Some time ago, Mars Hill had a blog post from a gal who listed the things she’d do differently if she was getting married today. She’d been married for 17 years, so her advice is great stuff. But I thought about what I’d do differently if I could do the whole dating/engaged/married for 1 month stuff differently. If I had a chance to re-live it all over again, I wouldn’t. I know God has used the things in that time period in my life in great ways and truth be told, those were wonderful 20 months. But, still…there are some things I’d do differently if I had to. I’d:
Learn how to cook more. I cook fine. I can follow a recipe. I like to try new things. I make a weekly meal plan, grocery shop for it once a week (for the most part), but I don’t cook really well. I’m not very adventurous. I wish I would’ve asked a few women I know who are great cooks if I could come over for dinner some time and make dinner with them. I could still do this now, but it’s a little different when you’re invited you and your husband over.
Learned to speak up. I wish I’d learned from Jeff how to just speak up. State when something small is bothering you – if for no other reason than to get it out in the open. Truth be told, this is something that I’m still rotten at, so I wish I was better. For some reason, I think I should just say silent and suck it up. But when things bother me, I need to figure out why and communicate it (when needed).
Handled my finances differently. I did much better with my money when I left Corporate America and started working for a non-profit, but that was out of necessity. My spending money was 25% of what it was before. But before then, I didn’t live on a budget, saved what I didn’t spend, and didn’t take an active role in my 401(k). I contributed what someone told me to. I bought a house and made that house payment every month. But if several months went by without me saving money, well, that was okay. Enter Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and my financial life got much better.
Set my boundaries. I’m not talking about physical boundaries – I knew those. But I didn’t do a good job at protecting my time and filling it with things that are important to me. Two main things come to mind: working out and other friendships. I can’t really tell you the last time I spent significant time in the gym (didn’t I used to have a goal of running a 5K?!?). You get into a new relationship and while that person doesn’t instantly become your everything, you do tend to drop things just to spend time with him. That’s what I did. And I’m paying for it now.
Take more pictures. I don’t have many pictures of our dating days – and what I do is from what other people took. I wish that I had taken my camera along on a date or two and captured some moments.
I think those are the major things that I’d do differently. Nothing major. No huge regrets, but there are some little ones.