Tag Archives: choices

Being just on the cusp …

of sanity is a truly difficult place to be.

Reality is real.  That’s factual.

Yet fantasy can justifiably be just as indisputable.

That sound ridiculous, but in my  world, it is how it goes.

I spend as much time daydreaming as I do actually living the life in front of me.

I think about all sorts of things, rearranging them from time to time so that I have no doubts or regrets.

That, in itself, is lame.

Time can’t be altered.

There are no “do-overs” in life.

It is what it appears to be.

I would, if I could, change some things, but wouldn’t go back and do it all again for all the blue in an October sky.

I have to find a place of contentment in my chaotic world, otherwise, I couldn’t survive.

If I dwell on what didn’t go my way, there’s a better than average chance I will lose focus on my blessings.

And they are many.

My blessings.

While it is true that I took some blessings for granted and, in doing so, lost them …

I’ve only myself to blame.

Each day is an opportunity for me to rectify that which was irresponsibly lost.

What I do with that opportunity is solely on me.

I wish many things, but at the end of the day, I am where I am because of the choices I’ve made.

But then, aren’t we all?

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It’s not easy …

to look over decisions that we’ve made, roads we have taken, choices we have labored over only to find that they weren’t the right decisions, were the wrong turns and were bad choices.  But it is a constant in our lives.  Not every crossroad we come to will have an outcome that is favorable.  Sometimes, the results can be downright devastating.

If the only person such things effected was ourselves, it wouldn’t, I suppose, matter, quite so much.  But our decisions, our outbursts, our tantrums, our misdirects … they, like a long, intricate line of dominoes, fall, one against another, starting a chain reaction that can last for years and through multiple lifetimes.  Purity and innocence can be taken away so quickly that it would seem as though they never existed.

I have a wealth of understanding on making mistakes and living with them; learning from them.  Some of my mistakes have hurt no one but myself, others have touched the people I love the most, causing pain that was never intended, hurt that, though time has surely layered with a cushion, can never, ever, be completely erased.

I understand pain and insecurity.  I have known joy and heartache with equal measure.  I have lain, curled in a ball while sobs wracked my body to the point that I feared my bones would break and didn’t care if they did.  I have known despair and felt the icy fingers of death claw at my mind.  I have thought long and hard about how easy it would be to simply drift away into nothingness where life could no longer kick me senseless.

It is because of these things that I have more understanding than I wish to, that I stand now, with my head up and my spirit intact.  Life did not break me.  It bent me, at times nearly beyond redemption, but it did not break me.  I look around and see others that have been bruised and bent themselves.  They weren’t broken either, but none of us came out of the fire unscathed.  None of us came away from it all whole, but full of holes that left room for the pain and suffering of others to fill.

Because of my broken road, I have found compassion, I have found empathy and I have found beauty that is so stunning that, at times, it nearly breaks my heart.  And along the path strewn with shards of brokenness, I have found others, stumbling along trying to find their way.  And through discouragement, faith and determination, I was encouraged.  We are all, in one way or another, broken and simply knowing that makes me feel less alone.

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Matthew 12:20 ~ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench

Choice …

the act of choosing picking or deciding between two or more possibilities  That is how Merriam Webster defines choice.  It doesn’t define it as waiting for someone to tell me what to do or worse yet, demanding that I follow a certain path.  It is something that is between me, my heart, my soul and my brain.  But choices didn’t come about just so I could chew my bottom lip and wonder what to do.  Everyone must choose between one thing or another, several times a day.  Do I have a pack of crackers or an egg McMuffin?  Do I stop for gas on the way to work or on the way home?  Do I go the regular way or take a shortcut?  Do I speed and hope I don’t caught or simply speed and not care either way?  These are mundane, daily choices that I make without any real thought or care.  They are the simplest of decisions to make.  But, and didn’t you just know there was going to be a “but”?  But, these choices are not the ones that define me and they are not the ones that define others that make them.  The life altering, time-stopping, mind-blowing, direction changing choices are a lot more complicated.  I’m not much of one to take a lot of time deciding about things, at least not anymore.  If the mood strikes, I just go and do, do and go and let the chips fall where they may.  The downside of not taking the time to ruminate is that I often find myself picking up many chips but it beats being led along by the nose because I didn’t have the courage to follow my own heart.  Not everything is black and white and every choice is not as easy as deciding what to have for breakfast.  Wanting something doesn’t always make doing or having it the right choice.

