Have you ever considered all the gazillions of events that have conspired to bring you to exactly where you are today? Starting with events that occurred way before you were born, such as the precise strength of gravity which allowed the universe to coalesce but not collapse and including every action taken or not taken by a countless multitude of people beside and including yourself, your parents, their parents and so on? "Go back just eight generations to about the time that Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born, and already there are over 250 people on whose timely couplings your existence depends."1 How many times have you been conscious of the fact that one seemingly tiny action changed the course of your life (and how many times not)? All that to say that your life is a unique story, miraculous really, a story still being written that even you, the star of the show, cannot really control or even accurately predict very much about. Which is equal parts unsettling and exhilarating. You're still reading your own novel, a page turner, with its highs and lows, its terrors and joys, its inexhaustible surprises. Captivated by this most gripping of books, sharing the pages with all sorts of outrageous characters, we try to anticipate what will happen next. Who knows?
Not us. Not yet. But on this New Year's Day I remain grateful for the cast of characters that enrich my story and another day I get to turn the page.
1 Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything