What if…Reflections for a New Year

By now I thought I’d be up to my usual antics, except my neck would be stuck in a forward position. Well, I was right on one point. I’m sitting here typing with a neck brace, 24/7, in place. What I didn’t expect was the ‘ups and downs’ in mood and pain. Pain is somewhat controllable with the help of magic pills, but the mood is another story.

I’ve always attempted to keep a positive thought on what ever adversity fell across my path. Don’t get me wrong. I have my normal ups and downs like everyone else and no matter what kind of positive spin I try to put on it, I get the blues.
These blues are different. I have way too much time on my hands to think about the decisions I’ve made throughout my life and the decisions I need to make for the rest of my life. What if… The proverbial question that has no answer only an endless series of options that lead to scenarios with more What ifs?
In my marketing lectures I use the Redwood tree as the symbol for our life’s path. We stand at the bottom of the giant redwood, looking up, we can’t see the top, but we know it is there. The top represents our goal in life, our passion.
We start to climb the giant redwood and on our way to the top we see what appears to be a short cut. So we take a right and climb out on a limb. Sometimes we spend the rest of our lives on this limb. It is a good limb. Not the branch that gets us to our passion, but a nice safe place to be. Other times we realize the limb is just a distraction and we make our way back to the trunk of the giant redwood and continue our quest to the top. Oops, another opportunity, distraction, short-cut, and we venture off.
Some people continue to the top. Some don’t. Some wish they continued and spend their life regretting not finishing their journey. Some accept their decision and are happy and content right where they are. After all, there has to be branches. This is their journey, and they accept it. Maybe, quietly in the back of their mind, once in awhile, they think about what if?
Today marks another birthday for planet Earth. We have birthdays, too. We count birthdays by how many trips around the sun we have made. Today and sometimes on our birthdays, we reflect on our lives. Our past, our future. How close have we come to the top of the giant redwood? How satisfied are we on our path? What if…we took a left instead of the right, where would that have led us? What if…we continued to climb to the top?
Today we make resolutions to improve our journey, then we settle back into the ‘comfort zone’, resolutions cast aside. Dreams put on hold. What if…