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it’s a choice

November 1, 2015

It can be very tempting to forget that where we are and what we are experiencing at any given moment is the result of a choice we made.  It is easier to feel like a victim, blame others, be frustrated by the situation life has put us in, to not take responsibility.

I’ve been working hard to remind myself that it’s a choice, and more than that it’s my choice.  This idea first started forming in the spring one day while we were hiking and we continue to talk about it while we hike.  We have made a choice to hike the bruce trail.  We don’t “have to” be there.  And so with that in mind, we remind ourselves, that we don’t need to rush to finisher a section more quickly, we don’t have to hike farther if it’s raining, we don’t have to hike a huge number of kilometres on any given day.  We have chosen to do this, and we are also choosing to enjoy it.  We can whine and complain if we want (and sometimes we do), but mostly we remember it’s a choice – a choice we made.

I reminded myself of this wisdom last Saturday as I dug out blubs in the rain.  It was a miserable morning, I was wet and dirty and my rubber boots made my feet hurt.  And it helped me to remember being out there in the rain on a Saturday morning was the result of numerous different choices I have made and keep making.  Choices like being a gardener in the first place and putting in the ground in the spring, like enjoying my job which means I am not home during the day where I could have dug out the bulbs on a nicer day, like going out with friends after work earlier in the week (another less miserable time to be outside), like not being willing to risk leaving this task for another day as I was concerned that there would never be a nicer day before the bulbs were ruined by the cold.  So many choices led me to be where I was that rainy Saturday morning.

I’ve talked to people who say they don’t have choice because they have to do things related to their children, aging parents, community commitments, or home obligations.  I say even what we feel is an obligation, is still a choice.  We choice the things we feel are important to do as parents, we choose to be a person who is connect to our family and friends, we choose to be involved in community things that reflect our values, we decide how dirty we will let our homes get.  We might like the alternatives or the impact of making a different choice, but we are still making choices.

So many choices, so many ripple effects, so much power and control.  Good and not so good.  When we remember that so much of where we are and what we are experiencing is the result of our choices, we are empowered to either affirm the choices we are making or seize the opportunity to change our mind and make different choices.  Very little in life will mean perfection, total happiness, and the absence of challenge.  But much in life is about choices.  My choices.  Your choices.


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