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Speaking with the Cheshire Cat

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" Alice speaks to Cheshire Cat.

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where -- " said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

" -- so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

There’s an old expression that goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. It occurs to me today that I have five Mondays left to submit my thoughts to you in a letter. And the number five got me thinking that we are one-fifth of our way through the 21st century. Y2K. The new millennium (with two Ls and two Ns, although not everyone spells it that way). Remember all the fuss when we switched from 1999 to 2000 twenty years ago? All sorts of mechanical failures were predicted not to mention some very big fin de siècle events. But we got through it. And it feels to me like such a very long time ago now.

One-fifth of this century is almost over. Twenty percent done, 80 percent to go. Do you know what road you are on? What road we are all on? Even though markers of time are imaginary, and one-fifth of a millennium marks an arbitrary segment, it reminds me to think that we are headed somewhere. All Alice wanted was to get somewhere. The Cheshire Cat knew better; any road will certainly get you somewhere,

Given that, it's probably a good practice to stop every so often and assess where we were, where we are and where we're headed. Put personally, am I on a path of my own choosing or have I been just following the crowd? Do I have a goal in mind, a destination? Can I measure my progress and can I redirect my life if I think I can do better or don't see progress on this path? Who is in charge of my life? There's another old saying, and it goes like this: No matter how far you've gone down the wrong road, turn back.

However you look at your life, remember: you have far more control than Alice did. No matter whether you are one-fifth or four-fifths on down your path, stop and assess where you are before moving forward again.

For me, for the rest of the year, let's have fun with fives.


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