Overthinking

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living.  Far be it from me to argue with Socrates, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

I think most people think I think too much.  Heck, I think I think too much.  Is that an oxymoron?

I tend to be a little overzealous in examining my own navel.  As I surf the crest of another decade, I think I am thinking more strenuously than is good for me. 

It isn’t that I think I am old.  It is more that I think I can see the dream of what I thought my life would be fading from the realm of possibility.  I thought my life would be a little more traditional (while also being deep and meaningful) than it has turned out to be.  I thought I’d get a romantic proposal and have a beautiful wedding, crammed filled with memorable, sentimental moments that everyone would think back on in reverie as the years passed.  I thought I’d have a family of kind, smart, courageous children, who I would gently rear into successful human beings. I thought those children would go on to restart the cycle of landmark moments and family celebrations, so that I would continue having new magical memories throughout my life. I thought my husband and I would work as a team. I thought we would share a world view and a rhythm of life.   I thought we would think in tandem. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think I’ve run out of time. 

I think most people in my circumstances would have had a moment of clarity long ago and realized that the clock was ticking away any opportunity to create that dream.  At some point, I would have had to blow up the life I had if I wanted to roll the dice on that dream life.  I didn’t think I wanted to undergo a violent overthrow of my happiness at that time.

Truthfully, I still don’t.  While I didn’t get a romantic proposal and don’t have a husband, I have a partner in life who loves me.  Our relationship may not be romantic in the same way as movies and reality television shows, but we do have our own brand of romance and affection in abundance.  I don’t have any children, but I think I have made a positive impact on other people even if I did not give birth to them.  I’ve also had more time, energy, and money to pursue charitable endeavors and fulfilling, satisfying activities in my own life. I may not have another generation of people creating new memories and celebrations for me, but that motivates me to create my own.  I don’t think Max and I share all the same opinions, thoughts, routines, rhythms, and conventions, but I think we do pretty well as a team. 

Still, I have been thinking a lot more about the “what ifs” as I orbit around my 60th birthday. I try not to feel sad about the dream life that will never be because to do so would seem ungrateful in the extreme.  Sometimes, though, I get stuck at the intersection of Wistful and Regret when the light turns red.  I have a moment to pause and consider the scenery of the place I might have been.  Then, the light turns green and I go on with the wonderful life I have.

I do think I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think about the other paths that might or might not have played out even more happily for me.  I understand that some people believe in moving heaven and earth to craft the life they want.  I admire them, but I also think that isn’t me.  I think I’m more of a “bloom where you are planted” kind of girl.  I think God put me on a particular path and that He curves that path as necessary, depending on the choices I make.  The choices I make may alter the details of my life a little bit, but the basic journey is going to be the same because that is what God has in mind for me.  

This is a comforting philosophy. I’d like to say I adhere to it all the time.  If I did say that, I’d be lying.  No matter how much certainty I muster that I am living the life I was meant to live, I still sometimes covet that other dream life that is slipping away… no, not slipping away… more like crashing down a cliff in a giant landslide of age!

What do you think?  Do I think too much?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you cane email me at www.terrilabonte.com

Have a thoughtful day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

8 thoughts on “Overthinking”

  1. If you didn’t think to much, we wouldn’t have these wonderful blogs to read, laugh, and cry. I think you are an amazing lady and I am for one lucky to have you in my life.

  2. Your thoughts and views have made you into who you are today. You certainly gave me lots of advice in my work life and what you have contributed made my future livable.

    What a wonderful friend you have been to me.

  3. I don’t know anyone whose life is unfolding perfectly along the road they had plotted all those years ago. Isn’t that tremendous? All the opportunities, experiences, moments of growth, even times of stress and pain that we didn’t see coming have made our lives so much fuller than our initial dream. We have been able to follow paths and discover things about ourselves and those around us that we would have missed completely without the detours and recalculations.

    You are a perfect example. All of the positives you note above have happened because you took the route you did. Are there disappointments and regrets? Sure. But, the amazing thing about a human life is the incredible flexibility our mind and spirit can tolerate. The world is a better place for having the unique person you are engaging with it in precisely the way you are.

    1. Thanks, Bob! I often find myself thanking God for the “disappointments” because I learn so much and let my spirit soar when I’m flying through the tornado of bad times. I come up a much richer, wiser, and more grateful person!

  4. These comments hit home tonight – I’ve been away for a month and realizing how hard it is to come home to reality. Plus, exploring the 50th high school reunion that happens next year is unveiling way more memories than I want to deal with at this time! I agree with the comments above – we are led on a path and we make choices and I think God helps us “bloom” in those choices if we choose to do so. Although I have what some think might be all the elements for a perfect life, there is no such thing and I want to try to find that gratitude that will enhance the choices I’ve made! I so appreciate your honesty and cleverness in your writing.

    1. I think we would all be happier if our default emotion was gratitude. You can be grateful, but also want to make changes. There isn’t anything wrong with following your dreams. I just think the best first response to life is to be thankful for our blessings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *