When I was taking Human Development, we discussed the different stages of life. Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, and those lovely later years when we look back on our lives.
When people get to a certain point in their life, they've retired, the children have grown up and left home, life is quieter and calmer for them. This is the time when people tend to look back on their lives and think back over their lives. Our professor, Dr. Vera Hance was talking to us about people who either have many regrets or they are happy and feel they've made some mistakes, but have chosen more wisely than poorly over their lives.
That class stuck with me. And while I don't plan to pursue Psychology after finishing up my Bachelor's degree (it will happen some day - probably when Beka is a little bit older and can do school more independently), I am glad I took many of Psychology classes. I learned a lot, but that lesson - the lesson of think about what type of decisions do you want to be with you when you are older and looking back? That class has deeply shaped the choices I make.
It shaped my choice when I had to choose, stay at my job or leave it so I could give Elizabeth my undivided attention because she wasn't doing very well while Chris was deployed in 2004. At the time I didn't know she had PDD-NOS. I only knew my baby was falling apart, I couldn't keep child care, because she was so busy and unhappy - people just couldn't keep her. I had to make a choice and this was my choice - I needed to be at home. I would have to face God some day and I needed to know I could tell him I did what I could to help her. So I left my job with very little warning, and I explained to them that I had to be at home - Elizabeth was falling apart, she needed me more than Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines did. They could always find another Cruise Specialist, but I couldn't take back the time I had with Elizabeth when it was over.
I spent a few years working through the guilt I felt after her diagnosis. I felt I had failed my daughter and if I'd quit when I found out Chris was deploying that I might have been able to see it more clearly that something was wrong. It took a while to get over it, but what's done is done and I can only move forward and be the best mom I can be for her now.
Here's the thing. We all will die someday. Everyone of us will one day face God and answer for the choices we've made. I'm pretty sure that most people don't face God and say, "Gee, I wish I had worked a few more hours in my life so I could have had more money." Most people when they reach those retirement years find they wish they'd been a better wife/husband or mother/father. How do you want to look back on your life? Regrets or satisfaction? Happy that you made good choices for your family or wishing you'd made different choices. The choices you make today will impact you if not now they will impact your life later.
By the way those choices you are making now? Guess what? They also impact your children. Children pay a very steep price sometimes. They pay for the dad who cheats chronically on his wives and leaves them only to find someone else who doesn't know who he is and he uses them to raise his kids until they wise up and get sick of his crap to the mom who uses her daughter as a pawn to hurt her spouse. Those choices come with consequences and whether you pay the price right away or it comes back and kicks you in the teeth later - they will catch up with you.
I hope you all have a good week.
Love in Christ,