Day 348: Instructions Not Included

Life doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. If it did, Dorothy would have known that taking refuge in a wood frame house was probably not a great idea during a cyclone.

It would perhaps be easier to confront our daily challenges if we could use a reference book for guidance. Unfortunately, this is not to be a reality because in our lives the rule book is not provided.

We have to make the choices that define our next moves. We have to react to the events that change the course of our days. We need to prepare for the inevitable and follow through on the planned.

Life, unlike Gump’s box of chocolates, is a hodgepodge of all ‘you are gonna get,’ except it is peppered with variety and random order so an easy-to-follow, ordered, guide is never going to be part of the package.

Instead, life is like building an IKEA piece of furniture where in the end you might end up with extra parts or missing pieces, repurposing the more and making do with the less.

I like to look at life as something that is very simple – you get what you put into it, sadness will visit, happy times will abound, key relationships are vital and complications should be minimized. This is my set of instructions, a generic path that could easily do well in the ‘one size fits most’ scene.

The older I get, the more I realize that Dorothy should have stayed put on that farm with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, traveling to Oz was merely a distraction from the virtuous, monotone life she already had in Kansas. Everything she needed, truly needed, was no further than her own backyard.

So, in a life where items are unlabeled, visual guides are non-existent, it is best to keep it simple and live the sepia hue of our reality. Besides, Technicolor is overrated and without a guidebook who wants to fight with a green wicked witch or take on the wrath of some winged monkeys?

If I have to live a life where instructions are not included, I will do it on my turf and unlike Dorothy, in my own backyard.

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