Present Tense

Wherever you go, there you are…

good evilThe old sports cliché is “it’s a game of inches”. If you think about it, that applies to pretty much everything, doesn’t it? Our lives are a game of inches, or seconds. We never know when we’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time or more happily, the right place at the right time.

My husband is currently obsessed with the randomness of life. Apparently all of the yammering and musing that I’ve done on this very subject has sunk into his skull. He had an irritating example of this last week, when a guy ran into him head-on as he was out running errands. Nobody was hurt and it was the other guy’s fault (THANK YOU!).

We both bitched about the bad luck and the annoyance of having to file a claim, get an estimate, blah, blah, blah. But, the interesting discussion happened when my husband realized that had he just slightly altered his journey, this would never have happened. If he’d asked one more question at the mower repair place; or one less question. If he’d taken another route home that he had considered.

On the other hand, I pointed out that had he done any of those things, he may have been in a worse accident. We just never know. Who’s to say what’s good or bad/right or wrong?  Life is random and all of the planning in the world cannot foresee what’s just around the corner.

And then yesterday, we were coming home from the store. Before I turned down our long driveway, I stopped to check our mailbox by the road. As I walked back to the car, an older man was driving out of the cemetery in front of our 10 acre farm. He stopped and asked me if we lived behind it, as his dog had just run off while they were visiting his parents’ graves. I told him to follow me back to our place and we’d look around.

We pulled up toward the garage and didn’t see a stray dog and as I was getting his phone number, I glanced out toward our orchard and there she was, galloping through the trees. A loud whistle and Lucky was back in her owner’s truck. Kismet. Random. Right place, right time. We were that old gentleman’s angels.  Had I not stopped to check the mail, our paths would not have crossed.

These are the things we must notice; random moments of tragedy and grace that are delivered to us every single day. I’m honestly thrilled that these lessons appeared in quick succession this week, as I’ve been trying to articulate to my husband that we have to be less cautious and more open to events, both good and bad.

We are both planners, but he plans for the worst, where I often visualize the results that I would like to occur, although I do get caught up in fear-based visions. I am not sure if my visualizations are optimism or intuition, but things usually go my way. I’m starting to think that it’s often my gut showing me a path forward, but that’s another post.

Grasping the concept that we sort of have to just hang on for the ride can be terrifying and/or freeing and empowering, but that is up to us. Life is so random and I know that every one of you is struggling with that right now, whether you’re grieving a terrible loss or struggling with “what if” or just wishing you knew what will happen in the next 5 years or 5 minutes, for that matter.

You can’t. None of us can. But that doesn’t mean we stop being responsible or laying groundwork for paying for your kid’s education or saving for retirement or losing the weight and taking care of your health.

We do have to throw up our hands to fate, but we don’t have to give up. There is a difference. Flexibility is key and we need to be grateful for the opportunities we’re given to be in the right place at the right time. Start paying attention to these little events. Thoughts are things.

Last night after dinner, my husband looked at me and said, “I’m really glad that we helped that man find his dog”. “Me, too”, I replied.

Grace.

May 24, 2015 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. So true, small decisions lead to consequences, good and bad. You hear stories all the time of near misses by people that would no longer be with us if they didn’t get held up for just a second. Great blog Jane that definitely makes you think. For me it makes me think about slowing down while driving and look out for the other guy. Random acts of kindness like you showed that man should be everyone’s goal as well. Hope you enjoy the soup. T.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd | May 24, 2015 | Reply

  2. Hi Jane,

    I so love reading your posts and for whatever reason, they frequently resonate with whatever is going on in my life. I can’t tell you the peace that they help bring – it’s great to know that there is a person on the same page with me. Lately, I have been watching Dr. Paul Dispenza lectures who does great work on showing the biology behind the way we think and perceive our reality, and why it’s hard to change bad habits. I tend to watch / consume these kinds of things when I’m seeking major changes in my life because they are instrumental in helping my mindset. When I’m home alone, listening to lectures, creating vision boards, meditating on what I want, etc. etc., it slips my mind that other people, while conscious or not, (mostly not,) are creating their reality too, and I must now come out of my bubble to accept that our realities will eventually meet up in ways that may be really uncomfortable, and the only choice I have (after sometimes cussing the person out in my mind and perhaps overreacting,) is clearly iterated in the serenity prayer. We are all such powerful creators, and we will cross paths with people who are creating something very different from us and it’s a great reminder that we have no control over them, and no control over the weather, but we do have a great deal of control over our perception of any of it. Again, I thank you for your posts – you are so grounded in your writing style and it really helps with my perspective, even to know someone is thinking and experiencing things similar to me. Keep up the great work, Jane – you are making a difference and helping people connect in a genuine and meaningful way, which is so important.

    Comment by kkapowski1967@outlook.com | May 24, 2015 | Reply

  3. Loved this piece. A life journey is affected by continous chosen moments. I always enjoy what you write.

    Comment by Debra Cochran | May 24, 2015 | Reply

  4. Ahh Janie!!!! Love!! You always give me such a reality check that I need.. Xo

    Comment by Meghan | May 24, 2015 | Reply

  5. Jane, I love your words, thoughts and writing. You have a gift and I am grateful to be able to benefit from your gift. You always write my thoughts. Thanks so much.

    Comment by Terrie | May 25, 2015 | Reply

  6. Great Observations Jane. Reminds me of a moment in time, 31 years ago, while in college. While driving home to Denver one weekend on I-25, I dozed off and had drifted onto the shoulder. As I woke, I was directly in the path of a person parked on the shoulder, changing a tire. I was able to correct myself and continued on, unbeknownst to that person. I was shaken after that, and wide awake for the remaining hundred miles. Every so often, that memory stops me in my tracks. What would I have given up if I had gone to jail. What would I have taken from the family of that person. A father, from his child? — My mother had passed 5 years prior to that moment, and I have always thought her angel or some higher power and been watching over me and was responsible for alerting me, in time. Again, this morning, I am reminded. I am thankful to you for sharing. – Peace to you.

    Comment by Ted Lytle | May 26, 2015 | Reply

  7. “Thoughts are things.” Best line in that essay! Profound…..

    Comment by Lois Sanchez | May 26, 2015 | Reply

  8. Dear Jane, I’m a former long time Denver listener to you and Dom in the morning. After retiring 5 years ago I stopped getting up early enough to listen to you guys on a regular basis. I had happened upon your blog previously and enjoyed your writing. I knew you had moved back to Michigan so the other day I thought I’d catch up with you and your blog and only then found out you had left the morning show last November. Since then I’ve caught up with all your blogs and really have enjoyed your musings. I especially relate to the losses you have suffered. My own parents died when I was in my early 40’s and it took me years to finish my grieving. I am so glad you have this time with your Mom. I, too, am a Midwestern gal who grew up in Indiana and coincidentally spent a few summers in my teens in northern Michigan visiting family friends who lived on Higgins Lake. I’ve often said northern Michigan is much like Colorado except without the mountains! It’s a beautiful part of the state. In closing, best to you and Prince Charming and your new life there. Will be looking forward to following you through your blog.

    Comment by Sharon Forsberg | June 8, 2015 | Reply


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