Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little Differences (or: What if?)

Today I woke up with thoughts toward going on a road trip—the view out the window just said it was too good a day to stay at home. There are some nice hilly areas south of where I live with lots of waterways and sites to see. I love going on drives like that, just seeing what nature has to offer. I find it peaceful, really. But, however, I did not go on such a trip today. I was approached, instead, by some of my family to go shopping, eat out, and watch a movie in the city to our east. I thought long about this, but, likewise, decided not to go.

So, what did I do today? I spent today in quiet peace at home by myself. Even though it was such a beautiful day out, something just told me it would be better to stay at home. So, I sat out on the back porch swing and drank a cup of coffee for about thirty minutes or so, played through the second Call of Duty video game for about five hours, read two chapters from a James Bond book I’d not got around to reading yet, did some writing, watched a little television, and just in general, was a true bum.

I don’t regret how I spent this day. But the thought does cross my mind how the day might have been different had I taken one of those other plans. Had I left the house today, just what would have happened? I could have had a better day, or a worse day. I might have had the best trip of my life, or I could have had the worst, or even worse, the last trip of my life. One can never know just how different things could be for them if only they’d made one decision or action differently in life. And for that matter, just how different would their actions make the lives of those around them?

When I look beyond this day at the rest of my life, I see good decisions and bad decisions. Some things I’m sure were the right things to do, and other things were definitely the wrong things to do. We all have those what if moments though, where we imagine how differently our lives could be if only this or that had been different. But that is just life. We can make the most of any situation, deal with the consequences of our actions, circumstances, or the actions of others that impact us, and try to move on as best we can. Or, we can make the least of things. We can enjoy the lives we’ve led, or dislike them. We can approve of our actions, or disapprove of them. Either way, each person’s life is defined, at least in part, by what actions he or she has made.

I could have gone on one of two trips today, but I’m glad I didn’t go on any. Could my day have been better than it was? Possibly. But I stand by my decision, and today was what it was.

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