Suppose he'd listened to the erudite committee,
He would have only found where not to look;
Suppose his terrier when he whistled had obeyed,
It would not have unearthed the buried city;
Suppose he had dismissed the careless maid,
The cryptogram would not have fluttered from the book.
W. H. Auden
"The Quest" IV
Suppose I had done this, suppose I had done that? Sometimes the Suppose Game causes us to give thanks, as Auden did, for something good that happened, whereas taking another action might have ended in catastrophe. But the other kind of the supposes that refer to the past where you berate yourself for what you did, or someone else for what they did, well, it can drive you nuts, can't it?
Suppose instead that I ask myself, "Suppose I close my laptop by 8 p.m., as all insomnia experts advise?" "Suppose I actually get outside today instead of finding too much to do inside on this nice September day?" "Suppose I choose an apple instead of continuing to think about the dessert I'm craving but would not be good for me?" "Suppose I take half an hour today to read my Bible and pray for my children instead of blogging?"
So many supposes. Those where I look back over my shoulder as I walk forward today will surely trip me or at least slow me down. I should probably even be careful of the supposes that loom in the future--"Suppose I end up in a nursing home and turn as mean as a snake? How can I do that to my children?" Oh, the time I waste on these kind of supposes.
Suppose instead that I try to limit my supposes to today, this hour, this minute? Suppose I end this post and get up and do something that I can look at by day's end and say, "My, that looks nice! My, that was a delicious supper! My, the late rose bloom is pretty this year, and isn't our big Brown Eyes happy to have me outside walking with him?"
Suppose I do that. And suppose, if you're reading this, that you accept a small gift from me and do not spend another minute leaving a comment here today. Suppose instead that you do something you've been wanting to do. It's my gift to you, and anyway, there will be another post at Across the Way tomorrow where you can leave a Happy Anniversary wish to more of our big family.
If you wish, that is.