Sliding Doors is a 1998 film starring Gwenth Paltrow. The film follows the life of Helen Quilley (Paltrow), who is fired from her  public relations job.  The film’s plot splits into two parallel universes wsliding_doorshich run in tandem. In one universe, Helen manages to catch a train home on time, and in the other she misses it (see full description).  If Helen makes the train, she will arrive home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman. If she misses the train, she gets home later and doesn’t learn of the affair. 


I saw this movie again last week and it keeps popping into my head. In fact, ever since I have seen it the first time, I have talked about life’s sliding door moments.  Tonight on the CTV Montreal news, the owner of Gourmet Village was interviewed.  Last year, the roof of his factory came crashing down under the weight of too much snow.  Three of his treasured employees were killed.  His daughter, also an employee, had left the building 5 minutes before to go out for lunch: a sliding door moment.  In this case, it saved her life. 

While the stakes aren’t always this high, I see every happening in life as a “sliding door” moment.  Of course, we don’t often wonder what would have happened if we had taken the next train.  And unless something really newsworthy does happen, we rarely find out.  We go on with our lives without a second thought.

Until we start having second thoughts, that is. We doubt ourselves.  What if staying in this relationship prevents me from being with my soul mate? What if I climb the career ladder and live to regret it?   What if having kids means we will never travel the world?  The list of questions is endless.  The answers….they don’t exist.  Well, they don’t exist when you want them.  Everything is known in time. 

So life is a series of sliding doors. We choose which ones to walk through. We never know what will be waiting on the other side.  Like the best end of season cliff-hanger, we love the suspense AND we can barely stand it!!

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