Tuesday, March 23, 2010

" There is a tide in the affairs of man..."

Today is "National Near Miss Day."

Now THAT'S an intriguing thought/concept......

It has rolled around in my head all afternoon. I mean isn't most of life a "near miss." You know, the path you didn't take, the "what ifs" we've all had throughout our lives. Even something as simple as "what if I took that road to work this morning." [I mean think of the people who weren't in the Twin Towers on the morning of 9/11 because they'd stopped to get coffee or something. Or folks who miss a flight and it winds up crashing. Or they don't buy a lottery ticket that day and their numbers hit? On the other hand, there's the guy who was jogging on a beach last week when a small plane made an emergency landing, killing him in the process- I mean, it was his time!]

The historical "What Ifs" are things like "What if Columbus hadn't gotten lost on his way across the Atlantic. " or "What if the British had decided to give us taxation WITH representation?" or "What if Hitler had stuck to paperhanging?"

In my life, it would be:

What if I'd at least gone to community college after high school instead of getting a job. [My plan was to work for 2 years, save up my money and then study acting in New York]

What if I hadn't met the hot guy with the long curly hair at that first job. What if I had waited til I was a few years older instead of marrying him at 20.....

What if we'd saved up and bought our first house BEFORE we had our kids?

What if he'd taken that job possibility with his friend in California?


then I think, if I'd have gone to community college, what would I have studied. If I went to New York, would I have become a Meryl Streep or would I have wound up chewed up and spit out?

I f I had taken a different job, would I have met a total creep who would have taken advantage of the 18 year old virginal Catholic school girl? [instead of the caring guy I fell in love with and married]

If I had waited to get married, would we still be together? Would I have been a stronger person and able to see that there was a deep depression lurking in him when he was in his 40s?

If we had waited to have kids, would they be the two awesome, talented, gorgeous human beings I proudly claim as my daughter and son?

If we had moved to California would some of the sorrows of the past 15 years been avoided? Or would the battles have been worse?

I'll never know the answers to those questions--and I'm not meant to know. I made the choices I made based on what I knew/felt at the time. I wouldn't be the person I am now if I hadn't experienced the good, the bad and the ugly that has been my adult life.

I love my kids and my amazing grandson more than words will ever be able to express. I have some awesome friends in my life that I cherish. I may not have the coolest job in the world, but I am finally getting financially stable. I will be able to care for my mother in comfort.

So my body is shot to shit--I've lived in it! I've got lots of laugh lines to show for it too.

And my acting and directing is probably richer for it as well.

So here's to all of the "Near Misses" or "What Ifs" in all of our lives.


  1. Well said Ellen! The "what ifs" can and will drive ya crazy. I will make a toast with you. Cheers!!!!!

  2. Oh yeah, the 'what ifs' will drive you crazy.

  3. Hello there! Thanks for the follow and glad I found you - your blog is very thought provoking! I also survived Catholic school...but in the '80s (may as well have been the 1880s for all those nuns knew or cared ;-))

    I often wonder "what if" I'd taken that job instead of this, bought that house and not this one and so on....life has a funny way of working out the way it should, I suppose and we just have to go along with the hand fate deals us, or else end up going crazy pondering how things may have been...

  4. what if, what if, what if indeed! I'm driving myself CRAZY with them over here!

    How are you feeling, lady? This is always a bad time for me, with the constant weather changes and all. It's flare central for me today, so I wanted to take some time to be sure to read your blog in real life (I usually read from my phone) so I can leave a comment to let you know I'm thinking of you

  5. I once read that: "Life happens when you've made other plans." How perfectly true....
    probably to keep us heading in the right direction! LOL