Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 04-24-12

And just like that…snow.


The phrase ‘I told you so’ is such a dangerous expression.  It is probably equally as meaningless as ‘It’s gotta be somewhere’ (“I lost my jacket” “Well, it’s gotta be somewhere”) Actually – as I reread that – I realize that as silly as it sounds, the latter phrase is one of encouragement to keep looking, because well, it DOES gotta be somewhere.  Or something.  So it’s not as meaningless.  ‘I told you so’ makes no one feel better except the person saying it.  In some futile effort to look smarter, the person is basically saying ‘You’ll listen to me next time’, but I feel the phrase is so overused that it takes away credibility from those who are actually in the know.  It seems the smart folks just show you rather than tell you.

The Northeast had a snowstorm dumped on them recently.  I have been telling people that because of the mild winter, we were due for a big storm like that because there is always restitution for such wonderful weather through normally harsh times.  But will I say ‘I told you so’? No.  First of all, it didn’t happen here.  Second, I am no metallurgist.  (That’s a play on words, folks, and the last time I explain myself.) The weather is what it is, and I can’t predict what is going to happen.  But in attempting to see the future, we all try to be a little more powerful.

But what if we could see into the future?  What would you like to see?  Your family?  Your wealth?  Your hairline?  If I were given a chance to leap forward, I would really like to see if the Pittsburgh Pirates win another World Series.  That’s it.  What am I going to see in the future?  How we have destroyed the planet?  If we make it to Mars?  If Tiger Woods breaks out and surpasses Nicklaus in matches won?  Here’s the phrase that will ruin it for all of you – Everything happens exactly how it is supposed to happen.

It seems that everyone wants to go back in time.  They want to invest in Apple, kiss the prom queen when they had the chance or make that left hand turn instead of right.  We want to stop Lee Harvey, get the gun away from Kurt Cobain, or pick the lottery numbers.  It doesn’t work like that.  If you pick the lottery numbers, that means the person who was supposed to win doesn’t, which means now two or more lives are turned around because of it.  I don’t wish to see anyone die – ever – but if you stop Lee Harvey, and let’s say it WAS a conspiracy (just a blog, folks, pipe down), and it exposed the flaws, weaknesses and corruption of the US in 1963.  Guess who rolls into Miami?  That’s right, Kruschev.  Or anyone else seeing the opportunity.  Love it or hate it, It all has played out exactly how it is supposed to.

Bringing it to a more personal level, we all pine for more time with loved ones from the past.  That’s another benefit of the time-travel fantasy.  Especially loved ones who have left us earlier than hoped or expected.  Our thoughts become almost selfish at that point, and rightly so, wanting more time with that person you have lost.

Losing someone is hard, and there are always more questions than answers.  ‘How could I have helped?’  ‘If I had only called.’ ‘If I didn’t stop to get gas, I would have been there sooner.’ The truth of all of these thoughts is that we DO help and call and arrive early – all the time.  Or maybe you don’t.  But generally we do, and there are also things that are not our plan, not our call.  I’m not talking about things we can control – please put your baby in a car seat and don’t feed them fertilizer.  You aren’t in the Middle East – you can’t protect someone in a war zone.  You can’t be with someone every morning during their commute.  You do have power, however.

I asked my Mom once, years ago (maybe half drunk – kidding!) how she knew we were OK all the time. She raised 4 boys, and I asked if she worried about us.  My question was actually something like ‘How do you let us go – how can you sleep knowing your babies are out there?’  I was just sort of preparing myself for the next phase of my life when my little ones come along and I have to face that tough day when they move out.  She told me ‘All I can do is teach you the best I can, and have faith that you will all be OK.’  And that right there, is your power.

Teaching, guiding, mentoring.  All powers that we ALL possess.  You want your child to know the best way to drive a car, right?  Start getting them ready while they are on a bike.  We actually start earlier than that with ‘Look both ways’.  We teach them right from wrong, how to save money, how to enjoy success and learn from failure.  We teach our children so many things, well, the ones who actually take time with their children – and it is an everyday learning process.  I still call my folks and ask advice.  And I’m old. But the time we take (and never being too old to learn ourselves), CAN make the difference between victory and tragedy.  It is all up to you.

Another fun wrinkle to this whole thing is that today – right now – is going to be the past in a few hours.  (Wrap your head around that – I’ll wait.) Instead of dreaming of going back in time and beating yourself up over things, how about you alter your ‘past’ by making a difference today? Like right now.  Too late.  Now it’s the past.  See how fast that goes?

See you on the road!




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