Monday, November 23, 2015

So if you DID have it all to do over again...would you?

I've made some good decisions in my life, but sometimes I can't decide whether they were actually good decisions or just so-so decisions that, with a lot of divine assistance, turned out well.

Either way, my life is pretty darn good. For all the things I tend to take for granted and the blessings to which I'm oblivious, I can at least say I'm good at being grateful.

But let's suppose you had a one-time-only offer to go back and redo up to three things in your life. First, would you take advantage of the opportunity? And second, if so, what would those things be?

I don't really have much in the way of regrets, but if you were to open the time machine door and allow me to step in, here are the three items I would change if I could:

(1) I would have gotten a master's degree (at least) directly after my bachelor's
When I graduated from college in the spring of 1992, I was running on fumes. For months I had been going to school full time, working full time, and helping Terry plan what turned out to be a pretty decent-sized wedding. Graduation was a time when I could lift one of those weights off my shoulders, and I was grateful for it. My dad suggested I stay in school another couple of years and get a graduate degree. I said no thanks. In retrospect, Dad was right. I always figured there would be time later for a master's program. But here we are decades later and I'm still without that advanced degree. And probably will be for at least several more years, if not forever. I should have toughed it out.

(2) I would at least have seriously considered a career in academia
I love to learn. I love (and miss) the classroom environment. I love research. I love to obtain knowledge for the sake of obtaining knowledge. All of these seem like indications that a career spent as Dr. Scott Tennant, Professor of <FILL IN THE BLANK> may have been a good move. We'll never know now, but I think I could have thrived as a scholar. (Though hey, maybe someday?)

(3) I would have forced myself to become better at home repairs and handyman stuff
I know I'm still perfectly capable of learning these things, but I feel like you're more of a sponge for practical knowledge like this when you're younger. Maybe not? All I know is that I should have listened closer when my dad tried to teach me a lot of this. Once again, Dad was right (ARE MY CHILDREN NOTING THIS 'DAD WAS RIGHT' THING AS A RECURRING THEME?)

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