that both of my children have good careers of their choosing that render them financially independent and able to live there lives where and how they choose.  I couldn't be prouder of them, my son being an air traffic controller and my daughter, a registered nurse.  They will never find themselves in the situations I have, stuck someplace I didn't want to be because of that one choice, and my inability to make enough money to effect change in my life.  It's a lesson I can't preach loud enough to kids growing up... choose wisely and finish school!

17 comments:

  1. The first one would be so hard to answer, though you made it look easy.

    The second, the kids are why I wouldn't change a single moment. We are who we are because of the choices we've made. Right now, I'm happy with where those choices have brought me.

    We all make bad decisions, who knows what might have happened if you never left school. When we engage in these "what if" moments, it's so easy to assume the path we didn't take would have worked out better but we really don't know.

    Ah crap, now I'm going to have to make a post. But it's going to have to wait, I'm exhausted.

    I know it hasn't been the easiest road for you but I'm glad it led to our paths crossing. I like you how you are.

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    1. Very true, Monkey, there is no guarantee that Plan A would have resulted in a better life or a safer life or a happier life. Looking back from the mountain top now, I have to say it was all worth it, because it made me who I am and I'm pretty much ok with that, for the most part anyway. I will always be grateful to the fate that brought me to the blogsphere and to meeting some of the finest folks ever here, present company included! My life would be less if I nevere would have met you, you have a wonderful gift of making me laugh, and for pointing out the absurdities of life, even sometimes my own! :-)

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  2. I have the similar decisions...can't undo relationships lose the kiddos. I went back to school in my 30's to find independence but sadly I got caught in someone elses dream and it landed me only a 50%er so I settled for something with insurance & benefits they were golden for a single mom I knew how to live poor but insurance with kids was a must! Great post I think I might answer both as well :)

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    1. Being a mother was our most important job, and we took it seriously, doing whatever was necessary to make life as good as possible for our kids. Neither of us would do that any different today! I like to think it all works out ok, the kids are doing alright, and for the most part we are too! I loved your answers to the questions, good luck with the contest! :-)

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  3. Hi Josie,
    I've been holding back on my post, trying to come up with something a lot more exciting than what keeps coming to my mind as answers.
    I like both of yours, but in particular, how simple your choice for the first one was. Sometimes we overlook whats important in search of something grander. Thanks for reminding me of that. I think I know where my post needs to go now. :)

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    1. Crap, I was going to wish you the best of luck in the draw as well. :)

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    2. Thanks Ken! For me, the opportunity to spend one night with some awesome folks trumps any other form of entertainment I could conjure up. There are a lot of fun things I'd enjoy, but this memory would be with me forever, that makes it priceless! Good luck to you too my friend, whoever wins, it's been a great time!

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  4. I love your answer for #1...and I agree, obviously! I hope you win! Hugs!

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    1. Somehow I thought you'd agree with that one! ;-) And it does sound perfectly wonderful, doesn't it?! Maybe we should just buy the cabin and stay... of course that requires winning the lottery!

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  5. Absolutely love your answer to your first question! How cozy and of course, makes me think I would love to 'do over' my answer as well! :)

    As for your second answer...wow Josie. So many stories of women who have given up education, careers, etc. for a man that probably didn't have their best interests at heart. It happens all the time. It may not even be as overt - it could be a subtle 'putting away' of that which our heart truly loves because it isn't valued or understood by that other person, and in a sense, losing a part of oneself. Either way, you have come out of such a situation to be one of the most big-hearted, compassionate people I 'know' either in the blogosphere or 'real time'. That is the truth. You value what is most important out of life, and maybe you went through what you do so that you could be such a champion for your kids to become the amazing people they are today. I appreciate your honesty so much!

    Drawing is tomorrow! Yippee!!

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    1. My mind sorted thru several more creative possibilities for question #1, Carrie, but when it came down to what would be the most wonderful night I could imagine, this was it... a fantasy since they live so far away. But it could happen and I believe that someday it will!

      Regarding question #2, I think in my generation it was more accepted that the wife followed the husband's lead to wherever, and her needs and desires came second if at all. Thankfully, we are now more aware that the journey is to be shared and mutually decided upon. If I am even half the person you seem to think I am, I shall be well satisfied with my life. To live with kindness and compassion is what I value most.

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  6. I LOVE the cabin in the woods option. That sounds so perfect! I actually considered the school thing as my do-over too but there was so much I did do in that time that I would never have been able to had I stayed in school. And, oddly enough, I just made the decision last week to return to school to work on my degree. I'm in my late 30's geez. But better late than never, right?

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    1. It does sound so cozy and conversation friendly, doesn't it VV? And in reality we've never had the chance to spend an evening together... yet, but it will happen!

      I can understand your answer to number two. My life was so turbulant at that time that I am not sure I would have been able to focus enough energy on school either. YAY for you going back to do it now, absolutely a great choice!!!

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  7. A winner has been selected and posted! Josie, thank you so much for taking time to participate! Think we'll ever meet? You are truly one of my favorite people! :)

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    1. As soon as this message came in I scrambled over to read your post, and chuckled as you laid out the process of selection. We never doubted for a moment that you would do it absolutely fairly, that is who and what you are! When I saw that my beloved sister/friend McGuffy Ann was the winner I squealed with joy! No one is more deserving or will appreciate this amazing gift more, it is truly a blessing in her life, just as you are a beautiful blessing in all of ours! Yes, we will meet, I am sure of it, perhaps it will be in Texas, somewhere on the map that you posted to announce the contest! :-) I treasure your friendship and your inspiration, you are truly one of God's finest. It is my honor and my pleasure to call you my friend!

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  8. The cabin in the woods looks absolutely lovely! I would love to spend not only a night, but a week in a place like that :)

    It's funny how so many of us regret something to do with school. It's a shame you have to decide something so important at such a young age. But you know, it's never too late to go back!

    Congratulations on raising two successful children :)

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    1. I would to live there permanently, Kianwi! I do so miss grass and trees here is West Texas! Your career and future is a huge thing to decide at 18 years of age, I think everyone should spend two years doing something else first, I envision that as something service oriented to helping others. It would be a great growing-up experience! I do know folks of all ages who have gone back to school for their degrees, and I so admire them. That's not something I want to do at this point, I am hoping to retire to at least part-time employment here in the next few years, God willing. I am very proud of my kids, the just couldn't be any more wonderful! I am so very blessed, but I don't take the credit, it rightfully goes to them and their own determination!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)