Happy New Year everyone!
Maybe it’s the residual impact from spending hours alone on the open road, but I find myself reflecting on the past this morning. Specifically those long ago years when I was living in Oklahoma. At the time I was so wrapped up in my own unhappiness that I could not see the beauty and all the positive aspects of the country lifestyle. I absconded with a few pictures from my parent’s photo albums and was reminded that I actually had a lot of fun in those days. Recalling the horse shows, cattle auctions, softball, camping, canoeing, and friends I made–makes me wonder why I was in such a hurry to leave.
I do remember my reasons. I recall watching the news and feeling like I was not connected to the outside world. I thought happiness would be found through a big promotion. I simply did not value the simple pleasures of what that life had to offer. And so I left it all behind and never really looked back. Until now.
I don’t know that I would call it looking back in regret. South Carolina was great too. And I would not have reached the top of my profession without moving to the DC area. I guess what I regret was not enjoying my Oklahoma life as much as I should have while I was living it. I know my kids really benefited from living on the farm and those years helped them become the successful people they grew up to be. They at least were happy there. Moving to Oklahoma after my divorce was the best decision I could have made, but I remember thinking at the time I should never have left Arizona.
And that I guess leads to my current insight on this New Years morning. I never really had a plan for life, I just reacted to it. Whenever I reached a crossroad, I chose a direction and followed the road without a clue as to where it might take me. I guess it is natural to wonder about the paths that would have led to a different life, but you only get to live the life you chose. No mulligans. But I have been extremely fortunate and blessed. Good people got hurt along the way, and for that I am truly sorry. But the roads I have taken have led to some great adventures and life-altering experiences. A fool’s luck perhaps, but even though I could never have imagined what my life would turn out to be, it has been a very nice ride.
So it is time to look forward again. This year brings a new road in Seoul, Korea. And it will be an adventure with an uncertain outcome for sure. But before I put the Oklahoma chapter of my life back on the shelf, I want to thank those people who made it a very special time. Mom and dad of course, but also everyone else who let a city boy be part of their life. And especially my guardian angel Linda who thought Oklahoma was heaven on earth and was always there to keep me sane. I miss you my friend.
Geez, that was quite a ramble. My point (if there is one) is just to say I have discovered that it is important to take the time to enjoy the life you are living even as you chase rainbows. I think I missed the best part of Oklahoma and it is only in looking back that I realize that should have allowed myself to be happy there.
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game