Missed Opportunities

Good grief, I need to stop getting up so early. Now, if I could just explain that to Rocky, my world would be one step closer to being OK.

Each morning, at increasingly earlier hours, I wake to a foot in my face, or him walking across my chest.

I guess he has figured out that soon after he wakes this furless creature, he gets released into the general freedom of the house and gets a bowl of breakfast to boot.

This morning was a cold one too… definitely one for some extra moments under the covers. But, no, it wasn’t to be. His happy purring made sure that I didn’t drift back into snooze mode and then the guilts of all the poor little faces waiting for me to feed them down in the office grabbed me by the ankles and dragged me from the warm bed.

By the time Rocky, Marcy, and Marty were situated upstairs and the seven little guys in the office were munching away on their breakfasts in the office, I was fully awake and wondering how I would handle the pre-dawn time-slot that was now suddenly became available.

Temperature was in the mid thirties, so the skies above were obviously clear. There was an almost full moon lighting up the skies anyway, just in case I couldn’t tell from the temperature.

So, yes, you guessed it … I grabbed a cup of coffee and a granola bar and headed off to watch the sun rise down by the lake.

Without clouds in the skies, clear-sky-sunrises all tend to look similar. Yes, the temperature affects them a bit in shaping the color intensities, but I pretty much knew what I would get image-wise.

So I kept my eyes open for anything that might add some difference in to the images; footprints, trees, plants. That kind of stuff.

At my third stop on the southern edge of the lake, I spotted a swinging chair that folks had set up for themselves at the end of their dock and was delighted to get a couple of decent shots with it in there.

Hope you like … they are all at the end of the blog.

As I drove home it was the swinging chair set-up that got me thinking about how these folk went to the trouble of building such a lovely viewpoint, yet in my many trips down there, I haven’t once seen anyone out to watch the sunrise.

And this morning was one opportunity for them to grab a hot cup and a blanket and enjoy a front-row view of a truly lovely twilight. And an opportunity to watch endless flocks of birds flying north along the lake edge beginning their daily journeys to wherever the winds take them.

But it was a missed opportunity and that is what gave me pause for thought.

If we are alert and ready for opportunities that come our way, we can generally make a real good stab at being a success at something. Or even just living a more full life. Being ready, when an opportunity came, is a common explanation from happy or successful people when asked to describe how they became so.

Some opportunities are wasted and others we just can’t get our arms around them to make them work. Life is full of these.

But what about missed opportunities? Opportunities we didn’t even know existed?

How many of these arose but because we weren’t in the right place at the right time, we didn’t even know they existed?

Somehow I suspect that there are far more of those that play out around us. Moments we could have experienced, things we could have done, chances we could have taken.

But we didn’t know.

Not knowing is a fall-back for failure. It is offered as a frequent response to a question of “why didn’t you?”

How many times have we all offered that response?

And while there are always going to be opportunities happening around us that we will be oblivious to, our self-determination hinges on increasing our knowledge of and access to such opportunities.

There are known factors in our lives … 24 hour days, sunrise and sunset, wake and sleep.

There are then variables such as fatigue, responsibilities, limitations, and a myriad of others that all affect our lives in different ways.

So, in reality no two of us experience a day in an identical fashion. And no two of us can embrace an opportunity at the same time in the same way.

This is what makes life little more than an organized chaos.

But once we understand ourselves and our goals, our dreams and our limitations, we should then direct ourselves towards opportunities that are both real and achievable.

Because it is on the back of a seized opportunity that we move forward in life.

Don’t do all the work of planning and dreaming, building and preparing and then failing to seek out the opportunity to advance.

Doing so, you might as well build a two-seater swing and point it at sunrise, but hit snooze on the alarm when it tries to wake you.

These are the same folk that buy a complete at-home gym but never use it. Or buy a house with a pool, yet never swim.

Having something is not the same as doing something.

… just a thought.