About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regret, or The Path Not Taken

To some extent, I think most of us look over our lives and think, “If only I had done X instead of Y,” or, “If only I had not done Z,” or, “I wish W had never happened to me.” I sometimes look back at who I was in high school and wish I hadn’t dated that guy or hadn’t wasted my time and emotion being on a sports team; instead I should have been more involved in community service or spent more time nurturing friendships.

I think about college and about the couple of times I almost switched my major. On the occasions when teaching becomes nearly unbearable, I wonder what life would have been if I had indeed chosen geology and was now living out west predicting earthquakes and studying volcanoes.

I don’t particularly like the region where I live, and sometimes I wonder how things would have been if I’d stayed at the college where I attended grad school, or moved to a bigger city, or moved back to the state where my family is.

But then reality hits me. If I hadn’t dated that guy in high school or if I had been more involved in other activities, who knows what kind of butterfly effect that would have had on my life? All of those experiences in my formative years molded me into the person I am, a person I happen to really like. Additionally, those experiences influenced other decisions and relationships that further shaped my life as I know it today.

And maybe predicting earthquakes would have been a way cool job, but I cannot discount the amazing opportunities that my degree and my current career have brought to me. The financial rewards, the autonomy I have in my job, the flexibility in my schedule, the professional development in which I have been able to engage (which has included traveling all over the country), the artistic endeavors DH has been able to pursue because of where we live, the people I have been blessed to meet, my work with the animal shelter… and on and on it goes. A feast of life that I might not have enjoyed if I had taken a different turn. I cannot allow myself regret without showing disrespect or ingratitude for the blessings that have been and will be.

Even so, there is one thing that I fear regretting -- not pursuing a PhD. There is still the possibility of doing so 10 or even 20 years down the road, but right now the cost of such a pursuit would be too great, with few tangible benefits (other than my own ego-gratification, by which I do not want to be driven). If that time of regret comes, I will need to remind myself of why I made my choice, of the price I would have paid, and of what I was able to accomplish instead.

My point is that when we choose one path, that automatically precludes us following certain other paths. We can spend our lives worrying that one of those paths might have been better, or we can make the most of the path we followed.

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