Posted by: Beth | March 6, 2022

What if?

What if _____?

If only I had ____?

We’ve all had those thoughts.  The blanks hold different words, but we’ve all felt it.  The pangs of wishing we had done something differently or not done it at all or had just done something instead of nothing.  The encouraging words we wish we had spoken and the hurtful words we spat out in a burst of anger or the cold, calculated words that tore into someone’s soul drift into our minds, building regret and increasing guilt.

The question causes anxiety about the future, too.  What happens if I go to school far away?  What will people think if I don’t go to college?

 What if I keep financially helping my adult child?  What if I don’t?

What if my child screams one more time in the grocery store?

What if we have lasagna for supper?

 What if I pick up a few items from work to use at home?

 What if I don’t read the latest novel by my favorite author?

What if I fail a class?

 What if I go out with friends instead of helping family?

 What if I paint my nails green instead of pink?

What if we go on vacation instead of repairing the sagging bathroom floor?

 What if I paint the den walls orange?

Many “What if”s are, in the grand scheme of life, inconsequential.  Some are not.  In the moment of decision, we may not know which ones are important and which aren’t.   Hindsight, it is said, is 20/20.  I’m not so sure that even that is true.  It does seem a lot easier to tell what WAS important than what WILL be important.

When the “What If”s begin to stifle my breath and paralyze my limbs, I remember my dear Mama’s words:  Make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time.  Then go on and don’t look back. You’ve done the best you can.


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