If you've ever driven the 401 highway alone, it is clearly an enduring trip whether you need to be on it for two hours, six or ten. It's desolate along the edges, lined with farms, fields and more fields; nothing to affix yourself to as a measure of progress. I honestly think the Canadian government puts the multitude of signs along it in two languages so that by the time you reach Toronto you're at a first grade reading level in French.
Now imagine this desolate drive sans sky. It's pouring rain so badly that your wipers don't have an appropriate speed, your satellite radio has a signal and then it doesn't; every two seconds it's out. You decide to shut it off. You're in a tunnel of everlasting corn fields and whisking rain with an occasional vehicle to pass or to pass you leaving you in a more enduring tunnel - no focus.
It's these moments of solitary confinement that I let my brain wander. I know, I work for a safety company, how can I let my brain wonder while I'm behind the wheel? I can't; it just does when it's so bored silly.
In this transfixed state of boredom, I played "what if" by myself for four everlasting hours today. In doing so, I realized several things that are good about my life:
A. If you allow it, solitary travel allows you to learn some happiness with yourself and realize that some things you thought were so wrong of you, may never have been intended in the first place.
B. If I had married my first love, I would have been widow at 31.
C. If I wreck this car because I'm not focused on my driving, it may be a while until the next car comes along.
D. If I had rented a GM vehicle, I would have had OnStar and not had to worry about how long it might be for next car to come along.
E. If I had stayed married to my second love, I would have been a widow at 40.
(Yikes, there's a pattern here!)
F. If I hadn't have lost my job working for a good company I would have never ended up in the cool job I have now.
G. If it's such a cool job, I should probably focus on driving and not wrecking.
H. If I do wreck, I can't possibly be the first person to have to explain that I was busy playing "what if along" this damn road that never ends.
I. If I hadn't married my third love, I would never taken the job that allowed me to meet my real love.
10. If I hadn't met my third love, I would have never met the one girl that made it feel okay for me to love my real love.
11. If I hadn't met my third love, I wouldn't have really known how love fails and I wouldn't have known how to outwit it in my future.
Focus here, focus:
L. If I hadn't have met my real love, I wouldn't have moved back to the great United States. [oh hell yes, we have our problems but I got a Canada refresher this week and would still take the US over other options].
M. If hadn't have lived in Canada, I might never have know how great it is to live in a country that allows me the things I earn, even if I have to pay for things that others don't earn themselves.
N. If I hadn't have moved back to the US when I did, I would never have been able to spend the wonderful days I did get with my mother when she was dying.
O. If I hadn't met my husband, I wouldn't have had the wonderful mother in law that convinced me that if I didn't spend those dying days with my mother, that I would regret forever and ever. (God, love her!)
16. If I didn't have this job that makes me travel all over the damn universe of corn, I wouldn't have time to play "what if" and realize how good life is even when I didn't plan it this way.
Q. If I hadn't realized I didn't plan it this way, than I wouldn't wonder Who did and how He diverted so many of my plans to make who He wants me to be.
18. If I don't pay attention I'm going to rear-end this semi-truck in front of me now that the highway has ended. Hello Windsor!
S. If you haven't played "what if" with yourself and intentionally looked for the bright and sunny side, then you may not know who you are at all. It's also likely that you don't appreciate yourself well enough until you explore all that you could have been and all that you have ended up being. I can almost guarantee that if you spend your solitary confinement wondering these things you will smile at the end of the day. It's easy being happy knowing your best laid plans and efforts were diverted IF you look for the bright side!