This two-word phrase can be the start of big things. “What if humans could fly,” the Wright brothers may have wondered. “What if computers could be non-technical enough that everyone could use them,” may have crossed the minds of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, individually. Great inventions, great ideas start with these two little words.
Emerald, Sapphire, and I have spent many a moment playing games and telling stories that begin with these two simple words. “What if we could walk on the clouds?”, “What if you could touch the sun?”, “What if your skin were purple?”. . . Imaginations just seem to grow with the use of this phrase.
These two little words can also keep me up at night. “What if things don’t go as planned?”, “What if our house doesn’t sell as quickly as we need it to?”, “What if . . .?” I have admitted before that I am a worrier. I either lie awake at night worrying or I worry in my dreams. Yesterday, I dosed off for a few minutes in the afternoon and my sleeping brain mixed real worries with the plot from the book I had been reading moments before. Not only was I fretting over the usual things, but I was also being poisoned, as was the rest of my family. No, I don’t remember the details, but I certainly did not wake up well-rested.
But the silver lining for my worrying beginning with what if is that my brain doesn’t usually stop there. When I wake up in the wee hours of the morning from a “what if” worrying dream or during my morning shower after a night of sleepless “what if” fretting, my mind moves on to answer the question. It figures out for me what my next course of action should be if the “what if” occurs. I am always much calmer with a plan. So before the thing that I’m afraid will happen even happens, I have a response in mind. A well-thought out, non-reactionary response. So I can move on to other things, hopefully things actually in my day and not the product of my overactive worrying mechanisms. 🙂 And in reality, I often don’t even have to use the response my mind has generated, because often the event I’ve anticipated doesn’t happen at all. But it would have if I hadn’t been ready, right? 🙂
Right now, I’ve got a few “what if” scenarios going that have kept me up in recent nights, but my brain has slayed them. I’m going to take this moving thing one step at a time and I have back-up plans ready if things don’t move along the time-line I have mapped out. I can be laid back about this — now that my what iffing is done, for now.