Not knowing what you don’t know can be a really, really good thing

I’ve failed a few times in my life.  There was that time I tried to play tennis.  There was the time I thought I could be a pig farmer.  There was the canoe trip down the length of the South Loup River and then there was a girl I got set up with in my first senior year in college.  (Yeah, I liked it so much I took another trip around the block) I thought blind dates were sort of for those who couldn’t find somebody to go out with them.  Turns out this apparently WAS me.  It was a good thing.

I didn’t think someone that good looking would find any redeeming qualities in a goofy hog farmer with an earring.  Wrong again.  Somehow she seemed to dig me.  (I know, it’s still a mystery to me too)  Over the course of a few months this outgoing, friendly, cute (did I mention I thought I had far out-kicked my coverage?) young lady convinced me somehow that she was into me and despite my hard-headed, stubborn, dense inclination I began to believe her.  Ironically, it was that not-so-bright nature that was the catalyst for the longest of long shots to come through.

Slinking off, pissed that I wasn’t getting enough of the pretty girl’s attention at a wedding reception, I resolved to just take off and I did.  Once again, just several miles out of town, I realized I was wrong.  If this thing was going to go down it would go down in flames with a colossal blow-up.  But the craziest thing happened.  When I got back, she was looking for me and when we went to a local baseball field I wound up proposing marriage in right-center field on a blanket under the stars.   And wonder upon wonders she said yes.  I’ve been so wrong so many times since then I’ve lost count.

When I thought marriage was one thing, it turned out be another.  When I thought I didn’t have the strength to keep going, you guessed it, I was wrong.  It turns out, I did and so did she.  I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself or her into that night in right-center and it’s a good thing.

I had no idea how much joy our children would bring or how much heartache.  I couldn’t begin to predict the person I would become nor the special person I hitched my wagon to that fateful night in June.  If I’d known just a little about all the rough patches we would experience together who knows if I’d turned the car around, let alone ask her to marry me.  I’d like to think I would have still gone boldly into the abyss and damned the torpedoes but I can’t be sure.  I know for certain though, it was best that I didn’t know.

Life is full of all kinds of surprises both good and bad.  Sometimes not knowing what’s in store for us protects us the most.  Ignorance means we blunder into the muck and we’re buried up to our axles before we realize it.  At that point we have to rely on each other to get out of it and who would leave their mate, their best friend, the one they got into it with, behind?  Sure, they’re wrong most of the time about the best way to do things because, you know, you never are but you put up with it because you love them.  Of course they love you because of your exemplary record of always knowing everything and never being wrong.  Sure, we’ll go with that.

23 mile rideSpeaking of going with things, I really had no idea how this week’s ride would go.  Last week’s 17 or so mile ride was a little rough and having just gotten told a knee replacement was in my future for sure, I wasn’t certain if it or I would be able to go the distance.  Like so many other struggles there was a point about mile 20 where I thought I was done.  Only three miles away from the end, I thought I had nothing left in the tank.  However, sort of like the adventure we dove into about 29 years ago, there was really no going back.  The alternative just wasn’t an alternative, so I pressed on the rest of the way.  I won’t say the finish was a thing of beauty but it was a finish.  In the end I was glad I stuck it out and proved myself wrong once again.

It’s funny how I’m never really happy at the time being wrong but in the end things work out better that way.  Almost like someone else has their own plan for me, huh?  I guess in the end maybe I shouldn’t question things so much.  Food for thought I guess.  Please pass this along to a friend if you think it might do them some good.

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