Whatever will be, will be…this is an old song that rings true today. The proof is in the lives of everyday people, and the song says simply accept that some things are going to happen and you will just have to deal. Sometimes you set things in motion that play out in a way you never planned or thought of; sometimes the affects take years to show up.
A friend of mine from Israel lives a two-continent life. One of her daughters, born a US citizen, lives in New York City. The other, a sabra (Israeli-born) lives in Haifa. An accident of timing, since there are only two years between the girls, my friend followed her husband here as a young wife with a baby and wound up having another. Now the girls are grown, and the older daughter has returned to Israel, preparing to marry this fall. What my friend did not forsee was the issue with immigration that impedes her ability to go freely between the two countries. Dealing with the tortoise-pace of updating statuses, the current current of world politics, and some human error at the federal level, she now has to decide what to do. If she returns to Israel for her older daughter’s wedding, it is likely that she will have to wait ten years to return to her adopted home, where she has become established and begun a small business. In that case, it is also likely that her younger daughter will be planning her own wedding in the interim. Torn between going and staying, my friend now has to wait as long as she can for our government to straighten the mess out before she makes her decision. I feel her pain and cannot imagine facing such a choice. The title of this blog is a quote from her during our conversation on the phone yesterday. It was said with resignation and some feeling of helplessness; but it also showed a hidden strength and a hopefulness that all will work out the way it should.
Many of my other friends, now in the middle of their lives, are facing and dealing with the consequences of decisions and circumstances from long ago. One found her husband later in life, in her late thirties; they now have five children under the age of ten! A wonderful family that my husband and I are both in love with, these fifty-somethings admirably juggle the responsibilities, time and energy needed for their large, young group. They should probably be featured in an HBO special. One friend just met the man of her dreams at the age of fifty, after a lifetime of waiting and some rather interesting relationships in the interim. One friend is pondering launching her third career, having just retired from teaching (which followed a career in nursing). Several have recently changed jobs- a scary thing to do in this economy. Brave strong women, all!
The choices of today open the paths of tomorrow. I wish that we could see those paths before we made the decisions; if pigs had wings….Sometimes things just seem to happen- meeting someone who becomes part of your fabric when you least expect it, or a deal that falls into your lap. Sometimes seemingly tiny choices ripple into huge outcomes. I wish I had better advice, but all I have is this: buckle your seatbelt and be ready for a rollercoaster ride through life. There is a saying, “expect the unexpected” that touches on this, but doesn’t really satisfy. When I have a big decision to make, I sit quietly and actually write down a list of pros and cons. The longer, more weighted list wins…and then I cross my fingers.