Do you have a book you return to time and again when you are in a pensive or thoughtful mood? I’ll admit it–I am a book junkie. I love to read–and my home shows it. Although my husband talked me into a Nook Color several years ago I still gravitate to real books, preferably hard cover, when I can get them for a discounted price. I appreciate the convenience of the digital versions–they load instantly and those borrowed from the library return themselves after a set time period, but there is just something about the smell and feel of a book in your hands.

One of my favorites that I find myself re-reading is a book by Jude Devereaux–The Summerhouse.  Basically it is about evaluating your life choices; given the chance would you go back and change your life if you could? Its a “if I could go back and do it over with what I know now” kind of event.

Now just because I love the book it doesn’t mean that I want to go back and re-do my life; its more of a yearly evaluation of what needs to be adjusted. I do love my life, well most parts of it. I’ve had many life changes and re-evaluations in the past few years: I took a break from nursing to work in real estate but found it is hard to do while raising my family the way I want (ie actually being around) and working around my husbands schedule. I tried school nursing, while I loved the kids I felt ungrounded since I just filled in and was not part of the day to day. I went back to hospital nursing, but as a med-surg nurse (instead of just OB) and now find myself working OB more and more.

And that is just my work!

Family is so important to me, it is what grounds me and shapes my day. Most of my adult life has been centered on my husband and children. Making sure all our schedules mesh and that we get to spend time together. Finding a balance between our work and sleep schedules have not always been easy but we’ve gotten through the tough times of childcare and lack of sleep.  Would I change it? No, I don’t think so–the girls have always had either my husband or myself around with very little childcare given by others (luckily my nieces were available to sleep over when my girls were little).

Marriage? Ah, the big one. Would I choose the same partner?  After almost 24 years of marriage I cannot imagine my life without him around.  While not always a perfect marriage it has become a strong one. We are not “peas in a pod”, in fact our  tastes are very different now than in the early years. We have grown separately but not apart. It is okay for us to spend time doing the things we enjoy because I know we will eventually have time together to sit and talk and bring our lives back into a cohesive mesh.

So the question remains: if you could, would you go back and make the one decision that shapes how your life will turn out? Given what you know now…would you make the same choices and “mistakes” along the way?