I talk to a lot of people and believe it or not, this phrase pops up more than one would expect. I never ask for it nor do I expect it. Maybe it is my personality or the tattoo on my receding hairline that says, “Tell me something I don’t care about.” that has folks telling me their inner thoughts.
The phrase, “If I wasn’t married with kids …” generally starts with a story about their “Glory Days”. Stories about how much partying they used to do. Stories of debauchery, freedom to roam where ever they wanted, and do what ever they felt like. Every time the story ends, it seems that their life would be better off if they had never gotten married nor had kids. They would be filthy rich. Living large on a yacht in the South Pacific. My favorite was when some guy I work with said he would have been a famous rapper. These are the times I just smile and reflect on what MY life would be like if I was still single. Fact is, I think about this a lot more than I would ever let on. What would my life be like if I was not married with kids?
My life if I wasn’t married with kids
In order to answer that, I need to reflect back onto my past. My life before marriage. My life before fatherhood. I think back and see exactly how my life would have been different. I ended each day in a bottle. Rarely said “No” to anything that could possibly give me pleasure. I would even run the occasional “Get Rich Quick” scam to make some extra cash. My life before marriage was full of drunken misadventures, drug induced memory loss, and the occasional moment in a jail cell.
If I wasn’t married with kids, I would not be here to write about it. There may have been a chance that I would have survived but if that happened, I would most likely have been face down in a ditch covered in my own urine with an empty bottle of Southern Comfort just out of arms reach. There is a good possibility that my body would be collapsing from the multiple drug induced overdoses and wide arrangement of sexually transmitted diseases. My family would have completely disowned me. The local bail bonds establishment would have my picture on the wall and a reward for my capture. That is to say if I wasn’t already serving jail time for something completely stupid I did in my delusional state. Yes, my life without marriage and kids would be exactly like that. That is why I think about this almost everyday.
My Inner Thoughts
My family is everything to me. I wake up every morning and know that they saved me from the misery I would certainly have been in. It may sound strange to most people but that is a fact. People that live their lives in their glory days never remember the truth. They rarely remember the times they ended up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. Fail to recall the after effects of their drinking until the wee hours of the morning. They never truly answer the question, “What would have actually happened if I stayed on the same path my younger self was on?”.
My reason for living
The days I wake up to see my youngest has crawled in bed with my wife and I are precious moments to me. Getting the random hug and occasional “I love you” from my daughter is something I am glad I get to experience. To see that my children are all turning out to be descent human beings, gives me feelings that no drug ever could. Even the days when we are all screaming and yelling at each other for something completely idiotic will be burned in my brain as a precious moment that nothing in this world could ever replace. Life without any of them would be worse than anything I could ever imagine.
As I stated before, I do think about this frequently. I don’t do this because I feel my life would be better without them, I do this because THEY made my life better and I want to remember that forever. Especially as I slowly slip into memory loss and shrink into nothingness.
My fabulous wife, my phenomenal children, and even the critters that have found refuge in our family are the reasons I get up every day to face whatever the world throws at me. No matter how bad things get. No matter how angry we get at each other. No matter how disappointed I get at certain behaviors. In the end, they are my reason for living and there is nothing that can change that for me.
I bring this up is because somebody today explained to me how their life would be better if they never got married and had kids. Their poor miserable life of having to go to work, feed their kids, pay bills, and be responsible was too much for them to handle.
I could not smile today. Merely tell them my truth and walk away.