Another manic monday, limping around the office with a healthy sunburn i acquired driving on the freeway. Wish i could say it was from spending all weekend on the lake, or at the beach, or playing some sort of sport, but that would be a lie, and i try to only lie when it’s necessary, or funny… Anyway, driving my car is not a bad way to spend a weekend, either. Even if i did spend all day saturday on a project for it only to realize i didn’t do enough homework first and spent money i didn’t need to. Ugh. When there’s not enough money to go around, wasting it via my own stupidity really makes me pissed off at myself. I received a random SMS from Mom this morning bearing a “your Dad and I are proud of you” message, a sentiment that i must assume is possible only via unconditional love and geographical distance.

Not to go all livejournal on you, but i feel compelled to quote some switchfoot lyrics:

    This is your life, are you who you want to be?

    This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be

    When the world was younger and you had everything to lose?

Life is so full of twists and surprises, i wonder if anyone ever grows up to be what they thought they’d be, or live the life they expected to have? All those little decisions, some of which turn out to be mistakes later, that latch onto you and change your path through time; how much different would things have been if you had said “no” or “yes” to that job offer, moved to a different place or not moved at all, taken a different educational path? Or something small, like not sending that email to someone before you really thought about what you wanted to say, or if you should say it at all… what would today be like if you had decided differently? Are the decisions you make today going to be tomorrow’s regrets?

Talking with Eric yesterday, we both expressed our discomfiture of people that save for a day that may never come. I know that sentiment may confuse people that know me, as i’m a huge pack rat and store piles upon piles of junk that i think “might be useful someday” but i must protest that i don’t do that consciously, and it’s more from an urgent desire not to waste anything than an assumption i’ll live long enough (or ever take the time) to use that really sturdy, large rubber band or that extra gross of wooden 5×7 picture frames from Ikea. I already have this stuff, and at some point if i want one, i won’t have to buy it; i’ll be prepared. If i threw it away, i would most certainly need one on the day immediately following trash day, and (assuming my garbage was actually collected on some reliable schedule) it would be gone and i’d be paying full retail for another one. Unfortunately this creates a lot of clutter that i haul around in life, adding a great deal of physical baggage to the emotional baggage that i already can’t store in the overhead bin.

I guess there’s a fine line between seizing the day too much, and not seizing it enough, and that’s different for everyone. Much to our perpetual chagrin, that line is never clear until we’ve already crossed it. No need to stash so much in that 401k if you’d known you wouldn’t live to retirement. Should have taken better care of your body when you were young, so you’d be healthier in your 90’s. “Living for today” is so easily emblazoned on an inspirational poster or recanted from behind a podium, but reality is full of “What If’s” and their more frustrating cousins, the “If Only’s”. If only i’d known you were here all this time; if only i’d gotten here earlier; if only i hadn’t been so scared to try that; if only i’d known how much fun this would be; if only i’d known how badly this would end; if only i’d known this is where i’d end up.