Today’s Questions of the Day for 6/18/2019
Financially… buying an overpriced whole life insurance policy with a deferred initial payment when I was 22 y/o – 6 weeks from graduating from college. I hadn’t done my homework on life insurance and fell for a smooth sales pitch that was focused on my “maturity” and (legitimate) care and concern for my wife and our yet-to-come children. I learned more about life insurance within the first few years and realized what a bad deal I’d signed up for and to escape had to pay an interest about 4X the prime on the deferred payment plus a stout (for me at the time) penalty to break the contract. As painful as it was, it was the best lesson I could have learned at that stage of my life and it taught me to look before I leaped, to be wary of smooth, flattering sales pitches – and not to be shy about asking tough questions and not “dropping it” if the answer was a dodge, and probably kept me from making many more expensive mistakes later in life when more $$$ was at stake.
With that question, my mind automatically goes to regrets. I can think of the hairstyle back in jr. high, but that was just the sign of the times. Christ has blessed me with the ability to see the good in so many apparently bad things, it’s hard to regret them, and I can recall exactly what I was thinking.
One area that I do regret, and still go, “What was I thinking?!?”, maybe because it’s still a stuggle of mine, is letting others love me or my family in action.
Interpersonally -some very tough lessons learned too late with both my father and my youngest son that their promises and best intentions could not overcome their addictions and that in the end, neither I nor my DW (nor anyone else) can shield them from the consequences of their bad choices as adults. Even so, other than regrets that we may have enabled some bad behavior in our son in his early teens that we didn’t recognize as being more serious than we thought, I don’t regret the mega $$ we spent on the many addiction and recovery programs… none of which ultimately made a difference … or we would be wondering now if doing so could have saved him.
This is an easy one – the decision to start working in retail when I was 17 years old, and to STAY in that horrific job for the next 40 years. I finally quit and found a much better job that pays the same and has better benefits and hours (it is NOT retail). I only wish I’d done it decades ago.
I periodically flash back to some interpersonal interaction I had in elementary school (and every age since) and cringe with embarrassment, wishing I could refrain from speaking, word my comment differently or be less of a dork. These moments occur randomly and painfully and I add to the collection every year.
On a larger scale, I can think of lots of mistakes, but unfortunately I can always remember what I was thinking at the time. It may have been something really stupid I was thinking, but I remember it! (Let’s rush into buying this car for more than we can afford and just believe that because it’s newer than the one we have it will save us money in the long run by requiring fewer repairs and lasting us longer! I really want it because I feel like such a sophisticated PTA mom-type when I wear my cool shades and cruise through town in it. Double the purchase price in repairs later–when we finally unloaded it–I knew it was my vanity and desire to be one of the cool kids that drove that bad decision, the irony being I wasn’t even a mom yet; just wishing really hard and yes, hoping if I had the car that made me look like one I would be that much closer.)