How many of us look around at our life and wonder what it would have been like if it was just a bit different, or even a lot different?
Want would our ‘today’ be like if we had made different decisions along our road?
If we have made a right turn instead of a left turn at that intersection both figuratively and literally, what a different life we could be living.
Would it be better? Would it be worse?
The classes we chose to take in college or even in high school for those who had a choice in those classes – why did we choose the ones we did? What lead us to make those choices ?
What if we had listened, or not listened, to our parents and their advise or their corrections, or at least their thoughts on what was going on in our lives at any given time in our life?
Many people are faced with negative comments from others for a wide variety of reasons. The teacher who told you that you could ‘never do….”; you could ‘never be…”. The parent who told you your were not allowed to do something for whatever reason. Or even the friends who told you that you should try something else instead of what was in your heart. What if you had listened to them and took them at their word that you could, ‘never…’?
Some take those nay Sayers at their word and make changes to make others happy. Later in life some of those look back and wonder, “what if…” Their heart still wants to try what they were told they couldn’t/shouldn’t do. Some have the time and the ways and means to attempt it. Some just shrug it off and figure the life they have now is the life they were meant to have and just put the past away inside an invisible book they lock away in an invisible hiding place – called their heart.
Many face that same negative feedback at a young age and use it as a reverse psychology and turn that negative into a positive. They excel at what they set out to conquer. The people who provided the negative feedback are amazed at the accomplishments made. A few shake their heads and continue to wait for that person to fail. Some voice how thankful they are that the person didn’t listen to them. Some just hide and pretend they never were negative in the first place.
As we all age and go on with our lives we step back from time to time and see what we are blessed with. We see the joy others bring into our lives and how we bring joy into other people’s lives. Each new day we set out to get through the day. We make our right turns and our left turns until we make it back into the safety net of our homes and fall to sleep content that another day is done. We feel that this is the life we have been dealt and this is the life we will live out.
BUT! What if?????? Can we honestly say it is bad to say, ‘what if?” Is there enough time in a day to dream and wonder, from time to time, ‘what if?” We are not able to go back to any time in our lives and relive it in a new way. We can’t literally go back and erase any of our yesterdays. We have lived through them and made our decisions as we went along. Those decisions can’t be changed.
On the other hand…. What if? Our imaginations are full of day dreams, a few nightmares and yes, admit it we get led to the ‘what if’s’ as we age.
What if we had lived in a different town?
Made different friends in grade school, high school and college?
What if we had/or had not gone to college when we did?
What if we had gone sooner, or later?
What if we had worked at different places than we did?
What if we had taken a different direction on our road of life?
What if we had dated someone else?
And can any of our, “What ifs’ be changed now? Can we change our today and our plans for tomorrow to include a portion of what may have been?
Go back to school? Move? Change jobs? A desire you had as a child to be an artist, a writer, a doctor, a nurse, a great poet, a great musician. Is it ever too late to try something new? If the thing you are wondering about truthfully cannot be done, let your imagination run and play through your idea of what your life may have been like.
If you had had a different job – you wouldn’t have the work experience you have now. Your friends you met at work would not be there. If you met the love of your life at the job you did have you may not have met them if you worked elsewhere.
If you had gone to a different school, at a different time in your life – a lot of the same as above. Your life as you know it would be different.
If you had dated and married a different person – your kids and grandkids would not be who they are. You may have had more kids, fewer kids, no kids.
If you had pursued a different pathway at any part of your life, the life you have now would be totally different. For good or bad it would have been different. Some people feel the life they have is not great. They wish it had been a better one. Other people feel they have a wonderful life and to make any other choices along the way feel that their life would be horrible.
For those who wish things had been better – it may be time to make some changes now to improve it. Take up that hobby you always wanted to do. Go back to school, or at least take a class or two.
Always know that looking back and wondering what your life would have been like and dreaming of what could have been…..realize that in your day dreams you are going to make that life better than it actually may have been.
God has His plans for us. And when we seek Him and follow Him our life is and will be what it was supposed to be.
O.k. I’ll admit that I have gone through times of wondering what if. Usually it was wishing I had not made some of the bad choices. However I’ve learned that by living through those bad choices and rough times in my life I have been able to help others through their rough times.
Your life experiences are there for a reason. Don’t feel down for the struggles you have gone through. If you are struggling now, make the best out of it that you can. See the positive in it. Use it to help others.
How boring life would be if life was perfect for everyone. And what is ‘perfect”? Life has its ups and downs. It has the negative with the positive. It has good and its bad. We are able to use it all to learn, grow, share, appreciate and love.
What are your ‘what ifs’?
Til next time ---
As you experience your day,
enjoy it so that tomorrow
won’t be another day