Alternative Universes: A Personal Perspective

In an alternate universe, I will be getting on a plane tomorrow and flying to the west coast. There, I will be spending a lovely, relaxing week with my bride of many years, visiting friends, reading, drinking wine, eating awesome food and taking time to breathe. In other words, embracing and enjoying life.

In this universe, however, that won’t be happening. The tickets were cancelled last week, the hotel reservations were nullified, the deposits were forfeited and I will be spending the next week much like the last week: working, writing, researching, editing and getting a house ready to move in to, with a little bit of visiting friends on the side.

In this universe, previous me would have been upset. Annoyed. Frustrated. Largely cranky. I’ve been looking forward to the trip, and to getting away, for some time. Life has had a lot of moving parts of late, and letting go and not worrying about any of them for awhile was something I was eagerly awaiting. In short, I was looking forward to getting a holiday.

In this universe, however, current me is largely sanguine about the prospect. I’m not angry or annoyed. I’m not flustered or frustrated. I have not been cranky. There are other things going on, there are other priorities to attend to; now is not the time, and our friends are entirely understanding of that fact. I understand that, as much as a week away would be wonderful, there would be a price to pay for taking it. As tempting as it is to go anyway, I’m no longer prepared to pay that price.

This is a shift in thinking for me, and one that I’m a little surprised about. I have traditionally been a ‘work hard, play hard’ sort of person. So working hard presumes a follow-on expectation of, well, play… And that isn’t happening here, at least not the way that we originally anticipated. While going away would have been immensely enjoyable, there are still opportunities here that will be equally gratifying.

It’s the shift in thinking, I think, that is most interesting. I have always believed that life is a product of the choices we make. We are constantly presented with opportunities, and it is up to us to choose how we respond to those opportunities. The choices we make and the branches those choices represent shape the universe that we do find ourselves in.

Perhaps different choices lead to different realities in different universes. We in our current universe will never get to experience those alternatives. We only get to experience the reality that we make for ourselves in this one. It would appear that current me is starting to make different choices than the previous me. I’m starting to see the benefit of choosing for the long term, rather than just what is immediately gratifying. It would appear that I am evolving. It should be interesting to see, on that basis, how this universe also continues to evolve.

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