That being said, it is important to know where the boundaries lie; how far I am willing to go and how much of myself I am prepared to give to the choices I make?  How much of myself am I willing to sacrifice just to be able to hold onto or let go of something that just doesn’t fit?  That is a question that everyone has to ask themselves from time to time.  As I look around during my day to day life, I see many people who have fallen into the same trap of feeling like having a choice isn’t an option.  It isn’t always a case of being weak-minded or careless; often, instead, it is the result of of being vulnerable, naive and impressionable.  Had I the courage many years ago to follow my heart and listen to the sense my mind was trying to make, the path my life could have taken would likely have drastically different than it was.  That is not to say I haven’t had a good life, but because I didn’t have the confidence in myself nor the courage to possibly cause a confrontation, it hasn’t been an easy one.

I used to spend time wondering and dwelling on what would have happened if way back then, when I was caving at every turn because I just couldn’t bear the thought of having someone not like me, I had been more self aware and confident.  Not that I don’t still have moments of regression and doubt, but I have them with a louder voice and an assurance that the choices I make, for the most part, are my own.

There are things that have come from my poor choices that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, but that doesn’t make knowing that I did it all the hard way any easier.    Confidence and courage are two things that I learned once my daughter was born.  I no longer had the freedom to be indecisive and stand in the background waiting for someone to tell me what to do, not if I wanted her to have a different life than mine.  Being complacent, unsure and wavering were not a traits that I wanted to pass along to this beautiful, brilliant child.

Of all the people I have met, cared for, loved, passed on the street or simply seen from a distance, I feel like I can say with assurance that each and every one of them has made poor choices at some time in their lives.  With some, it is obvious that they are paying for them even now while with others, it is more difficult to visualize the toll that a life of indecisiveness and passivity has taken on them.  In earlier times, before I grew up, so to speak, they would have seen the same in me.  I am at a place now where I am comfortable in my own skin and not afraid to stand up for myself, for what I believe and for the people I love and care about.  I’m not afraid to speak my mind and go my own way.  At some point, though not before I had missed out on so many wonderful things, I stopped being that shy, timid girl and became a woman who is more sure of herself and ready and willing to take a risk or two just to see what happens.

Having that confidence and willingness to separate from the pack  is what I wish for everyone.  To be bold, confident and able to stand for what they believe in and strive for;  able to lay down their fear of walking alone and go down the path that they were chosen for.  Confidence is a powerful thing and while I wish I had known it sooner, it is enough that I know it now and I am thankful that God saw fit to lead me out of valleys I led myself into and.  I am blessed and pray that my life will be a testimony to my God who has been with me even during the worst of it all.

2 Timothy 1:7 ~ For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind

Cooking for one isn’t for everybody

Cooking for one.  There are tons of books and videos on how to cook for one.  How to make a dish so that it is sized for one person with leftovers for the following day.  Well, I have news.  When you cook for one, but have leftovers for another meal, you are cooking for two, but if calling it cooking for one with leftovers is enough for you, then go with it.  When my husband was living, we cooked together.  Sometimes he would amaze me with dishes that even the finest restaurant couldn’t touch.  I told him many times that I would put him head to head against the best chefs in the country any day of the week.  Cooking was a joy and a pleasure, but then it became a chore.  I can find no pleasure in cooking anymore.  I want to.  I want to be able to concoct things from a little of this and a little of that, but I just can’t seem to find the desire.  I still have the skills and the know-how, I just don’t want to.  I don’t want to cook something that nobody but myself can smell or taste.  It is one of the odd changes that took place in my life after the death of Jim.  Cooking used to be a balm for a bad day … huge, complicated Italian or Indian dishes, Thai chicken and curry beef … but somewhere along the way, it became a burden instead of a pleasure.  At first, I felt a bit guilty, as though I were letting someone down, but then I realized that there is nothing wrong with me or the way I feel.  Can I still cook?  Sure I can, and with the best of them, but do I want to?  Very rarely.  Instead, I call my mom to see what she’s having for dinner.  Many things have changed, cooking being the least of them.  For the first time in my life, I am honestly, truly on my own.  I have no one to answer to, no one to please, no one to cook for and no one to make conversation with.  At first, it was frightening, but as time passes, it becomes liberating and I find myself embracing the thought of being alone.  I realize that while I was trying to get used to it, I got used to it.  One can’t expect to adapt overnight.  It’s been two and a half years since I lost the love of my life and I am just now starting to  live without him.  If you’re still struggling, don’t beat yourself up.  The time will come when you will realize that life goes on and you can either live it or let it pass you by.  Choose wisely.

John 16:22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

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