there's a hilarious "modern family" episode in which claire, the mom, gets a visit from a former co-worker (minnie driver). though the two were on par in their youth, claire has opted to stay at home with the kids while minnie glides in, a high-profile exec, dressed in haute couture, with lovers on multiple continents. filled with angst (and some hearty slugs of white wine), claire decides to invite minnie over to her home in an effort to show that it is she who is actually missing out on the good life. hilarity ensues (in the form of a port-o-potty, a bottle of jagermeister and a rat!) and the story is eventually tied up in a bow, but the truth of the episode still lingers.
whether we like it or not, life is all about tradeoffs. city or suburbs. work or kids. agency or client side. intense yet inspiring projects or work/life balance. a perfectly clean house or a couple extra hours of sleep.
often, when you think about the choices you've made, it's easy to feel satisfied, even content. you weighed the options, outlined the pros and cons. whether literally or in your mind, you drew the concrete line down the center of a blank page—a staunch reminder that, whatever the decision was, there were only 2 columns, and you had to choose a side.
but how much time do you spend pondering what it would be like on the other side of the wall...if you had thrown caution to the wind and actually made the "other" choice?
the conversation usually goes something like this: "i wouldn't trade my [insert life, kids, job or whatever word fits] for anything, but if i could do it all over again, i would..."
during good times, it's probably a fleeting thought that fades away as quickly as it forms. but when you're faced with rough patches, challenges, setbacks, you could probably write a novel, a screenplay with a sequel, about how wonderful your life would be, "if only."
the past year has taught me that things aren't always what they seem. think of the friends you know who seemingly "have it all." when you get together, perhaps you wish for things they have, places they've been, successes they've achieved. but once the wine gets flowing and you've caught up on the job and the kids and all the niceties that come with casual conversation, you find that, along with their wonderful and amazing experiences, come heartache, loss, illness, unrealized dreams and trepidation about what the future holds.
as human beings, we're connected as much by the joys in life as the sadness. realizing that behind closed doors, we've all got "our stuff" doesn't fix everything...but it helps you to get through, helps to make you just a little more grateful for your own patch of grass, with its unique pattern, weeds and all—and hopefully far more daisies.