Friday, February 5, 2016

A Fork In The Road

At every fork in the road you make a decision. It is the decisions we make which shape our lives. When the fork in the road is literal and you realize you have chosen the wrong way, you can retrace your path and take the other road.

But when the fork in the road is metaphorical and involves choices which affect your life, once you make your choice you can't go back and start over because your circumstances will already have been changed.

When you get my age, no longer involved in a hectic daily life and have time, you might find yourself wondering about those forks in the road, and, even though it is too late, wondering if you chose the right one.
One of those choices I often think about is how my life would have unfolded if I had gone to college.

I don't lament any of my choices, but I still occasionally think about them.
When faced with decisions it is wise to evaluate all your choices. If possible, wait a few days before deciding.

And if your decision doesn't feel right, deep inside, your inner being is probably telling you that path is the wrong one. Don't go down it.

Robert Frost's poem about choosing one's path has always been one of my favorites:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood,
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, 
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Or, as Yogi Berra famously said, "When you reach the fork in the road, take it!"
Put your mind and energy into the route you've chosen and do your best. But, life changes, and if, after traveling that road for a while and you are re-evaluating your path, that just means you have reached another fork in the road.

Time to make another decision.

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