I spent many years thinking I was simply prone to stupid decisions. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life who did things differently and think they have it all figured out. But on this side of the midlife fence line (the side that emphasizes wisdom over…well almost everything else) I am embracing a new philosophy. Counterintuitive Living. Turns out, doing things that are a bit out of the norm makes for an interesting life, or at least some good stories. And now that I’m not in the chaotic child rearing years, I see some actual sense in what we did. We didn’t do things the “easy way” (although I beg you to show me an “easy life”) and, in retrospect, we certainly could have done many things better. But we didn’t have retrospect to guide us and so we did what we did.
Like getting married 12 days after I graduated high school. Who does that? I wasn’t trying to be rebellious. I was just blindly in love. (Apparently, I couldn’t just buy chocolate like a normal person.) Or turning down a scholarship to a private college after graduating as co-valedictorian of my class so I could spend my days doing data entry at the county road commission. I had no idea what I wanted to be or do, I reasoned. Why start college with no plan? How I was going to figure myself out keying in numbers, I don’t know. Two years later I became pregnant. Not because the new plan was to be a mother. I was, in fact, completely stunned by the news (go figure). I wasn’t even legal drinking age. How weird is that? Old enough to be totally responsible for another life; not old enough to buy a Miller Lite (totally unfair, by the way, when you’re walking a colicky baby all night). Motherhood jolted me into realizing I should have tried college (huh!). I enrolled in one class (bold, yeah?) at a college nearly an hour from home. Eight years later (yes, 8) I graduated with my bachelors degree. And it goes on. Like wearing a wool scarf with a comfy sweatshirt, life always felt a bit itchy. I used to say my husband and I were simply displaced. Like we were a puzzle piece on the wrong table. And if we could just find a different puzzle, everything would make sense. It would be a long time before it did, in some ways.
Fast forward. I’m still with my high school sweetheart. We’ve almost reached our third decade of marriage and are going strong. Our children are grown, educated, employed and happy. My husband and I have been drastically downsizing, discovering freedom from simplifying and other counterintuitive choices. It’s a good place to be. I’m writing this blog to discover and share some of the truths and joys of counterintuitive living. I welcome your discoveries too.