Friday, December 31, 2010

What If?

"You're haunted by the two most dangerous words in the English language, What If?" Now, I am not original enough to make that lovely line up by myself, but I am also not clever enough to remember from where I nicked it. If you can figure that out, please feel free to let me know. Because not only am I haunted by those two words, but the fact that I don' t remember the source is a bit off putting as well.  I figure since this is the last day of this rather undistinguished year, I would toss out some random post to wrap it up in style.

Although style is something that I have rarely been accused of having, and I doubt my vast readership will be sober enough to read this post.  However, regardless of readership, I shall press on to the point. If I have a point that is, I am pretty sure I did when I started this post, but that doesn't mean I will have one by the end of the post. It also doesn't eliminate the idea, that the point I had will not be the point (if any) that I make. I write on the 'fly' as it were, and sometimes the beginning, the middle, and the end of my posts aren't always what I had in my (brutish) mind when I begin to type.

Back to the 'what if' dilemma.  We have all faced these type of problems in our lives, and the end of the year is just as good a time as any to reflect upon the 'what ifs' of our lives. What if I had asked that question? What if the answer had been different? What if the bank had said no? What if I were just a bit smarter or better looking? What if I could do it all over again? What if she had answered the phone? What if I had answered the phone? What if I had turned left instead of right, would she be alive today? What if I had taken the under on the Super Bowl?  There are a million of these little dilemmas that each of us have in our 'luggage.' Shit that we carry around that we can not do one fucking thing about. Things that, barring the use of a not yet invented time machine, we can't not change. However, that doesn't stop us from wanting to, or thinking about the what ifs.

Maybe the results would have been the same no matter what you would have done. That might just be fate fucking with you, sometimes (people say) things are just 'meant to be.' That may or may not be true, and I am not so sure I agree, but it might give you some solace as you lie there awake for what seems like an eternity pondering your life's work.  And it is work, your life, it isn't something that is going to come particularly easy, and it is something that you are going to have to get out  of bed each and every day, put in your shift at it, and live with the results, no matter what they might be. We can not all be winners at the game of life, in my opinion it is at its core a zero sum game, and quite a few of us are just going to have to accept the fact that we lost.  Sometimes the best we can do is to cut our losses, and to hope we get another shot. That is unlikely, but sometimes it is all the hope we can cling to. Everybody gets outplayed once in a while, and even the best of us are beatable given the right set of circumstances.

And, until they call time on the thing you call life you always have a chance to swing the balance back in your favour, unless you just quit trying, which would be a shame. After all that what life is all about, trying. You don't have to have a winning smile or a 'great personality' (though I guess they would help) you just need the grit to keep plugging away. Don't bet on the law of averages, because it is rarely a law, and you are usually going to be determined to be just below average. Just plug away at it, and try to improve your performance, the what ifs will just have to take care of themselves.

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