Monday Musings: On Fate, Destiny, & To-Do Lists…

If you’ve been reading here long, it won’t surprise you in the least that I spent a good couple of hours this weekend transferring all my precious daily/weekly/project/shopping lists into a shiny, new-to-me to-do app. It’s called TickTick (so named for ticking things off lists, I presume), and it’s a nice step up from Wunderlist (which never quite synced all that well between the desktop, web and mobile apps – frustrating).

What does this have to do with fate? Nothing, really…and everything, if you look a little deeper. Grab a cuppa and read on…I’ll get back to it.

In general, I’ve long subscribed to the philosophy that if something is supposed to happen – if it’s “meant to be”, so to speak, then it will. Somehow, some way, that thing that’s supposed to happen *will*, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. But it has to happen on its own time, in it’s own way…you can’t force it to happen, or not happen. It just…will.

And when it finally does, and you look back at all the little things that had to happen in between the time you wanted it to happen (or felt it might happen) and the time it actually happened, you realize why everything worked out the way it did. It’s kind of amazing, really…but also incredibly frustrating if you’re not the most patient sort, and you get an inkling early on that something may be destined to happen…later.

For example (since the whole vague thing is a bit confusing): When I was 15 yrs old, I stood in the guard room at the pool where I worked as a lifeguard watching my sister’s swim team coach on deck, and I actually said aloud that I wanted to marry a man just like him someday. It never occurred to me that I’d marry him specifically (though obviously I had a major crush on him) – he was rather inappropriately older than I at 26 yrs old, and I barely knew him at all. And even if he hadn’t been too old for me at that time, I was a religious zealot back then, and he was…decidedly not (something I learned much later). I still felt very strongly that our paths were supposed to merge at some point, I just didn’t dare even hope for it, because it seemed so very far out of reach. Impossible.

When I turned 18 and got my first tattoo, he struck up a conversation with me about it while I was on the 5:30am guard shift (he’s not a fan of tats) – our first “personal” conversation. Over the next few years, we chatted from time to time, forged a tentative friendship, and finally when I was 22 (and nearly done with college), we started dating (after a not-so-gentle nudge from a co-worker).

Yes, dear readers, it was a good 7 years between the time I had an inkling that I would date my now-husband and the time we actually started dating. And had it happened any sooner, it wouldn’t have worked at all – I needed to go through the experiences that I had during that time before I was even remotely able to connect with someone like him (on a philosophical level), and I’d imagine there were some things he had to experience in that time period for “us” to work as well. We dated for another 7 years before getting married, and in that time there was only one other person I felt drawn to in that “cosmically fated” sort of way…but there were a lot of reasons it wasn’t even really an option. With my husband, call it destiny or fate or whatever, but everything eventually clicked, and this September, we’ll have been married for 10 years (man, that went fast!).

I misread situations often enough to be skeptical of how I see or feel things might eventually end up. But I used to be much more “zen” about the whole thing, and lately I’m having to remind myself more often that things will end up as they end up, and I really have no control over any of it, so there’s no point in worrying about what the future holds. The only smart thing to do is focus on today, and not worry so much about what might or might not be.

So how does all this relate to my apparent obsession with to-do/task lists? Simply put, controlling the areas of my life that I can makes me worry less about those that I can’t. It’s a coping mechanism, I guess you could say…but a healthy one, in that it also allows me to ultimately be more productive and flexible at the same time. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

I’ll leave you with the earworm my good buddy Carol dug up for me off YouTube, which sums the whole thing up nicely. And if you’re like me, you’ll have Bobby McFarrin stuck in your head pretty much straight after this song…because what goes better with “Que Sera Sera” than “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, right?

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4 comments on “Monday Musings: On Fate, Destiny, & To-Do Lists…

  1. Dolly

    I love this post because it resonates so much 🙂 On one hand I know what’s going to happen, is going to happen, but on the other hand I am a control freak and of course believe that we have got to take action. So I do constantly worry about the future. I try not to, and I also – like you – often try to focus on the things I can control, and do the stuff I can do today. It’s not easy. Mind keeps skipping between now and tomorrow. But I hope to keep improving at it.

    Love your love story 🙂 Funny isn’t it, how what’s inappropriate at one age, is no big deal mere 5-6 years later.

  2. Jamie DeBree

    I knew you’d relate, Dolly. 🙂 Dang our control-freak natures. Makes it very hard to just relax and let things come on their own schedule…

    And thank goodness age doesn’t matter much once we’re adults, because I’ve always gotten along better (for the most part) with those a generation or more ahead of me, no matter the gender). The result of parents who weren’t all that keen on babies/small children, and taught us to be “adults” from the time we could talk, I guess.

  3. Dolly

    same here. While I do have friends my age, majority of those are childhood friends. Most friends I made as an adult are older than me. It may change now, because presumably I may find people my age who are a bit mature (though you look at some people in their thirties, and just makes you want to kick them forward to adulthood), but we will see how that pans out, since I am going to have a chance of that soon enough, settling in a new city where I don’t know anyone.

  4. Jamie D.

    Ironically for me, I think you’re younger than I am, right? I’m 39…which would mean you’re an exception in my world. 🙂