Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thursday Three: Life!

This week’s Thursday Three tackles the big questions. No, not what we are having for dinner, but Life as you know it. Terry writes the following:

OH! Hey, I have an idea--let’s talk about life! Remember, this exercise is open to anyone who wants to participate--just leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog, or a link to your blog if you have a blog. Blogblogblog. I hate that name. ANYway, LIFE. The Big L.
You ever wondered how your life might be different? Good, it’ll make the game a lot easier--

1) Name three events that occurred in your life that you look back on occasionally and wonder how things might have turned out if you had done something different.

2) If you could have lived in another time, what would it be? One stipulation--you have to be pretty much what you are right now--no going back in time and being Alexander the Great, no being Einstein or Moses or Casanova. If you’re a teacher, you’ll still be a teacher; a doctor, still a doctor; a car mechanic--well figure that one out on your own. You wouldn’t know the future, either--so no going back and betting on horse races and stuff. You would just be you, only in another time and place.

3) What one aspect of your life, such as your family, job, social life, spiritual life, creative ability, etc., do you find most rewarding?

Now then, that should keep you all occupied for a while!

Oh my, such a profound set of questions. Well here goes nothing.

Question #1) The first event is easy, my life would be completely different if I had gone to another college. I would not have met my husband, I would not have my children (well I would probably have children, just not the ones I have now), I probably would not have converted to Judaism and I would not be living in Virginia. This had been a very real possibility. I had been waitlisted for Connecticut College and accepted at Macalester College. When I had been finally accepted by Conn I had already sent in my room deposit for Macalester and was gearing up for four years in St. Paul, MN. No regrets with the decision I made. It was an awkward phone call to the nice folks at Macalester, but they were understanding and wished me well. They appreciated the fact that I bothered to tell them my decision.

I guess the second event would be choosing my major in college. This was a choice that would determine the direction of my life. It was the middle of my freshman year when I made my decision. My freshman advisor gave me the willies and I wanted to get away from him as fast as possible. I had it down to two fields: biology or art. I love mucking about in science class and I am fascinated in finding out how things work. Art had also always been one of my favorite subjects. I am forever making little drawings and I get a great deal of pleasure out of creating something beautiful. It was a very hard choice to make. With science I would be intellectually fulfilled and I would have excellent job prospects. Art would be a much harder choice. I have some talent and decent color sense, but I do not have the drive necessary to make it work. So in the end I chose science. Initially my major was Field Biology, a specialization that takes you out in the field to study ecosystems, large and small. Sadly the department dropped my major (due to low numbers) and I was shunted over to just plain Biology.

Now the third event is much harder. One alternate path I could have taken would have been going back to work after the birth of my first child. I know we would not have had four children and I think we would have spaced them farther apart. Financially I think we would be at about the same spot since we would have all of the daycare expenses to pay for.

Question #2) I really can’t think of any other time period I would want to be in. If I was forced to decide I would pick 100 years in the future. As a woman I have no romantic notions of the past. Right now I am a stay at home mother by choice, but I have the education and training that I could go back to the lab once my children are in school. I like the fact due to my education I can give accurate and reasonable explanations to my children for various natural phenomena. Also life in the past would be a death sentence for my youngest son. Seventy years ago 80 % of the children diagnosed with CF did not live past their first birthday. Max suffers from a profound enzymatic digestive deficiency from his CF. He probably would have starved to death by now if it were not for the enzymes he takes every time he eats.

Question #3) My Family! I love my husband and I am so glad we found each other. My family is very important to me and I’m glad that I am able to stay home with my children. I like how they are learning to love reading for the sake of reading, that they enjoy trying to figure things out and that they are (slowly) learning how to deal with people who-don’t-always-agree-with-you-but-you-have-to-deal-with-anyway (ie. siblings and in the future bosses and co-workers). They are learning to be kind to others and to at least try to think before they act. My husband and I are on the same page with our views on child rearing, which makes for an easier task for us both. I think together we are producing a useful and productive generation.

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