“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my parents. A lot.
It started with finding a stack of letters my mother had saved. They were letters I’d sent to my parents when I was in the military.
“Clearings. That’s what I needed” Slowly my brain righted itself into spaces unused for months.” – Helen MacDonald
Last year brought a lot of changes to my life. I was forced to stop running and had to face my fears when having major surgery. I was fortunate to have an amazing doctor and access to a teaching hospital. My surgery went as planned, and my doctor was impressed with my “quick recovery.”
Of course, what was “quick” for him was “painfully slow” for me. I had followed the pre-operation workout routine and completed the exercises assigned by the physical therapist afterwards. But I didn’t feel as strong as I thought I should. A walk to the end of the driveway and back felt like a 10k run. Not exhausting, but a workout.
The longer the recovery took, the older I felt.
“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” – Robert Frost
Last week, something terrifying happened. After a software update, all of my calendar entries from February 6, 2019 forward disappeared from my calendar. I had synced my android before I realized the problem, so I couldn’t restore from there. After 45 minutes on the phone with Microsoft support, I heard the diagnosis, “I’m sorry, sir, but it appears the update caused the issue, and we can’t restore your calendar.”
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” - Stephen Hawking
There are many who believe that everything that happens is predetermined. For some people, predestination is based in their religious beliefs. Others think fate decides what will happen. There are even secular philosophies based on the laws of physics that state everything that happened since the Big Bang, including our thoughts, were unstoppable.
The thought of predestination can be both frightening and calming. Waking up every day, knowing that what will happen will happen. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
"If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." - Calvin Coolidge
In a world of uncertainty, many of us feel overwhelmed by the challenges around us – real or imagined. Will we have a job next month? Is the small repair on the house a symptom of a larger expense we can’t afford? With so many personal and professional responsibilities filling up our calendar, is there room for ourselves?
The list goes on.