Life is a series of decisions. When one is chosen others are abandoned. That one ball you elect to catch allows all the others to scatter helter skelter around you. What If is a guessing game and a projection into the past of where those paths might have led.
Although playing "What If" can be entertaining and worth a few laughs, or shudders, we'll never know what might have been. Each decisions progresses us along the path of our life. Some are so insignificant they seem hardly to matter. But chosing one sidewalk cafe over another has the ability to change your life forever. Should you go to the party or stay home? It's no big deal, but then again part of what makes life so unpredictable is each day we are stepping out into the unknown. Anything can happen. For the risk takers of the world this is exciting stuff, but for others the constant change and venture into the unknown can be crippling.
During mid-life one of my friends became terrified of all transportation. Driving a car brought on a panic attack, bicycling gave her vertigo and forget about flying, it was completely out of the question. She did enjoy walking and walked everywhere. Fortunately, she worked at the neighborhood school and she throroughly enjoyed the daily trek to and from work. She consulted with professionals and the general consenus was she needed to slow down the pace of her life. Children were leaving for college, parents were dying and too many friends were divorcing. Her tennis group was disbanding and her role in the PTA was completed. She could not handle the continuous changes coming at her in fast forward mode. She put her life on pause. After a few years the fear vanished as mysteriously as it appeared. She was literally ready to slide back into the driver's seat of her life.
Sometimes it would be easier to turn the wheel over to someone else. A body gets tired and the soul grows weary. The temptation to sit this one out is understandable. Most of us never reach the point of jumping off the carousel, we make adjustments and carry on. With a little trial and error we adapt and learn ways to manage the daily spin. Experience teaches us what works for us and what is an uncomfortable fit.
Deciding what to let go is as important as choosing what to keep.