a small word that means big things…

IF.  I read a poem in college titled “If” and while it is really something of a guide to living, written from a father to his son, and sort of a to-do list to grow into a good man, it really can be a guide to living for all of us girls and women too, and I thought about the poem last night on a long drive, and how often I use the word “if” and all of the implications the word holds…

If I had more money I would do -blank.-  If I had more friends I would do -blank.-  If I had more free time I would do -blank.-  If I was not afraid of getting caught I would do -blank.-  If it was not illegal I would do -blank.-  If I didn’t have to go to work regularly I would do -blank.-  If I was more brave I would do -blank.-  If I were less timid I would do -blank.-  If I were more creative I would do -blank.-  If I were stronger I would do -blank.-

…my list in my head went on and on and on and on…41 miles each way, on the way to; very stressful, heading west, sun in my eyes, lots of traffic, slow pokes and speed demons…on the way back; black dark night with a waxing moon, peaceful and a road heading east all to myself…I listened to music on my trip, of course, there is always music, and then I would turn it off and just enjoy the silence before my mind started to wander, let the quiet consume me, and I would think about “if” and when I pulled into my driveway I had the most amazing thought; If I had not been where I have been these last 45 plus years, If I had not had the joys and the sorrows, the good times and the bad, If I had not lived through the lessons, and there have been SO many lessons, If I had not made the mistakes, If I had not achieved the goals, If I had not cried over the wishes unfulfilled, I would not be pulling into this driveway, walking into this house, being HERE, NOW…

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