What ifs

There are a million little things that happen in our lives every day. So little we don’t even recognize them as ‘things.’ Turning around because you forgot your phone in your room, snoozing your alarm just five more minutes,¬†wearing flats instead of boots, sitting at the table by the window rather than in the middle of the caf, deciding to go visit someone you love while your in town even though you are ready to leave; these things happen without us actually thinking about them. These things are so influential in our daily lives and we have no idea they even exist.

There are a million different paths we can take in life. Those paths are influenced by all of the seemingly unimportant things we do everyday. You happened to forget your phone in your room, when you go back to get it you see there is an email from your professor notifying you of a last minute study session before the big test. Had you not went back for your phone you would not have known about the session and done a lot worse on the test. You wear flats to work because that’s just what you do; they look cute. But, surprise, you weren’t expecting it to snow. Gotta love wet flats, not!

You are ready to go back to your wonderful college life and don’t think you have time to go visit a family member. You tell yourself “I’ll see them soon enough.” And then on your way home your car starts sliding on the snow and you lose control, ultimately rolling the car. Your fine, but this makes you completely rethink the little things you did that day. Asking yourself all sorts of what if questions. What if I would have waited five or ten more minutes? What if I visited that family member? What if I would have not gone home at all? What if I would have gotten hurt? What if that guy wouldn’t have stopped? What if I wouldn’t have gotten to tell everyone how much I love them?

These questions scare the hell out of us, they sure scare me. I could spend days upon days thinking about each of these questions and come up with a list three times as long. But this self interrogation will eat us alive. There are no answers to these what if questions. We will never know because there will never be a moment when we are all in the same place at the same time to test it out. Why beat ourselves up over something that can’t be changed? Sometimes life does a really good job of scaring us. As it should! If we live our lives thinking we are invincible, we will one day be proven wrong. If we go through life knowing there will be an ending, and not passively waiting, but actively preparing for it, we will be accepting it not fighting it. We can spend forever worrying about the little things and the what ifs, but nobody really has time for that.