Friday, February 12, 2010

What if?

Maybe it's the "new" year, maybe it's that I recently celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary, maybe it's the people I hang out with who are having the same feelings.  Some days, I wonder.  What if I had stuck to my original expectation that I would not get married; that I wouldn't have kids?  I say expectation because it was just that.  It wasn't really a plan or a goal, I wasn't purposefully avoiding marriage and kids, it's just the way I expected it would be.  I expected I would have a career and be in a committed relationship more often than not, but not married.  And definitely not living together.  (Don't think that I think that living with someone is wrong and those who do it are going to hell, because I don't think that at all.  It's just not for me.  I hope my kids don't do it, either. Though I did move in with my husband a week before we were married because the lease on my apartment ran out and I didn't want to move somewhere for a week just to move again.)  I expected I would come and go as I wished, responsible for no one but me.  I expected I would have enough money to live comfortably and have a good time, not really worrying about a budget.  I expected most of my friends would probably be married and have kids, because, well, that's what most people do.  I did not expect to be in that group of people who "do."

On Feb. 5, my husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.  We had an informative 1st date in which my husband made it clear to me he was purposefully avoiding marriage and I could exit stage left if I expected anything remotely "marriage" like.  I thought we were the perfect match when he said that.  Based on 16 years of marriage, I was right, I suppose.  Just not in the way I, or should I say we, expected.

So do I regret the decisions I've made?  NO.  Do I think I would have been happy if my expectations had panned out?  Yes.  I love my family and I love my life.  I am very social and love the commotion of keeping our family unit bumpily running along, but on the flip side, I am also quite a loner and would have been just as happy with a more solitary life.

I look at it this way though.  If I were living that expected life, I would be writing a blog entry wondering "what if I had gotten married, had kids, given up my career to raise a family?  What if my days were filled with the rewards of hugs, kisses and giggles instead of money?  If my days were full of kids fighting and crying and wrestling?  What if my afternoons were spent counting down the minutes 'til my husband comes home because I can't wait to see him AND if he doesn't get home soon to rescue me from the fighting and crying and wrestling I am going to pull out my own hair?"  The solitary me would always wonder about the "other" life I didn't choose. 

Life is so full of what if's.  And it's kind of fun to wonder what could have been, while being very happy with what is.


  1. i agree that a good game of 'what if' is a lot different than having regrets. in some ways, i can look back at my life and see how different, distinct events, seemingly unrelated, all happened in a somewhat coordinated effort to bring me where i am today.

    i do think i would have made a good editor in chief at vogue, though.

  2. Oh the what ifs.

    I've been snowbound in a house with two small children and a handyman with loud tools for the last two days - I'm thinking now is not the time to let my mind wander there.

    Congratulations on 16 years!!!!

  3. I am your what-if, and you are mine! Huh. Whatddya know?