How many times have you said these words? “If only. . .”
“If only I had more time. . .”
“If only I had more money. . .”
“If only ___________.” You can fill in the blank with whatever you chose.
Well, you get the idea. The point is that, when we use the term “if only,” we’re wishing things were different than they are. I’m pretty sure that most, if not all of us, have uttered the phrase at one time or another. Reality is not exactly the way we want it to be so we wish for it to be different.
When I was a little girl, I looked forward every week to watching Walt Disney Presents on TV. I loved all the segments, especially the Davey Crockett episodes (Fess Parker was my first love) and the Mickey Mouse Club. But my favorite part was the beginning of the show when Jiminy Cricket sang, “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires, will come to you.”
Back then, I had a habit (still do) of saying, “I wish. . .” And my father would always respond, “Wish in one hand and you-know-what in the other and see where you have the most.” In other words, don’t live in the Land of What Isn’t. Live in the Land of What Is.
As an adult, every time I hear myself say, “If only” or “I wish,” I think of Dad and I have to smile. His was great advice but something I have yet to master. Because, sometimes, I’m not all that keen on reality. Which, I'm sure, is one of the reasons I’ve always loved fiction and why I knew, at an early age, that I wanted to be a writer.
Of course, like it or not, we all have to deal with reality but sometimes we need a break. When I read a good novel or work on writing one of my own, I escape to another place: the Land of What Could Be, a truly remarkable place.