When I was a girl, I thought that life came in a straight path. If I just behaved myself, studied hard and sought the goal, everything would pan out. Work = results – right? If I didn’t get the top score at a piano contest, it was probably because I didn’t practice hard enough. (Remember that day I went to the drug store with my friends instead of practicing?) If my African Violets didn’t bloom, I probably over watered them. If my children acted up, I must have not taught them properly. If I ate too much, I gained weight (now that was is actually true!) Even now, if a piece of jewelry doesn’t sell, I think that I must not have polished it enough. I could and probably still can justify most everything through cause and effect.
Now, I’m grown up and I know I’m not responsible for every occurrence in my life. Today, I’m coughing and sneezing because of the allergens in the air. Is it my fault? . . . I don’t think so. As confident as I am, I don’t really think I can control the elements. One of the classes I offered didn’t have enough participants. It’s not all my fault; people are just busy. My favorite dog is growing too old to last much longer . . . it’s not my fault; things just happen on this crooked road.
You can practically drive yourself crazy by trying to avoid the inevitable and working hard visioning what might come next. My former idea that life follows a straight path from A to B is absurd. Life is just plain crooked.
When we first bought the ranch, every day something broke; an animal got in the wrong pasture or something else initiated a crook in the daily routine. We wondered when we could just get on with the plan. The fact is that these things were the plan; we just didn’t know it and we learned to expect the unexpected like the pit in a cherry. If the young bull fell in the well (as he did one night), you just get the tractor and pull him out. After all, it’s not my fault he fell in!
There are tiny crooks in the road and enormous ones. There are crooks that narrow to the point that you feel yourself being strangled while other crooks pleasantly open up to a plethora of possibilities. I think the trick is to accept all the twists and turns both ahead and behind us and embrace the road. I remind myself that life would certainly be boring if it were totally predictable. Do I really want to be able to manipulate what comes next? (actually, some days I do)
If life is a crooked road, my current thinking is “give yourself a break.” I can’t straighten the road by working hard or caring more. Let’s just hope my best efforts help to smooth out a few bumps on those hard turns.
Here’s hoping all your crooked roads lead you toward happiness.