When the ‘what-ifs’ multiply
Jonas Ellison

Over the years, I dreaded hearing my mother say: “We’ve got to talk…” This urgently wanted “talk” would always end up being litany of “What ifs”. Any response or reassurance was inevitably followed “Yes BUT….” which segued into more “What ifs”. By the time I reached 60, I was so maxed out on her “What if” game that I reduced my visits or calls to the barest minimum. My advice to any obsessive What-ifer is to keep it to yourself if you enjoy the torment. Imaginary problems should only be shared with imaginary friends (or relatives). You play the cards you’re dealt with today; tomorrow, it’ll be a new game — new hand, maybe even a fresh deck of cards. As Mark Twain said: I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

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