He’s got infinite possibilities
I can see them now
It’s the unbroken chains of his past by which he’s bound
He’s got infinite possibilities
I can feel them now
If he chooses well, then nothing can tear him down
     Lyrics from “Infinite Possibilities” by Amel Larrieux

I’ve started and stopped this post several times over the past week and a half.  It’s so easy to edit yourself when you can delete letters, words, or even entire paragraphs and pages at the click of one little button.  Curse this backspace key! Did people have as much trouble typing and writing when all you had was a bottle of white-out and an eraser? Maybe the editing tools don’t matter.   If I were doing all this on paper, I could easily just tear the paper into little pieces each time I scribbled out a sentence I didn’t like.

Anyways, Infinite Possibilities…

Last week, I started a new job and attended the required, 2-day New Employee Orientation.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was warned about.  In fact, it was probably one of the better training sessions I’ve been to lately and sooooo much better than my experience at the foster parent certification/training.

The orientation kicked off with the usual training/orientation/group-gathering ice-breaker: “Tell us your name, where you work, and something special about you.”  Most people groan and grumble when faced with this request, but I actually like it. People and their stories fascinate me and ice-breakers like this can provide some good and interesting information.  I noticed that for most people in the room, the “something special about you” was related to their past and current job status.

(all names below are not their real names)

Robert, a 19 year-old, was starting his first full-time, non-fast food chain job in a nutrition unit “with benefits and all”. Linda, who used to work as a temp, is now full-time working the nightshift as a lab tech.  Pat, an almost painfully shy woman, is now one of the many hardworking people in housekeeping. She had never had a full time job until now.

I don’t think any of these folks knew they’d be where they were on July 9th, sitting in New Employee Orientation telling others “something special” about themselves. So far, predicting the future is a skill only few (pet psychics, astrologists, and Republicans predicting the fall of traditional marriage) have.  You could chalk up their being hired to luck I suppose, but one of the HR people who spoke at the orientation had her own take on that. She reminded us all that we, numbering about 20, were selected out of a couple hundred applicants. We were the cream of that particular crop, so to speak and in part were there because of the decisions we made prior to that point – the placing of a phone call, the sending of a resume, the choosing to accept a job at a previous company, our decisions about our education, etc.

So how does all this relate to infinite possibilities? I guess I started thinking about decisions and our (Juan and I) decision making process. Oh! The angst we endure!! Home buying (multiple times), car buying, dog rescuing, house painting (inside and out), roof replacing, career changing – all these instances were accompanied by a great deal of  thinking, talking, wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth, perhaps some snarling (sometimes from the dogs) and creating of spreadsheets, notes, and diagrams.  When there’s a problem to solve or a decision to make, we don’t mess around.

Invariably, the What Ifs surface.  What if we’ve overlooked an option? What if the decision we make is the wrong one? What if no infants are available? What if we get presented with a baby girl? What if we missed a what if?

 What if…?

At some point, we of course realize that we can’t predict the future.  We don’t have a Republican-moonlighting-as-an-astrologist and-pet psychic at our disposal. We can certainly try as hard as we can to make a good decision, letting the chips fall where they may, while acknowledging that there’s a lot of other forces at play affecting those chips than just us.

Maybe that’s a good thing to remember, now as prospective parents, and later as parents. Good informed decisions, mixed with a little angst, spreadsheets, diagrams and an understanding that all is not under our control. With this in mind and our love and respect for each other, the possibilities are truly infinite.