This morning in Seminary we talked about the things the students wanted to do in their lives, anything. We had a big list of things, from skydiving to traveling to all sorts of places to getting married and everything in between. This made me think about what I wanted to accomplish in my life up till now, and for the rest of my life, and made me ponder upon whether I wished my life had taken a different course.

When I was younger, I had lots of different scenarios for my life. At one point I wanted to be a pediatric cardiologist. I once thought it might be fun to be a marine biologist. Then I remembered that I don’t like deep water or getting so far away from shore that I can’t see the land anymore. That thought was short lived, but I do like marine life. I wanted to be a teacher for a while. I subbed at my kid’s school for a number of years while they attended. That was enough to convince me I didn’t want to teach, at least not on that level. I was a typical little girl in that I wanted to ride horses forever. I did get to ride horses throughout high school and enjoyed that, but not enough to pay for one here in Alaska. I wanted to be a farmer or rancher, and still think that would be fun. Always though, I wanted to be a mom which has dictated a lot of where my life has gone.

When I was in my teens, I watched a PBS special about a lady who wanted to be a surgeon but also wanted to have a family. She eventually walked away from the surgeon portion of her doctoring because her family was so important to her. That really changed my perspective, not only on being a cardiologist, but on what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a mom more than any of the other things I could be. I wanted to have a family. This desire, and the subsequent fulfillment of that desire has shaped my decisions more than anything else. This is not a popular decision in our society today, and often as I have found in public situations, it is looked upon as the backup plan, the other thing you do if you’re not smart enough or good enough or whatever enough to have a career. But I think it is the most important goal any of us should have, being parents. There is nothing more fulfilling, hard, rewarding, hard, happy … you get the idea. But I love it more than anything else.

It’s interesting this idea that moms aren’t smart or educated. Most of the moms that I associate with have educations in some form or another, many stay at home moms with degrees, choosing to be moms because it’s important to them. I have had the opportunity to have some great educational experiences over the years that have also shaped who I have become. Some of the things that I have done and learned from over the years have really helped me out as a mom as well. Before my kids were born, I worked at the local school, again as a sub. I also became a certified EMT and worked on our local ambulance service (this knowledge comes in handy when you have kids). I was a pharmacy technician and worked at a pharmacy in Wasilla when I was pregnant with my oldest child. I was also a certified phlebotomist and EKG technician although I never used either because I found out I was pregnant during the class. Since having my children, I have taken a fairly in-depth college course on sewing clothing, going from kind of being able to construct a simple pattern from the store to being able to make my own sewing patterns and sew just about anything. I have used online resources to learn to paint and continue to find new resources online to continue to learn. I have also learned how to cook better, healthier, tastier meals for my family, how to write books, how to create a website, how to run ads and make YouTube videos, how to garden better, and the list goes on and on.

Looking back on all this, I don’t regret the choice to be a mom, or the choices I made in between to get me where I am today. I don’t have a college degree but feel like I have been blessed by living in an age where there are so many resources to learn from, online, in books, in new ways to educate ourselves even from universities. As my kids get older, I have really been pondering on where I want to go from here, I don’t have a solid answer for that question yet, but I’m working on it. But I don’t look back with regrets, and I look forward with a bright hope for the future.

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