Saturday, May 21, 2016

How I Met Your Mother

 How much more appreciation for our life would we have if we caught glimpses of the future?  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we don't... but the road would probably feel a little less rocky, less lonely at times if we knew what was around the corner.

I've been watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix... and, much to my surprise, I absolutely LOVE it.  It is the story of a dad recounting to his children "How I met your mother" so it is told from the perspective of the future looking back.  It is really cool how the main chacter will start a story, and then jump to another year, and side stories in the middle of the main story... just like a rambling dad would in a real story he's telling his kids.  I'm currently on season 7... and I really want Ted to meet his wife... but I also do not want the series to end, so I'm pretty torn.

I just watched the episode where the three guys have imagined where their lives would be in three years... over the course of 12 years.  The guys have a pact to watch The Star Wars Trilogy every three years... and each time they get together to watch the Trilogy, they imagine where their lives will be the next time they watch the Trilogy... three years down the road.  The episode takes you from the year 2000 to 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 both in the character's imagination... and then in real life -- its a hard concept to explain, but it was REALLY cool in the show.

Ted specifically always thinks his dream of a wonderful wife and children are three years away.  In this episode, after realizing that EVERY SINGLE time he imagines his future, he thinks he will be married... only to find himself three years later single, and thinking that, in three years, he will be married... only to find himself three years later single, and thinking that, in three years, he will be married...
 Eventually, at the end of this episode, he realizes this pattern and sees that his dream for his future of being married, is always the same... but his actual future is always being single, he finally loses hope...  Instead of a future with a beautiful wife and children, he thinks, in three years his future will be a living nightmare -- he will still be alone, but now surrounded by cats and talking to a TV dinner costumer service department for conversation... It is the most hopeless the audience has seen Ted ever in the series and your heart just breaks for him.  Then, the audience glimpses what is actually down the road for Ted in another three years -- and it is not full of cats (to say the least).

How much more joy would my life have had... or what different choices would I have made if I had been able to catch glimpses of my future?

  • In high school, when I had no idea where my life would go, how would I feel about knowing I came to buy my first home in Rifle Colorado?
  • In my late teens, when I was really grieving the death of my sister, Tracey, how would I feel to know that a decade or so later, I would name my first daughter Tracey?
  • In my early twenties, when I thought I had met my husband, was engaged, and then seriously heartbroken, how much less would I feel that pain if I could have glimpsed my real wedding day when I married the man who became my husband?
  • In my mid-twenties, when I was lonely and praying constantly to meet my husband... but losing hope each year without him, would the wait have been easier to see my marriage nearly five years in, and the amazing love, comfort, and joy we have together?
  • In graduate school when I dreamed of motherhood, would I have even believed I would be blessed with three healthy babies in two years?
  • When I first moved to Colorado and had so much time to myself because I hadn't made any friends, would the glimpse of myself as a mother, without a moment of time to myself make me appreciate the free time more?
  • Even one year ago, I was sad because Tracey was an only child.  I would watch her trying to make friends, as a one year old who could barely talk, and I wished she had been a twin (yes, I was wishing that one year ago) so that she would always have a sibling... one year later, she doesn't have a twin for a sibling... but instead has twin siblings.  How much less would my worry have been if I had seen a glimpse of Tracey playing with her siblings now?

It seems I should stop worrying about the future because, in a few years, the worry won't have been worth it...
Or, is it that I can appreciate my blessings better now, because I worried in the past? 

Most of all, what a joy, that I can look back at times of unknown, times of uncertainty, times of heartbreak, and times of hopelessness, and know that, if I could see my life today, I would see my dreams have come ... and are still coming true. 


  1. I loved the show too, not sharing a spoiler here .... but my advice would be, don't watch the final episode of the series! I wish I never would have. If you do, I won't say "I told you so" but I would enjoy hearing your thoughts about it then!

  2. I completely agree with A Joyful Chaos. Don't watch the last episode. I remember the first time I saw the episode you reference here. I loved it you and it still makes me tear up. I thought about a lot of the same things when I first saw that episode too.


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