We all make choices every day, every hour, perhaps every minute…what to do, what not to do, who to love, who to dislike, what to eat, what not to eat, where to go, if we should go, who should go…every second of every day is a chance to change direction or to stay on the course we’re on. I am in need, in want really, of a new direction and deeply desire the strength, or perhaps simply the will, to make better choices in nearly every area of my life. A friend recently celebrated his 3rd wedding anniversary, with a woman he had been friends with 30 years ago, and he wrote that he “finally figured out that we should be together in every sense of the word. Today marks our 3rd year of marriage. I have never made a better move in my life. [she] is my perfect complement and my cherished companion. Thank God we finally figured it out.” and when I read that, I cried…both in happiness for my friend who I have known for 20 years and for myself, wondering if my time will EVER come that I finally make choices, repeatedly, that say, or scream, that I’ve finally figured ‘it’ out…
I find that a constant sensation, or I guess emotion, I feel is frustration…it’s not unhappiness or dissatisfaction or lack of joy in my life; my life is full of lovely and beautiful things and people. I have a full life of love…I love so many different people and I feel loved by many, so there is a fullness, an abundance of good in my world, but, there is also an almost equal supply of frustration. It diminishes my quality of life. Frustration sucks the delight out of a life otherwise well lived. I know that every choice I make, every time I make one, is an opportunity to turn things around in my life towards a direction I want to go or not. The key to success I guess is to begin, and then not stop, making choices that lead me to a point where I wish to be. “Pick a path, any path…” I can’t go backwards and change anything that I have already done. I can’t un-do mistakes, I can’t un-do bad decisions, I can’t un-do any of the choices I have already made. I can only move forward, ahead, ‘press on,’ as my Momma says…and make new choices that reflect my goals or desires.
Every bad choice we make can be a learned lesson. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, well shame on us! Every bad choice we make can be an opportunity, if nothing else, to force ourselves next time to say or think, “hey, I picked A, now I see B would have been better for me, from now on I simply can know that B won’t work for my goals, so A might not always be the best choice in the future, but I know B is wrong for me regardless.”
I was thinking last night about where I want to be, not in the sense of “place” like home, but in the sense of settled and secure and certain, the quality of life I want to have in this next chapter of adulthood, and how to get myself there…there, this unknown mystical place where I think I should be… I got to thinking about how much I LOVE to cook but how much I abhor grocery shopping. However, when I have a menu planned for a dinner party, or a week’s worth of meals on my mind and I make a detailed list of what I need, after verifying what I’ve already got in the pantry or the freezer, and I write my list in an orderly fashion that follows the path of the supermarket aisles, and I only buy what is on my list and I don’t get distracted by the promotions or balloons or featured items, but STICK TO MY LIST, I get everything I needed and wanted and stay within my budget and I come home feeling good…and I thought, well, I can look at life like I look at my grocery list before a dinner party…I know what I want to make, and I know the ingredients that I need to accompany what I’ve already got…make a list and stick to it...Ina, and Martha, and Nigella would be proud of me, Voila! success!!