Okay, Now It’s Getting Ridiculous

002Headed out to my car the other day, past the sunflowers—those great, hulking eight-foot giants (I grossly underestimated their size last time I wrote about them)—and what did I see? A monarch butterfly fluttering on the breeze. But as I fumbled for my phone, the butterfly disappeared before I could get a photo of it. If this seems like déjà vu to you, I can understand why. I’ve written about this before. This is the third time I’ve seen one (or two in one case) in recent months and failed to get a photo. Always I’m on the verge of capturing it. But always it flits away before I’m ready—the little tease. I couldn’t help thinking, Okay, now it’s getting ridiculous. Three times and no photo.


Reminds me of the countless times I’ve driven down a parking lot aisle a half-second before someone behind me pulls out of an awesome space. Grrrr! I’m also reminded of Serendipity, the 2001 John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale movie, where a couple meet cute but keep missing each other years afterward.


There have been many just-missed-it moments in my life. I also wrote a post about a guy I crushed on in high school who came up to me on the last day of school, suddenly aware that I was alive. Gee, thanks, but I’m cleaning out my locker now and am about to go away forever. I’ve also been first runner-up for jobs. Those are the most frustrating of all, especially when I’m told, “You were our top choice until someone better came along.” Maybe that person didn’t use those exact words, but that was basically the gist. Or, there have been times when I had a free movie ticket, which could only be used after a first-run theatrical release has been out for two weeks. Only, I totally forgot I had the free ticket, which of course expired the day before I suddenly remembered I had a free ticket.


In order to keep my blood pressure steady, I need to believe that the things I just miss or almost get, but don’t, were not meant for me in the first place. This is not an unrealistic, denial-based attitude made purely out of wishful thinking. No, I’ve lived out this truth. Wanna know why I know this is true? Because there have been times when I was at the right place at the right time or was hired because I was the right person or at least had potential. There were times when someone I liked chose not to wait till the last minute but came at just the right time.

So monarch butterflies, go ahead and flit away while I fumble for a shot and miss. At least I had a glimpse of you as you flitted by. You helped me realize that some things were not meant to hold on to forever. Some opportunities need to flit by. But I won’t miss what’s truly meant for me to keep forever.

Movie ticket from yoursourceisopen.com. Monarch photo from Wikipedia.

23 thoughts on “Okay, Now It’s Getting Ridiculous

  1. Love this post – so much of it sounds familiar – but you are right, we can’t hang on to the might haves or what ifs – life’s too short! Hope you catch that elusive snap though 🙂

    • Thanks, Andy. Gratitude is not my default mode, unfortunately. (And I’m not proud of that fact.) But every once in awhile, the need to be grateful interrupts my whining.

  2. Wonderful post, Linda! Oh, I loved the movie “Serendipity”…I’ve seen it so many times. 🙂
    I’m with you, all of the right times far outweigh the wrong.
    The guy from high school…he miss out on a good thing!

  3. Yeah, I’ve had plenty of those moments too–and I think you’re right. Those missed opportunities weren’t meant to be. And, again, as you said, just seeing the monarch is a gift. I just recently heard someone talking about fostering a monarch caterpillar. I had no idea how few of them survive to become butterflies. You elusive guest is one of the lucky ones.

    • Wow. That’s a good thought, Stephanie. I never thought about their struggle just to survive. And here I was worrying about getting a photo of one. They are quite amazing, aren’t they?

  4. What a great post. I’ve had opportunities “flit by” as well, but it’s always been balanced by those fantastic times where I was in just the right place for something to come along. Here’s hoping your butterfly day will come soon. 🙂

  5. As the Queen of Missed Opportunities, I SO relate to this post, Linda. But you’re right. I look back on those misses as blessings today and try to tell myself my current misses are leading me in the right direction.

    • Some missed opportunities hurt, I know. I can think of several that took me years (and an awful lot of prayer) to get over. I’m chalking those up to wisdom. But here’s to opportunities we don’t miss! 😀

  6. I’m betting that guy from high school noticed you at the right time for him… probably taught him a valuable lesson in grabbing on to a good thing before its too late!

    I’m confident you will snag a photo of that butterfly at some point and it will be the perfect moment.

  7. What an incredibly insightful and mature way to look at these “missed” opportunities (even if there is a bit of denial mixed in). Way to turn it around, chica! I do believe that you WILL get a photo at some point. I want you to for you! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Photos of A Swallowtail Butterfly Taken For Blogger, Linda Washington | brickhousechick

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