Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Life’s experiences

If you had asked me when I was 20 years old how I imagined my life would be at 45 - I would never have imagined the twists and turns my life has taken.

It is probably pretty safe to assume the same is true of you.

Back in the mid 80’s I had a co-worker who said, “Life seldom plays out to the script that we would write for it.” That has been my mantra ever since. There is some comfort in that for me.

When he first said it I said, “Sure, you’re right and that sounds good.” Up to that point, at 25 years old, my adult life had barely begun. And I did not have the wisdom at the time to look back on my youth and see that his words were so very true.

I have written often here of my experiences on the farm. When I was in my mid-teens we could no longer keep the farm because my father was an alcoholic and could not hold a job. Mom worked fulltime but we could not make the payments on her check alone.

So my mother sold the farm and arranged for an auction and we sold everything we owned except our furniture. It was one of the saddest days of my youth. Animals I had raised as pets were sold - all the goats, sheep, cattle and horses. Even our Lab/German Shepherd mix named “Pup” who looked a lot like “Old Yeller” was sold.

It was a scene from a bad movie. It was a dusty Saturday morning and the auctioneer was standing on the bed of a hay wagon surrounded by a swarm of people. I was sitting away from everyone in the yard watching my life be loaded away.

But you move past all that and you roll the clock ahead several years and the bad times are washed away by the good memories. Life is full and complete and you’re a young adult and your whole future is ahead of you.

And then someone says something like, “Life seldom plays out to the script that we would write for it.”

As time passes you realize that there is a great deal of wisdom in that.

You see, just when you finally have things worked out, the house refinanced, the education finished, the kids in school, the car paid off – life throws you a curve ball.

It might be an illness, an accident or a death in the family, suddenly everything changes and your life takes a sharp and unexpected turn.

But if you have some understanding before it happens that life is like that – while it doesn’t cushion the blow much – it does help you regain and/or keep your perspective.

Now I know that it seems like a pretty simple concept... but it is harder than you think to keep that in mind.


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Pierpont joins the blog world. I could not believe it. When I saw your comment on Cope's blog, I could not resist leaving a comment. However, I did not know that you had to create a blog to leave a comment.
Hope all is well with you and Chris.


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