A friend recently asked why I decided to visit Paris. Was there a specific reason? Why Paris? Why now? This in essence was my reply.
I said that when you get to a certain age you start to get a case of the ” Nevers.” As in I’ll never be rich or drive a fancy car or any of the million other dreams you had when you were growing up and you had your whole life out before you.
When you cross that 50 year old yard line and you’re still working with kids and a house and a mortgage and wondering how you’ll ever put both of them through college and have enough to live comfortably when ( if ?) you eventually retire you start to think about the things that you’ll never get to do or get to be.
It’s a reassessment of what you’ve done, what’s important and what’s possible.
I have a whole list of ” I’ll nevers” as does everyone else. I’ll never be a major league baseball. I couldn’t hit the curve and so I was never even a high school baseball player. Never play in a symphony or have a summer home in the south if France. But I can raise smart, confident and independent kids who can watch me do things that are important to me and watch me do things that make a difference in my community.
My case of the nevers is not about me bemoaning a lack of fabulous wealth. It’s about looking around and saying I really want to run a marathon and now I’ve accomplished that never nine times.
It’s about being satisfied with what I have done and being able to say that I’m really happy with the way it’s all played out. And it’s about going to Paris. Cause they’re not about to transplant the Eiffel Tower across the sea to my little burg. It’s those things that you have to do because no one ever knocks on your front door and says, hey buddy, if you really want to go to Paris now might be just about the right time.
My case of the nevers is about taking stock of where I’ve been and where I think I still might want to go. A city and a country where French is the local language was a good start.
Years ago we transferred my parent’s ancient 16mm home movies to VHS tape (which we thought would last forever didn’t we?) and I was able to see them as young parents but now through my eyes as a parent.
There they were with their whole lives ahead of them with little me and soon a couple of other little kids. They were on the road.
Where did it take them? It eventually led to me at this moment thinking out loud and wondering where my road still leads.
Yogi said that when you come to a fork in the road – Take it.
Maybe it’s not only about the road NOT taken but but about the roads you did and will take.