Looking back on life it is difficult not to see poor decision-making that leads to positions in life, which cause regret. It also leads me to compare myself with people who made better decisions, which put them in enviable positions. I hate to be a wish-maker, but I think I am one.
I lie in bed and just stare at the ceiling and wonder why I didn’t do what my friend Pax did when he was in college. Pax is a super nice guy and he chose to go the extra year to become a church architect. As a Christian, he took his love of building and combined it with his training to become a wealthy man who spends his time doing exactly what he wants to do. I wanted to get out of school quickly so I went the four year route and got out of school (with a useless double major) as fast as possible. My meaningless degrees took me to interesting places for a good fifteen years but then I couldn’t do it anymore. As well, what I was doing was not lucrative and any one who says that don’t want wealth is crazy. Don’t believe them. Having money is bad if you love it and crave it above all else. But having money to pay your bills, get you onto fun vacations and lead you into ease when it comes to monthly bills is wonderful. As a man who lives paycheck to paycheck, I can assure you Pax is much happier than I am.
As I stare at that blank ceiling of mine, I also think of a friend of mine named Linda who went the Higher Education route, with all of its student teaching and extra work. She did more then (Masters and PhD.) and now she is making plenty of money leading one of the best colleges in Texas to great places in the ranks of education. She made wise decisions from the start and now she is wealthy and a woman of great respect. I wonder why I didn’t do that.
Even my friend who does landscaping in Lubbock as well as installing holiday lights at Christmas loves what he does and makes a really good living at it – He just got some capital together and started his own business years ago and is now a well-respected leader of a fantastic company.
I hear that voice in my head that says, “Stop wishing and stop comparing your life to others.” I hear that voice loud and clear but I cannot say it is easy to follow it. I will say that I never expected to have the nervous breakdown I had and that I never expected to have my vocational identity taken away from me. That was unfortunate and I still have not recovered. But I keep thinking that if I had gone another direction in life I wouldn’t have allowed that overwhelming pressure crush me.
As I take my eyes off that night ceiling, I think this: “Your life is not over. You can make new decisions now that will lead to better ends.”
Is that true?
Is being 43 years old too late to erase some of those old decisions and make new ones?
I’d love some comments on this. Anyone out there find themselves in similar situations? Anyone out there turn their lives around and get back to a place of good? I hope you will share with me what happened to you and how you made it back to good.