Today is Monday, despite how discombobulated we may all be from last week’s midweek celebration. And today we’re meditating on The Next Two Hundred.
I was recently having a conversation with a couple of very dear friends– one bitty o’ mine happens to be perplexed about her next life move– and the three of us sat in the corner of a charming cafe, drinking iced coffee and weighing endless lists of pro’s and con’s. And somewhere in there one friend said to another,
“Will you be happy with this decision thirty years from now?”
The question slid down all of our throats like the tricky, slippery ice cube that you inadvertently swallow whole, and that, for the few milliseconds before the ruby heat of your throat has melted it, causes the unmistakable panic of choking.
We may have paused for a moment, lingering on the tantalizing, tempestuous nature of the question. For a moment, we may have all three fallen down the well of wondering about the answer, trying our best to picture the future. I don’t recall what the response was, or where the conversation immediately shifted from there, but it doesn’t matter. The only appropriate answer to a question like that is, “how in the hell should I know?”
See, planning is great. People swear by plans, or so I hear. But sometimes the pressure to have it all figured out, and to comprehend how one decision made this Tuesday will affect your life just three years from now is overwhelming.
Most of the time, trying to see all the way to the destination right now is near impossible. It may be that you’re cruising around what feels like aimlessly, without an inkling as to where you’re headed in the end. And it may be that you have a picture of your final destination sitting on your dashboard, a crumpled print out from google street view. Either way, and in every case, you won’t and can’t know what the road there looks like until you drive it.
You aren’t responsible for knowing the route ahead of time, and no one will be disappointed in you if you don’t anticipate the turns way off in the distance, in the darkness. Your job is to steer your car as smoothly and as carefully as you possibly can through that two hundred feet stretch directly in front of you.
When you feel your head start to swim with worry thoughts, your heart start to palpitate to an anxious beat, remind yourself of that car navigating through the night. Think of that stretch of road immediately in front flooded with headlight, the light moving forward with the car.
The car is connected to the light. Where it goes, life will become illuminated.
Image credit: Retrofairygirl