Do Over!

I was talking with my friend Elise today about a friend of ours who has been so crazy busy in her life that she’s completely neglected her blog.  I won’t mention any names, but it rhymes with Marci.  (And is spelled the same way, except for the first letter.  Just so there’s no mistaking about who I’m not talking about.)  We got to chatting about this, that, and the other and she asked how the job search was going.  Then she got deep… She wanted to know if I could change anything, would I?

Would I still marry Honey?  Would we have kids when we did?  Would I push him toward a different degree?  What would I get my degree in?

Funny you should ask…

The first thing I wanted to change was to be a better post-bypass patient.  Then I wanted to change how I dealt with money and debt.

Knowing what I know now, would I still have married my husband?  You bet.  Yes, we have had that one glaring problem in our marriage.  But when you consider all the things my friends, even my siblings, have gone through in their marriages… I consider myself very lucky.  No, not lucky, blessed.  If we hadn’t have gotten married when we did, I guarantee you we wouldn’t be married at all.  He would’ve had time to notice the red flags I kept hiding and run in the opposite direction, lol!

Would we have had kids as soon as we did?  Probably not.  At the same time though, I really wanted to be a younger mom.  So that one’s kind of tricky.

Would I have pushed Honey toward a different career path?  No.  Education is definitely not where the money is at.  But there are things our family needs more than what we want, and there’s no other career that could have made it possible.  We’re both against going into administration.  It’s just more time and responsibility for not enough pay.

What about my career?  That’s easy.  I always wanted to be at home with the kids (you know, after I realized the actress/rock star thing wasn’t going to pan out) so I got just what I wanted.  I do wish that I had gotten a degree, and I think that’s what I would have spent time doing instead of having kids.  I started naming off my choices:  Recreation Studies, music, history, anthropology… “FLUFF! ” she says.  Fluff.

Nothing I love to do makes me money.

Not like a medical, business, engineering, or law degree would.  But you see, my goal isn’t to be rich; I just don’t want to be poor, either.  Lucky for me, I’m not!

Sure, I have to say “no” to myself and the kids a lot.  (A LOT.)  But we do all right.  We have a job.  We have a house and a car.  The kids have an amazing school and good teachers.  We’re surrounded by good people as neighbors and friends.  We’ve got the church.  We have clean water, electricity, heat, and even some creature comforts like central air and a swimming pool.  We live in a beautiful and environmentally diverse state with infinite recreational opportunities.  And once in awhile, we get to go to Disneyland.

By and large I’m happy with this life.  I wish we had more, but not just for us.  I want to be more philanthropic, too.

If I had a rawther large disposable income I could be quite happy giving a large portion of it away.  I’d donate to KIVA, and Oxfam because they are helping people help themselves, not just giving away something for nothing.  I’d also give to Doctors Without Borders, because not only do they do amazing acts of service abroad, but I know many of them do at home as well.  Our optician, for instance.  He knows we are Mormons, and he is Catholic.  His son is LDS also, and he was telling me that some missionaries had come into the office in need of something.  It turns out that this missionary was uninsured, but Dr. S gave him an exam and pair of glasses for free because he appreciated what these young men were doing.  Dr. S also travels to Central and South America to give exams and glasses to those in need there.  An acquaintance from high school is a surgeon and partners with DWB as well to perform surgeries on children.

I’d donate to the church’s Humanitarian Aid efforts.  They offer a multitude of services and aid both at home and abroad, in times of peace, or turmoil and destruction from natural disaster.  Food, water, clothing, wheelchairs, blankets, hygiene kits, and even money.  There’s also a little known fund in the church called the “Temple Patron Assistance Fund.”  I don’t know how it’s managed or distributed, but on our first Sunday as a married couple we visited a ward where they announced this new fund.  It is supposed to help those who live in countries without a temple, or those who are at great distance from a temple, to be able to attend without selling everything they own and saving for years and years.

I can’t imagine not being able to read.  I have no cause in mind, but I’d find one that teaches the illiterate so that they too can have the joy and knowledge that comes from books.  Music is another passion, so I’d find something to bring music to children as well.  Of course, I’d love to set up merit based scholarships at my favorite colleges and universities!  I would LOVE to be on a board that got to pick and choose people of all ages and stations that desire to be educated!

Probably another “fluff” career, but that would probably be my dream job.  Giving out rich people’s money to worthy recipients!  (Now now, don’t mistake me for a communist or a socialist… I’m not forcing them to give it away.  This would be charitable contributions of their own volition.)

If you had it all to do over, what would you choose?

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