Working for the man

I wonder how much different life would be if in our late teens or early adulthood we were asked to decide how we wanted to live the rest of our lives.
I’ve worked full time pretty much since the day I left school. In what seems to be an increasingly unusual situation this employment has only been in two different jobs. The first was for ten years and I’m getting close to that in my second. Add to this the fact that I can’t see myself leaving my current employer and it looks like, when the time comes, I’ll retire having only had two employers in my adult life.
I don’t particularly like or dislike my job. I work because I’ve got bills to pay and the money I make enables me to pay them. Most of these bills have come about as a result of me living what I see is a fairly normal life. I’ve got to pay for food, somewhere to live, the usual expenses that come with raising a child, a car to get around and clothes etc.
I could spend more or less on these things but some of these costs are fixed (for a while at least) and some are determined by the amount I have to spend. I suspect most people are in the same boat. We spend what we can afford. Somtimes I buy things that are not exactly what I want because that’s what I can afford and other times I’ll try to save in order to buy the very thing I’m after.
This got me thinking. How different would we be if we made one choice at the start of our (working) lives and stuck to it?
What if we decided what we wanted and did whatever work was necessary to obtain it or if we chose the type and amount of work we wanted to do and lived within those constraints?
If we chose a big house, nice car, holidays, the best clothes and the ability to eat at great restaurants whenever we wanted we’d then have to spend our lives in an effort to obtain these things. On the other hand, if we decided we didn’t like the idea of working full time for the next forty odd years would we decide that working just to make enough money to pay for the bare necessities was good enough for us?
I suspect we’d be fairly happy like this, for a while at least. Then along would come life.
Sometimes life happens, sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes we set out to change our lives.
The best example I can think of to explain this is myself. I think I know which one I would have chosen back then and today I would choose the other option. Either way it doesn’t matter much because I’m neither in a position to make either choice. I didn’t set out with any life-long plans and somewhere along the way life happened to me.
I’m not sad nor do I have regrets about it. I’m happy with my life. Everything that has happened so far has led me to where I am now and changing the past would also change the present. As I have mentioned in a previous post I have a daughter who brings me great happiness. I also love and am loved by the most wonderful woman I have ever known. More about her later.