Changes and choices. We face them every day. Sometimes I’d like to have a day with no changes and no choices to make. Just a nice smooth no fuss Groundhog Day kind of day, where everything stays the same just long enough for me to get my balance. And I’m one who actually loves change….most of the time. In fact, if given the choice…..see, they’re everywhere….I’d definitely choose change over status quo.
Some changes are rough, unexpected, uninvited. Like the millions of Americans who suddenly find themselves without a job, without savings, without any idea how next month’s mortgage will be paid. Or a visit to the doctor’s office for a routine check-up that reveals a life-changing health issue. Or a phone call telling you a loved one has died. Suddenly, some things don’t seem so important any more. I don’t have to list them.
I’m pretty sure we don’t consciously summon most changes in our lives. I say “consciously” because, let’s face it, some things we ask for even when we don’t actually “ask” for them…..like the crap that tends to hang around in our lives. We hate crap. Don’t want the crap. And can even say we didn’t ask for the crap. Yet, if we don’t consciously make changes in our lives that lead us away from crap…..we get crap. That’s just the way it works.
Other changes happen because, well, life happens. The kids grow older. The price of gas increases. The grass grows….somebody’s gotta mow it. The sink gets stopped up…..which begs the question, real plumber or the liquid kind? Work that was once done in the course of a regular work week must now be taken home over the weekend just because that’s now the “standard” in today’s world.
With those changes….the invited ones or the life ones….come choices. You don’t have to buy the kids bigger clothes or pay for piano lessons or give them money for their senior trip. I mean, you could always say no….but really, would you? You don’t have to drive a car. There are bikes and scooters….well, there are. Don’t even get me started on the sink. We’ve all made the wrong choice on that one no matter which way we went.
As for taking work home on the weekends, we all know it has to be done from time to time. When I was working for a large corporation, I noticed that the standards of a normal workday were very quickly changing. The “stars” were the ones who came in way before anyone else in the morning, stayed much later than everyone in the evening (or at least until the last decision-maker left for the day) and always took work home on the weekends. When I was a twenty-something single mom trying to blaze my trail…..or at least pay the rent….I had that kind of energy and determination. I wanted my talents and dedication to be discovered and recognized as I fought my way to the top……or what turned out to be the middle of the middle. Until I realized that choosing to leave an extra hour early in the morning or staying the extra hour in the evening or working through my weekend meant time spent away from my boys. The price was simply too high.
Ah, memories and the choices I made. I left the corporate life for a while when I realized that my heart just wasn’t there anymore. Before I made that choice, however, I had to think back to a time when I made a similar decision. A choice I made that would alter all other choices in my path. And one that I wouldn’t change for a million dollars….or more.