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Coulda Woulda Shoulda

November 23, 2016

When I have been with people agonizing over decisions, I ask “What can you do with the least regrets? 5 years from now what will be the consequence of doing or not doing something? Tomorrow or next year will you deeply regret not having done this or will you be glad you didn’t do something?” 


Today we saw a skiff of ice on the lake. It won’t stay but it has been that cold to drop the temp of the water. It will soon be ice all over the lake. I saw a snowplow today going down the road. I really haven’t looked at the weather for a few days but it was a surprise to have snow on Saturday even if it melted soon after sunrise. I was thinking “Have I done all I need to do or want to do before the snow flies? What do we need to do before Thanksgiving?” 

I am pondering the coming of winter when out of the blue my husband calls and says “If you want any more crane photos, they are on our friend’s farm.” I thought the cranes were all gone. I thought they had all migrated. This was an unexpected surprise. I was in the middle of a project. I know the birds wouldn’t stay long. Would I regret not going? I grabbed my camera. I went to the spot. I got out of the car and stood as still as I could. 

One of the cranes started alerting to my presence. They have this distinctive sound. The bird kept calling and calling. I didn’t move but it didn’t make any difference. All of a sudden the whole flock of about 50 flew up in mass and away they went. I had just seen a friends post about reading a book by Elle Luna “The crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion”. The “should” are what we feel we ought to be doing or what is expected of us. “Must” is the thing we dream of doing, our heart’s desire.

I had followed my heart to see the cranes one more time. Actually as I write this we saw an even larger flock on another farm but I didn’t have my camera or time to stop. I was glad I had taken the time the other day. Even if we think we are making the best decision it may turn out not to be as great as we thought. Yet if I have made the best decision based on the information I have at the time, I know it should be without regret. As family gatherings come at Thanksgiving and Christmas, think about what you will give – both presents and in conversation. Do your best. Think of what coulda, woulda, or shoulda happen before it does and be ready to make your decisions.  


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