December 6, 2011

Sacrifices

Something I posted in response to a thread made me think. The thread had to do with whether the original poster should to pursue her job offer and her husband forgo his, or the husband pursue his job offer and the poster forgo hers as they'll have to relocate. A common response--mine was one--to the poster was a third option: if nothing is holding them back (kids, etc.,) why not both pursue their opportunities and have a long-distance relationship for two years?

Then I kind of wandered off onto my own thoughts. The downside to my better half being in the military is that he can't say no to whatever job they give him or wherever they want to send him. He's had some jobs whose hours were so bad that I'd get only an hour or two an evening with him, if that. He's had some hellacious deployments. He's done a year overseas in a war zone without us. He's missed a lot of the little one's life because of it.

Since he can't say no, I'm the one who has to say no as far as things in my life go. I'm the one who gets to decide if I stay behind and pursue my interests/school/career, or if I go with him and take my chances. Because of the little one, it's a no-brainer: of course we're all moving so we're together. I've sacrificed a career (not nursing) for one move. It took me forever to get through nursing school because of another move as well as his being overseas that year. I've sacrificed my RN-BSN as well as career for this last one. And while my experience and prior classwork do give me a leg-up, essentially I'm starting over in both areas.

And because of all of that, sometimes I feel like I'm behind where I want to be, even though I'm really not. I guess that's from all of the uprooting and starting over. Having to do that sucks. Having to make those sacrifices sucks. I admit that sometimes I resent having to make them. Ironically, I don't resent the better half...just the circumstances that the better half, by virtue of the military, puts us in. But we both knew what we were getting into when he signed up all those years ago, so it's not as though we were blind-sided. OK, the year overseas was rather blind-siding, but even so, we did know that was a remote possibility.

Do I regret all of it? Overall...no, I really don't. The little one is only young once and as much as my insecurity and impatience haunts me, my career will be there for a long time. The better half has agreed with me that once he retires, it will be my career that is the priority and he will have to make do and deal with the blows to any second career he has.

But if I didn't have the little one...would I have made those sacrifices?

Honestly...I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps for a really good opportunity I would have told him, "I'm taking the job, I'll move in a year." Or I may have opted to stay back east to finish the RN-BSN and joined him out here in Spring 2012. Then again, it'd have been a lonely time, and as much as I am a loner, I don't like being separated too long from him. I start to miss him and his habits after a while.

I do think that if it wasn't for the little one, I probably would have chosen the PCU over the psych job, since the biggest reason I went with psych was that the hours were better to work a preschool schedule around. Or I may have taken the psych job and tried to transition out of psych ASAP since nearly no one else in my class was in psych. But if I had done either, then I would not have had the chance to get to know--and fall in love--with psychiatric nursing.

And no, I don't resent the little one. Like with the better half, sometimes I resent the circumstances the little one's existence puts me in, but I never ever resent him. Nor do I ever regret having him, as that was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. On the worst days, that little smile makes the pain go away and my spirits soar...it makes everything worthwhile

*sigh*

What-ifs, maybes, perhaps I should haves, I ought to have dones, and so on...one can take themselves down a long road musing over what might have been. And to be honest, it's a road not best gone down often, as I can't change the past--I can only tinker with the future. And enjoy the present because that's where life--and the choices I've made--has taken me.

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