Present Tense

Wanna know freedom?

My husband and I were having an interesting discussion the other day about unintended consequences because that’s how we roll over our morning coffee.  Plus, it was -10 outside and we had to talk about something.

He was telling me about a hike with a friend a few weeks ago and during the course of the hike he recounted a dream he’d had about a being shoved off a cliff.  His buddy immediately altered their route to avoid any cliffs, thanks to the dream.  But, I wondered what if he had still slipped and fallen on that new path?  You never really know.  Kind of like when you get a queasy feeling before a flight and you consider changing planes.  What if you switch planes and crash or sit on the tarmac for 12 hours with no food or bathroom privileges?

Unintended consequences.  We do our best to make informed choices and yet, we still have no real control over how they turn out.  Say you decide to take a great new job with higher pay, better benefits and a shorter commute; in six months the company lays you off.  It seemed like the right choice at the time; a no-brainer and yet you may have been better off staying put.  But, how could you know?

Look back on your life.  How many times did things work out exactly as you had planned?  How many times did you see a fork in your proverbial road and take the ‘right’ one or the ‘wrong’ one? Hindsight is 20/20, but in the present, in the moment that you choose, you never really know where you’ll end up.

Your life could have been much worse; it could have been much better; it could have been equally satisfying, only different.  Kind of fascinating when you think about it.  I’ve had so many instances where I had to make a choice: this path or that one or maybe that one.  What I see with that crystal clear hindsight is this:  we really have no control over our lives.  We think we do and we strive to make good choices about our jobs, our health, our spiritual life, our kids, our relationships.  But, there are too many OTHER people and events out there, who also influence how our life plays out.  It’s the pebble in the pond analogy; so many rings, intersecting with other rings.  None of us are a single pebble, in a single pond.

I’m beginning to accept that I’m not in the safe, controlled little world that I thought that I’d created.  What occurs to me is that over the years, I’ve rolled with what life dished out.  Even though I fuss and I worry, I muddle through because I’m used to the chaos that is life.  We all are; we do it, we deal, we adapt, we bitch, we complain, we get up in the morning and face it.  It’s comforting to know that nobody’s in charge, yet everybody’s in charge.  To me, that feels like freedom.

January 21, 2011 Posted by | Musings | , , , | 11 Comments


%d bloggers like this: