Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Chaos Theory

Small seemingly slight variations on what might be perceived as the norm can have unknown repercussions hours days, or years later. We may or may not even know those repercussions as the impact of a decision is the absence of an event or a crisis. I had this thought yesterday when at the last minute, I chose to not take the side streets the last stretch of my route, but the freeway instead. I later learned there was quite an accident about the same time in the same location I might have been in that accident. had I taken my normal route. Theses seemingly meaningless deviations could change a life trajectory. This is the essence of chaos theory. 

Decisions matter,  but more and more I am convinced life is more a crap shoot, the roll of the dice.  I've been reading blog posts written by or with a story of folks who have made the worst possible life decisions time and time again, and each time their life is tipped upside down, they land on two feet, almost stronger. Perhaps they are not being super honest, but stories of multiple bankruptcy, bouts of unemployment, and ta da, an inheritance comes their way. Similarly, I know of a family where the parents seemingly did everything correct. They lived below their means, invested in retirement, and saved for college for their two children. She had a stroke in her late thirty's, losing one of their incomes and racking up medical debt. They were under insured, and suddenly their good planning was not enough. 

I often think about, more as an amusing thought, not a regret, about my personal chaos theory. My original post high school plans was to go to a community college in Minneapolis and live in a small apartment with two girls I met at an orientation. I didn't think I could afford to go to a university. My older sister  convinced me that perhaps a better idea would be to commute at least at first, to a state college and not cut off my options. So many things were different for me because of that change. I doubt I would have met my husband, would  not have my children, would not have probably settled back in my home town. That's the impact potential on me. But what about the folks whose life I may have changed, unknown to me. Is there some other version of a spouse out there? What life is someone else living because we never met. It's an interesting thought to me. 

12 comments:


  1. There shouldn't be chaos, if one believes in God(or whatever one may call a supernatural power), and prays to Him for protection and guidance. We're nothing, just tiny dots in the big universe. 'We plan and God laughs' as the saying goes.

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    1. Yes, planning can be right for comedies! I agree somewhat, but also think we have free will and those decsions we make do have repercussion and action.

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  2. I hope I haven't impacted anyone's life in a negative way. I have many side road detours over the years and I wonder too what would have happened if I had stayed on the main road instead. Glad you listened to your inner voice and stayed on the freeway!

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    1. Who knows why I didn't turn off? Maybe the car along side me made it difficult to move over lanes so I kept going-his action impacted my action. I doubt I impacted anyone negativley in a direct way. I think about two ex boyfriends. ONe went on to marry a formerly close friend (just gre out of touch-it was years later) and they have a wonderful family and 20 + year marriage. The other has been married three times and I think is in process of a third divorce. Breaking up w BF 1 proably was great for his life, who knows if BF 2 and I would have been happy long term, or if I would have just been the first of many ex wives?

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  3. I call that the spirit warning nudging telling you quietly what is best. You are one of the best so you should have that spirit.

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    1. That is a comforting thought, but I think it is just more random than anything spiritual. Otherwise, I'd have to blame the spirit for constanlty nudging people the wrong way.

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  4. My ex wrecked 3 cars while drunk - 2 in one week, including the loaner car from the garage. Two of those cars he rolled at speed - and walked away from all 3 of them unscathed. Then had the nerve to sob when the French (finally) cancelled his driving licence about how "unfair" it was. Can you see why he is my ex?

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    1. People just being plain ass hats doens't align with chaos theory though. They just consistenlty make really bad and stupid decsions and actions. I'm glad for you he is behind and you have a good life, nice sons, and the oppportunity to live life on your terms.

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  5. I read somewhere that no path is the wrong path just a different path and the outcome is we are always in the place we are meant to be and we need to trust in this. I find this not only liberating but comforting too

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    1. Well, tha tis comforting. Ranso things happen, but having a little faith that things will work out is a hige help in the darker time.

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  6. I had a friend once and we always said we were related by circumstance. Her mother was engaged to my great uncle, who was killed during the later days of the war If he had not died her mom would have married John and she would never have been. Since he was her Mom's first true love his memory was part of her family, which she shared with our family.

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    1. Wow-that is an interesting turn to future view of a sad past for her mother and your family. I love the phrase, related by circumstance. People don;t ever truly leave our lives when they ar eno longer with us. Their legacy is still here.

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