Anything is possible, until it isn’t

First the was the flight — overnight, over water, over-tired me at the end because I didn’t sleep.

Then there was the train from the airport to the hotel, keeping an eye on our luggage so it didn’t roll away.

Then, before everything else, there was this view out the hotel room window.

If you look carefully, you can see what’s beyond the houses and the trees.

It’s London. It’s Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. It’s museums and plays. It’s Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace.

It’s soccer … well, football … and Seven Dials.

It’s double-decker buses and red telephone booths.

But there’s something more beyond the houses and the trees.

Labor Day, 2000.

I send a note on AOL Instant Messenger, trying to be friendly.

A conversation begins. It goes on that night, and the next night, and the next week.

We meet.

We keep meeting.

In July 2002, we get married.

When I woke up that Labor Day morning, I had no idea what was going to happen, and neither did she.

She was moving to Connecticut, and I haven’t the foggiest idea of what I was doing that day.

But there was something more.

I’ve been working on a project which is almost done, so I figure the call is about tying up any final loose ends.

Instead, he’s calling me about a job in the other unit he runs. It’s another promotion. I interview. I get it.

I’m riding with my boss in his car. The company van is in the repair shop, and he needs someone to drive it back to the office once we pick it up.

I couldn’t have been there much more than a year, but during our conversation, he asks if I’d be interested in a promotion.

Well … yeah.

We’re growing, introducing something new, and he puts me in charge of it.

Years later … different boss, different company, this time on the phone.

I’ve been working on a project which is almost done, so I figure the call is about tying up any final loose ends.

Instead, he’s calling me about a job in the other unit he runs. It’s another promotion. I interview. I get it.

Nothing would have told me those two days would be different than any other, but there was something more.

I’m guessing “everything” isn’t specific enough, even if it I’m searching Twitter in the morning to see if there are Chinese Professional Baseball League games being streamed from Taiwan.

I have declared myself a lifelong Rakuten Monkeys fan since Tuesday morning … subject to change.

Wrigley Field

But if I must be specific, I would say the feeling you get when I walk through the gates or across the parking lot or get past whatever is between me and wherever the game is and there it is … opening in front of me.

It can be visually arresting, like the sight of Wrigley Field for the first time, but even if it’s mundane, it means everything between you and that game is now gone.

And there’s also something more.

“This journey is going to be arduous, and when the plane finally lands, no one around you is going to remember if you lost ten pounds or finally finished that book proposal.”

Your Only Goal Is to Arrive,” Paul Ollinger, Forge

Because of … you know … our ambition is largely limited to getting through the day.

Do what you need to do. Try to be safe. Put it in the books. Come back tomorrow.

And if that’s all we have to do — if we’re not sick, if we don’t have sick family members, if we don’t have to risk our own safety serving or saving others — we’re the lucky ones.

What we’re missing is that something more.


Whether it’s the sights and sounds of a great vacation, a new opportunity at work, a fun ballgame on a gorgeous late-summer afternoon, meeting the love of your life or … anything, really … every day, at least in theory, possesses the possibility for something great to happen.

A lot of days, most days probably, it doesn’t. You do what you need to do, try to stay safe, put it in the books and come back tomorrow.

But the possibility is always there.

Or at least it was.

Will it come back?

I hope so.

When? No idea.


One thought on “Anything is possible, until it isn’t

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — April 19 – A Silly Place

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