What-if, Could-we and But…

It’s early release day in our school district. Again. Now I realize that one early release day each month only adds up to… uh, hold on… need both my fingers to count this out… Okay, it’s nine times, but it seems like 900 times. My child eats lunch at 10:15 on early release days. 10:15! I should send him pancakes or breakfast tacos. It’s just annoying, and we have to juggle pick-up schedules, since on these fun, fun early release days H and P get out of school at the same time. Only I can’t be in two places at once, like some of those super moms. But there is an upside: I get two extra hours with my big kid today (I’m being serious. Really. Most of the time I’m pretty fond of him.).

So. That little rant has absolutely nothing to do with today on the blog, which happens to be Wednesday: guest writer day! My guest today is Kate Fineske from On-the-Go Momma. Kate really is a super mom, but not the annoying kind. She’s the kind I admire, and I get the feeling she goes about 90-to-nothing all day, every day. But as she tells us today, sometimes you have to shut down all the distractions and let your mind wander a bit. I relate to this post completely – we play the same game at our house – and can’t wait to find out if you do, too.


Kids, kids and more kids.

Work, work and more work.

Sometimes even the weekend isn’t a good enough reprieve from all the tasks on my plate that I am supposed to complete. Occasionally I just need to give my mind a break from my on-going to-do list.

After a long day of wearing multiple hats as a mother, a wife, a college educator, a non-profit staff member and a blogger, one of my favorite ways to end my day is to just…

Grab my husband, put the iPhone, iPad, Laptop, Google Reader, Twitter feed and Facebook conversations away


Watch an episode or two of HGTV’s House Hunters International. (I know, maybe not what you were thinking I was going to say?)

My husband and I love watching HGTV’s House Hunters International because a.) they are short 30-minute episodes (and usually we are pretty spent and couldn’t fathom watching a 2-hour movie!), b.) we are complete travel addicts, and c.) the TV show allows us to dream.

And as we watch, the “what-ifs” tend to begin …

  • What if we just took off and moved to Italy, the Bahama’s or China?
  • What if we spent our days living a slower paced life and/or giving our children a taste of a different culture?
  • What if we didn’t worry as much about deadlines, and expectations, and all the other things that often consume our days?

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Of course then “what-if” becomes “could-we”…

  • Could we actually pick up and move halfway around the world with our three young children?
  • Could we ever leave the stability of the home we’ve always known for a place that would be so “unknown?”
  • Could we manage to make new friends for both us and our kids?


And finally, the “what-if” that turned into “could-we” eventually becomes “but …”

  • Sure, we could pick-up and move BUT, we would really miss all of our family and friends.
  • Yes, we could leave our home-sweet-home BUT, we would definitely be sad to leave the house that we have put so much of our own blood, sweat and tears to build and maintain.
  • Of course, we could make new friends BUT, making good friends takes time. (A hot commodity in our books!)

And that is when we realize something. (Note: The same thing is realized again and again and again since we often end our night with a DVR’ed episode or two.)

We realize that it is good to dream.

And it is fun to wish.

Yet you always seem to want what you don’t have.

And also that with every decision you make there is always consequences.

Then, just about at this point – this point RIGHT HERE – is when we realize that right now it is way more fun to watch others pick-up their lives and start over then to actually do it ourselves.

And we start thinking: OK, so maybe we could do this when we retire…

I Wonder…

:: Do you ever think in terms of what-if, could-we and but?

:: How do you differentiate between a wish, a dream and a true goal?


About the Writer

Kate is a self-procaimed busy, on-the-go, not-so-perfect, often forgetful (yet well meaning) mom of three who blogs personally at On-the-Go Momma and is also a staff member and contributor to the National Association of Mothers’ Centers’ blog, Mothers Central. You can follow her on twitter and like her on Facebook.


  1. Missy, thank you so much for inviting me over to write at your space. Enjoy your early release day… our school has late-start days monthly – I’m trying to decided which would be harder! Hmmm… I wonder… :)

    • Thank YOU for being here! Don’t the schools know that they’re throwing off our whole day? 😉

  2. Love that show! My husband and I used to watch it all the time when we were house hunting. Pretty much every show on the travel channel at that point. I would LOVE to pick up and move. It is 100% my personality to do something like that and 0% my husbands, so its very very unlikely we would ever agree to go international. I’m holding out hope one day we can move from Chilly Minnesota to Sunny California.

    • I definitely think it is way more my inclination than my husband’s to pick up and move. (Especially internationally!) It is probably a good thing we have each other – my husband tends to keep me grounded, and I probably tend to help push him out of his comfort zones.

      Thanks for your comment Marta, and good luck on your imaginary “move” to sunny California. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you! :)

  3. 1) We have early dismissal on Fri., and yes, it seems like they happen all the time! Not bad but definitely tricky.

    2) House Hunters Intl is totally the show of choice for me and my husband. I love it for all the reasons you mentioned, and because it shows use how other parts of the world live, and that often makes me grateful for items I might otherwise take for granted, like having a stove, or a shower door.

  4. I was so happy to meet the down to earth, wonderful Kate.

    She is a touch of class and kindness and maturity, and if we lived closer together, I’d hound her every day to be with me.

    She is just that kind of a real person.

    • Hi Alexandra! How are you? Do you know that you are one of the first bloggers I ever read and then meet IRL? I will never forget the story you told me sitting in that coffee shop early before our LONG day at the Chicago conference. I could only hope by listening to your story that I made you feel better – because, just so you know, you are AMAZING! (And because in reality my jaw was dropping in disbelief when you shared your experiences from the previous weeks). Thanks for your kind words of confidence and listing to my story here too…

  5. My husband and I are OBSESSED with that show. I thought we were the only couple who did this…

    It’s like you wrote about all our conversations in one post.

    I love the fantasy of it all, but really – we’re not going to move to Dubai.



    Anyway, it’s nice to dream. And then to be grateful for what we already have. In 30-minute increments, no less.

    So nice to meet you, Kate.
    And cheers to HGTV.

    We know how to live!

    • Ha! I just knew I would find someone else who related to my story. So glad to know my husband and I are not the only ones who have this conversation every time we watch that show. :) Nice to meet you too Julie!

  6. My friends and I have recently been asking ourselves “Wouldn’t it be nice …?” whenever we feel the need to complain about anything and let our imaginations run with wild abandon. It’s amazing how it moves you out of negative space and into a more joyful place. Of course, everyone has a “big but” about why what could be nice cannot be. However, it’s usually followed by a “smaller but” that reminds of maybe something less extreme that we can do. Thanks for sharing Kate and Missy!

  7. Having just gotten back from an AWESOME didn’t want it to end vacation, I can easily answer that question. I’ll keep things just the way they are. Stress and all. Because when we go on vacation, we’re taking a break from it all. If we moved there and built our lives there, it would become our lives – including the stress. Because it would no longer be a place to escape to – it’d be our place to live. And with living comes all of the responsibilities too.

    Love to see you here, Kate! And great post, as usual.

    That all being said? I’d go back for another week (or so) RIGHT NOW if we could. :)

    • I too have thought that very same thing while on vacation Missy. What we love about a vacation is that it is relief from our daily stresses – and that just wouldn’t happen if we moved there. Great minds think alike, huh?! 😉

  8. “Sometimes even the weekend isn’t a good enough reprieve from all the tasks on my plate that I am supposed to complete. Occasionally I just need to give my mind a break from my on-going to-do list.” Seriously this is how I always feel. I just try to relax, but there is still a ton to do! I love listening to sermons on the radio and enjoy just spending a little time with my family and God.



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