It's Blog Hop time again…how the heck did THAT happen?  By now I'm sure you're aware of why we do what we do….but if you're not, you can catch up with my own One Little Word posts here. This month you've come from Ruth's blog and after you're finished reading here, you'll hop on over to visit Mrs. Wookie. As always, a great big thank you to Margie for keeping us all on track!  If you get lost, the full list of participants is at the end of this post.  Happy Fall!

October….was a blur. Pure and simple. For some reason, I decided that I wouldn't sit in my living room late on New Year's Eve and wish I'd done more; more with the kids, more with my friends, more with family and more with my favorite guy. So I haven't even thought about pulling out supplies or making a page for my book; but I have invested in what matters most to me. October's prompt was perfect: find a collection of photos that represent what my OLW–invest–means to me right now.

Fresh on my mind is my recent weekend trip to Chicago, and as I flipped through pictures I remembered why I took this one:

I was walking back from the French Market, crossing over one of Chicago's many bridges. I stopped to just stare at the skyline; I remember that it was that very same skyline that seduced me when I was still a teenager, and I was studying it, looking for the signs of age that I was sure must be there but from a distance just couldn't see.

Then I looked down. Immediately, the Robert Frost line came into my head: 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…'. Train tracks aren't what we'd think pastoral, but this sight struck me as the perfect representation of what was going on in my jumbled head.

Because I'd be less than honest if I didn't cop to the fact that I play the 'what if' game all. the. damn. time. 'What if' I'd gone on to graduate school? What if I'd never had kids? What if I'd never been married? What if I'd still be married? What if I'd stayed here? What if I'd never lived here?…'

I could do that all day, knowing that there really are no answers but getting lost in all the ways my life might be different if only.  

Looking at those tracks, I thought of how life plays out exactly as it should, and how that one road we choose isn't really just one road. It's a combination of the straight, strong backbone of who we are at our core and all those crazy experiments mixed together. It's a reminder that our one true path is there, no matter what, waiting patiently while we veer off course to explore places less familiar, more interesting, infinitely exotic. It's the promise that–at some point on our path–all of our roads converge to make our life uniquely ours.

My present day suburban beige life wouldn't be filled with such amazing children, and such infectious giggles and the wonder of everyday miracles had I not taken that other road so long ago. I wouldn't appreciate that I can get in my car to go to the grocery store, instead of lugging my bags six blocks and up flights of stairs, had I not done just that so long ago. I wouldn't know how lucky I am to be spending time with the guy I am, had I not loved and lost and learned a few things along the way.

All those memories came flooding back, and, interestingly enough, made me realize just how lovely my life is even though it's no longer in that place I thought was my place. All those thoughts flooding my view simply reminded me that my investments–the ones that really matter–have roots and wings and will look different on down the line than they do now. Just like me. And for that, I am thankful.

Of course, Chicago wasn't the only fun part of October. There were trips to Powell Gardens and the apple orchard, our first family 5K, a self-directed intensive in making ravioli (sweet potato–yum!), the return of Cupcake Sundays, sweet surprises, crazy hair, Halloween, proud Mommy moments and far too many everyday miracles to capture anywhere other than in my heart.

Please be sure to visit all the blog hop participants this month!

 

Margie    http://xnomads.typepad.com

Monica    http://scrapinspired.com/category/one-little-word/

Cheri    http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com

Ruth     http://suburbansahm.blogspot.com

Lisa    http://backtoallen.com/category/challenges/one-little-word/

Mrs Wookie    http://mrswookieswanderings.blogspot.com/

Veronica     www.veronicanorris.typepad.com

Monica    http://questtoperfectimperfection.blogspot.com/

Kelly    http://mindingmynest.com    

Naomi    http://www.poeticaperture.com