Stacking Dominoes

Connecting dots…

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

–Steve Jobs

Connecting the dots and stacking the dominoes is where much of the frustration and disappointment in my life has occurred.  For whatever reason, I had this belief that somehow my life could be “planned” from day to day. When I take an honest look at it, I guess it would be considered a God complex. At the very least, it was highly arrogant to believe that I had control of so many things in my daily life that I could actually predict how my future will unfold.

I became “aware” enough to start stacking the dominoes when I was in my early teens. I would make the school football team, I would be seeing a girl at school, I was going to go to College, avoid the factories, get a car and rule the world…..instead an Uncle died and knocked over my stack of dominoes. He died of a heart attack. I wasn’t even mature enough to know what a heart attack was, and it was my first experience of someone close passing away. I remember laying in bed and envisioning an animated heart with arms and a mean face beating up my Uncle.I was even afraid that the same heart would come and attack me, (it did one day, but that’s another story). I had not taken into account that I might lose a family member, ever.

As the pain eased, I began to stack my dominoes once again. I was in secondary school, enjoying different sports, discovering girls, determined to be the best I could be, educated, work hard, get married, have kids, make money, etc.….instead, a friend was killed in a boating accident. I had not even spoke to him for a little while as I had been away at College but it still managed to shake up my stack of dominoes. After his death, for a while none of the dominoes even looked the same.

Over the years there have been great life choices, decisions good and bad, trophies earned, games won and lost, exams passed, deaths in the family, money won, addictions formed, relationships ended, and families formed. My Family is one for which I will be forever grateful for their support and it is a Family of which one day I will die a proud man.

I wouldn’t say there has ever been a significant period in which to stack a string of dominoes large enough to even watch fall without the table being flipped…and for this I have to say I am grateful. Change can be good.

I don’t feel like I need a plan.

I don’t feel the pressure of forming a long-term strategy anymore.

I don’t have the concern of trying to figure out my future because there are just too many things that can go this way or that, whether I am involved or not..

It just seems easier when not trying to stack the dominoes. It’s less frustrating when you can enjoy the flipping of the tables and appreciating that all will get reorganised soon enough if you just display some patience. The dominoes will always fall. Some will land neatly and exactly where you want them, sometimes it can be a bit of a mess and they are harder to pick up, but they are always changing and that’s what makes it so much fun.

The important stuff stays. You can do this.

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