Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Can't You Do Now?

Lately I’ve been seeing this statement online: “What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self”? With all the wisdom you’ve gained in the interim, would you tell your 20-year-old self to do anything differently? Of course, considering this question is somewhat foolish because we can’t change our past.

However, I will ask you this: what can't you do now that you wish you had learned at an earlier age? I'd answer that question with two things.

I've always been fascinated by airplanes and when I hear one overhead, my eyes turn skyward no matter what I'm doing. When I graduated from high school I wanted to join the Air Force but they required that I be 18 years old. I was only 17 and needed my parents’ signature to join. They would not sign. When I became 18 I already had a college quarter completed and the throes of "first love" had pushed away any desire to fly an airplane. Years later a pilot-friend offered me flying lessons at no charge. At that time I had two children and the risk was too high. I had to consider more than just me, so today I can't fly a plane; but I still watch them streak across the sky.

The second thing I wish I had learned earlier is to play the piano. I took lessons in elementary school and did quite well -- so the teachers said. We moved a lot during those years and I remember Daddy saying he was not moving that heavy upright piano one more time. Today I can only read the treble cleft notes and plunk them on the piano with one finger.

"So what?" you may ask. Two things I wish I could do and didn’t accomplish. My youth prevented a strong enough commitment from me; then later others dashed my hopes. Since we can’t change our past I just smile about it. Can you see me piloting an airplane or playing a piano concert? Of course not; that’s almost hilarious to imagine.

“You can turn painful situations around through laughter.
If you can find humor in anything—even poverty—you
can survive it.”

--Bill Cosby



Till next time ... keep on smiling.

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