Archive for Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Taking hold of life’s opportunities

November 8, 2000

Several weeks ago, a Wednesday morning brought a thick fog that covered the area like a worn gray blanket. But every once in a while, sunlight broke through and bathed the autumn landscape.

Highlighted in particular on my drive into town was a circular swath of tall trees circling a pond. Within the basin of water, and amid the curtain of mist, points of water sparkled beneath the rays of light.

It was a Kodak, or rather, for those who use the film in our office cabinet, a Fujicolor moment.

It was a moment I'll never forget.

And it was a moment that I've since thought about and wondered why I didn't stop and take a picture.

The road's shoulder was narrow. There was the usual hurried morning traffic. But it only would've taken a couple of seconds to stop and shoot.

Now, because most of the autumn leaves have dropped to the ground, it will be at least a year before a similar photo opportunity may come again.

In a larger way, life itself the supreme journey of opportunity mirrors that situation.

Do you ever stop and wonder what might have happened had you made a different choice early on?

What if you'd chosen a different career? Because professions in part define a person and inherently provide openings into different avenues of life, careers shape who we are, who we meet and where we go.

Do you think about what your life would have been like had you not met the person to whom you're married? What if you'd not been in the same place at the same time?

I used to think that life was set out for us in advance that the meaningful situations and people were somehow destined to be a part of our lives, determined long before we existed.

But in the last few years, it's seemed, at least in my own life, that situations and people have been encountered by chance, as well as by deliberate actions.

Personally, I wonder what my life would have been like today if I hadn't decided in 1988 to dust off the old manual typewriter and try my hand at writing. Would I have gone through life without ever having found the career I loved? And moreover, would I still be living in central Kansas, or would I eventually have found my way back to my hometown of Tonganoxie after all?

And, I wonder, if I hadn't taken my youngest son to Bitler's for breakfast on a rainy Saturday in October of last year and happened to meet the man to whom I'm now married, would he and I ever have met?

In looking at your own lives, you surely must have similar experiences in meeting people who helped make a profound impact on your life in making decisions that may have seemed minor at the time but that ultimately helped to define who you are.

Opportunities, large and small, come along every day.

Sometimes we have a second chance.

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