Throughout life we make sacrifices. We sacrifice childhood’s innocence for our teenage years. We sacrifice our youth for adulthood. The relative freedom of study for the stability and salary of a job. Being on our own, for family life. And so on.
And it seems that even the things we gave up without a second thought, even the things we were eager to give up at the time ~ have a different meaning now that we look back...
Take childhood for instance.
We couldn’t wait for it to be over. To leave grammar school and go to junior high. To stay up ‘late’. To have friends over; or go over to friends. And as we left childhood behind without ever looking back ~ so did we lose our innocence.
The way in which we could look at the world around us in wonder, marvel at a spider’s web. How our imagination could bring us adventures...
But growing up those adventures we had in our imagination are called ‘daydreams’ ~ and as it turns out, daydreaming is not a valued or productive use of our time in our now adult world. All the ‘what if’s’, the thoughts and ideas as to all the things we are going to do ~ they are left in the realm of our daydreams of way back when.
We have adjusted our expectations to meet the reality of a life with a family, a job (or even two jobs) and the house with the picket fence.
Without even realizing we have sacrificed our ability to dream big! To set our goals at the very edge of what we can imagine; only to push them further out the moment we can dream of how to reach them... We have settled for ‘reality’, and in the process we have discarded all the things that could have been!
I’ll be the first to admit that some of those ‘could have beens’ would not have made it on to my short list, no matter what. Climbing Mount Everest is not for me. And neither is becoming a railroad engineer, or a doctor, for that matter.
But then there are the things I used to aspire that might have been, and that still cross my mind every once in a while ~ like being actively involved in the performing arts. Or working in forestry. And then there is my personal all time favorite; working with horses...
Every once in a while we come to a crossroads and we look back at our lives and make up a balance ~ of all the things we have sacrificed; all the things we gained.
And at some point we ask ourselves ~ was it worth it?