Saturday, August 7, 2010

Choices

A long time ago I took one of those Globus Gateway bus trips in Ireland. I became great friends with the tour guide, Paul Rose, and he said something that had a lasting affect on my life. Jet lagged and tired, spending hours driving around countryside that didn't look too much different from my own native Northern California, I had dozed off. Passing by handing out chocolates or examples of Irish linen or something, he nudged me and reminded me I was missing the countryside. I mumbled something about being tired and he said cheerfully, "Ah well, it's your holiday and you can spend it how you like" and moved on down the aisle.

I think that was the first time that idea was presented to me in that way. Prior to that it was all "you should," for example, "your parents paid for this trip, you should be taking in as much as you can from it . . ." lol. The only time choices were pointed out to me were when somebody felt I was making the wrong one.

The wrong one . . . it has taken me a long time to realize that there really are no "wrong choices." Oh sure, if you decide to strip naked and run out into traffic, you are likely to have a bad outcome. It could be considered a "wrong choice." But for so many things we hem and haw about, spend hours worrying and deliberating about; there is no wrong choice. Most of the time, if the choice has a bad outcome, it could even be due to unforeseeable circumstances unrelated to the choice itself. Of course, sometimes choosing one thing means you miss out on something else. Two weeks vacation in Hawaii probably means you will miss out on two weeks vacation in Alaska . . . at least until next year. But too often we spend most of the two weeks in Hawaii lost in a critical evaluation and judging if we made a mistake so that by the time we return home, it's like we never took a vacation at all and we're counting the days until next year.

We approach choices with superstition and fear and we live them out with "if only's," "what if's" and regrets.

"What if" instead we approached our choices like there could be no wrong ones? What if we saw that the only wrong thing about a choice was not living it whole-heartedly and supporting it? What if the only reason so many choices look wrong to us in the rear view mirror is because we never learned to follow Tony Horton of P90X's advice and simply "Bring It?" What if we realized that staying in the indecision and not choosing at all, was actually making a choice? What if we could look back and not wonder what would have happened if we had taken the job, married the girl, finished college, gone to a different college, chosen a different major, gotten better grades, applied ourselves more . . .. .. . . .. infinitum . . .

What if we could simply say (and believe) "that's my choice and I'm sticking to it."

2 comments:

Greyhawk said...

I love the new layout!

Not making a choice, is indeed, a choice. It strikes me that there two opposing conditions which are equally debilitating: not choosing through fear of consequences, not considering consequences before choosing.

But then, I always overthink these things, or so I'm told.

Sweet Synopsis said...

I finally got here and I'm so happy your writing! What you write is so beautifully easy to read and believe me most of us mortals find that incredibly hard to do.
And talk about Deja vu! "ever expanding ball of destruction" is this another one of those loops...? Scary :)
Yay you! I'm off to read the other one...