Get on the Train

It doesn’t matter where the train’s going.

What matters is that you…get….on.

paraphrased from a closing line of Tom Hanks’ in “The Polar Express”

I paused when I heard the movie line.

Oftentimes, I pause like this when a phrase or quote touches me in some way. I need to pause to see if it really rings true for me; if it touches me. Sometimes it takes me a minute to process; it’s not sudden or a light bulb moment.

Does it really not matter where you’re going?

I think of another line, maybe from Alice in Wonderland, that says the opposite: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.”

Should we take any road? And not know where we’re going?

Should we get on the train, not knowing where it’s going?

I think the answer is sometimes yes.

And I think our gut is what tells us when “yes” it is. I think there is a time, it’s much of the time in fact, to be a planner and set out on a well charted course. (I’m the girl who always did – does – her homework.) I hope it’s a good idea since that’s how I’ve lived my life – always in the future, always knowing precisely which step I would take and then always taking it, never procrastinating or second guessing.

But is there a time when too much planning can happen? Too much order and control?

Oh yes, I think so.

Some people jump on the moving train easily and happily. I may need to push myself and give myself the self-talk of “just do it,” but at this age, it’s time for me to jump on now and then and let que sera sera – what will be, be.

Photo: The gardens of the Conservatory at Biltmore, Asheville, NC

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