Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What If?

"If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones."  ~Don Herold

A few nights ago my daughter was in a very talkative mood.  It was just one question after another... “What if this happens?  What if that happens?”  So many hypotheticals coming from my 5 year old... it really was mind-boggling.

I responded as best I could (and really, who knows what would happen if an octopus met a baby bird?) but after one question was answered (to her liking) she had no less than three more waiting.  It was exhausting, yet so cute and entertaining.  She probably would have kept going, except eventually Daddy announced it was her bedtime.

All those questions got me thinking.  How many pointless "What ifs" do we worry about throughout our day?  How much time have we wasted worrying about things that never happened?  It's good to make plans, for the expected as well as the unexpected... but sometimes it's best to let go and see what happens.

So yesterday I did just that.  I told the kids to get dressed, and without any real expectations other than having fun, we took off down the road for the park.  We (yes, all of us) took turns going down the big slide and getting on the teeter-totters.  Then my son found a basketball someone had left behind.  We played for awhile, and although I'm absolutely no good at the game, my kids thought I was awesome when I made a few baskets.  Not long after that, my daughter found a frog, which she lovingly named 'Mr. Toad,' hiding at the base of a tree.  Naturally (for my daughter anyway) she then took it down the slide, on the swings, and around the baseball diamond.  Someone left a pop bottle in the grass, so we all had a talk about picking up after ourselves, and the importance of keeping places like the park clean for others.

I didn't expect all that to come from just playing at the park.  I knew slides, swings, and teeter-totters would be there, but the unexpected discoveries are what really made the trip interesting.  It turned out we did a lot more than just have fun, because we were open to anything.

So what did I learn from talking with my daughter and playing at the park?  Let life just happen sometimes, and have a little fun along the way.  Take your focus off all the "What ifs" of life and deal with what is.  Isn't that what really matters anyway?

So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today's trouble is enough for today. -Matthew 6:34


  1. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? -Matthew 6:27

  2. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    This brought back so many memories for me of when my twin daughters were small. We lived on a farm back then and we would pack a picnic lunch and walk to the back of the farm, spread out a tablecloth and have a picnic. It was a wonderful time and we still talk about it. The trip back to our picnic spot was called "going on safari". We waded through the creek and rolled under fences and it was wonderful. Thank you for sharing and also for coming by my place. You have a wonderful blog.

  3. Thank you for sharing that sweet little story! We also live on a farm and go on adventures. It's great to just be a kid again with them, isn't it? I think I see a "safari" in our future... I will be stopping by your blog often, just loved it!

  4. What an eloquent and masterful tie in with all the key elements of your experiences that evening and the safari to the park. So true about having no expectations so you can be open to "what is."

    We do spend far too much time thinking about what lays ahead, or behind....losing site that the present unplanned is masterfully weaving itself in front of our eyes. If we are distracted, we will miss the frogs, the the slides, and the moments when we are cool to our kids :)

    Blessings to you and your family!

  5. I forgot to mention, I have another post along these lines of memories:

    Since it was a guest post on another blog, you'll have to select the hyperlinked text: "Dreams of Distant Travels," and it will take you to the my post on that blog's site.


“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”

~ Mother Teresa