It would be nice if we could turn back the hands of time now and then, just for a little while. I’d love the chance to sit at the table in my grandmother’s kitchen again, enjoying a meal she made especially for us, or gallop across a field just one more time on my beloved horse, Prince. And I’d give just about anything for even a few more moments with any of the people I’ve loved and lost, with the chance to hear their voices and give them even one more hug. By the time you’ve reached my age, the chances are you’ve got a ton of happy memories that you’d happily relive if you were only given the chance.
But life is not just a journey. It’s a journey on a one-way street, often in a speeding car, without a u-turn ramp in sight. The past is just a memory, the present is our reality, and our future is whatever lies just around the next bend. And that can be a scary thing, because unlike the past or the present, the future is mostly unknown.
I don’t know about you, but there’s a whole lot going on in my life right now that I never saw coming. Some of it is good and some of it is bad, but most of it was totally unexpected. I still remember how I used to look at our calendar early last year and worry about how we were possibly going to keep up with such a busy schedule of travel and events. Who knew the answer would be a virus that would force us to cancel them all? And I remember the cold stab of fear I felt when I heard that my daughter-in-law was being prepped for an emergency delivery six weeks before her due date. I had no way of knowing that the result would be a beautiful and perfectly healthy granddaughter who spent only two weeks in the hospital.
I’ve always been the sort of person who likes to plan ahead, so I’ll admit that sometimes I find the uncertainty of the future to be a little bit scary. But I’ve learned through the years that the unknown is simply a part of life, and my only real choice is to accept that. More importantly, I’ve learned that the unknown isn’t always a bad thing, and that some of the surprises the future has in store for us will most certainly be good. I’m also realizing that worrying about what might happen is a waste of time and energy, because when bad things do happen, they are usually completely different from whatever I had anticipated.
So I’m thinking that maybe it’s time that I stop looking so much to the past when I’m less than thrilled with the present, and start looking a little more to the future and the changes that it will most certainly bring. Sometimes all you can do in this life is buckle up and enjoy the ride, looking firmly forward as you wait to see just what’s around the next bend in the road ahead…..