May 13, 2010

Choices 101

"We've always got choices."

Those words have been and will continue to be-REPEATED and repeated & Repeated to us from diapers to...well...let's face it... diapers. *Queue The Circle of Life*

The choices that we make will not only mold who we will become as individuals, but they will dictate the paths our lives will take

As we have discussed before, cliches did not get where they are overnight. Obviously these trite sayings (that are like somebody poking you repeatedly with the same dumb, blunt stick)have survived generations for a reason. There is some truth to them. Like the ache the stick incites, you feel the reality of the cliche. There is no denying its existence-but that doesn't make its incessant prodding any more enlightening or any less grating. Eventually you become immune to its presence-you learn to tune it out. Not to mention, that the source of our irritation with cliches,is that they are ripe with generalities-they omit the individual experience. No one feels or experiences life in precisely the same way, no matter how parallel the circumstances. Yes the big picture exists, but as "they" say "(the good)God is in the details" (Le bon Dieu est dans le detail-Flaubert). Without the detail of her knowing smile and that mischievous gaze- Mona Lisa is an unremarkable, plain woman with drab hair and a shabby dress-in desperate need of a makeover. But her individuality, her human spirit...the artist's lifes wisdom reflected in her essence...aka-the details-transform her into a masterpiece. Back to choices-and where the cliche fails us-the truth about making and living with found almost exclusively in the details,in our making of them. The why, the how, the factors, the timing, the people involved, the circumstances, the cost. Choices are like snowflakes and stars-none of them are the same-because we are not the same. And when we change, what we choose and why
we choose it changes too. So...when looking at the choices that we make-we had better dot our i's and cross our t's...because it is ALL about the details.

So let's debunk it, you and me. Let's break it down. Here is the disclaimer on choices *spoken rapidly and often incomprehensibly*

1. We have freedom of choice. Not to be at all confused with controlling the options. If life gives you lemons, you cannot opt to turn them into strawberries. What you can come equipped with an arsenal of lemon recipes; lemonade, lemon cream, lemon squares, lemon cake, lemon drops. This somewhat unfortunate reality often leaves us feeling as if the "choice" is not so much a decision on our part, as it is an acceptance of our fate. However giving into that line of thought leaves us feeling like pawns-will incapacitate you if you let it, and can thus be a pitfall. There are some clear choices that are definitely ours for the making-even if it is just "regular or diet?".

2. There is no Option D. If the options are not appealing, you may not select None of the Above, nor can you choose All of the Above when all the choices are equally sublime (not a common occurrence). You just have to "make it work". Shout out to Tim Gunn (Project Runway) *Hollah*

3. Making the right choice, makes no promise to feel good. Knowing it is the right choice needs to be enough of a reason.

4. Not making a choice-is making a choice. Your indecision allows the chips to fall where they may. When that happens, you and your indecision have no choice but to take your ball and go home for some humble pie (whatever the hheeecckk that means). And the next time you can bet your decision will step mightily up to the plate.

5. As a grown up-you come to realize that what is best...and what is best for you...are many times not the same. Suck it know what the kitty said...

6. Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20. Has been a few seconds since I had busted out any trite phraseology...and so, the time has come. Seriously though, time lends perspective. You may think at the time that you are making the wisest decision. You may have searched yourself, weighed the pros and cons, convinced your head and your heart to FINALLY agree on something...but over time you realize that the other option would have served you better in the long run. You have to forgive yourself, we learn from our mistakes..unless we don't-then we need to give ourselves a harsh talking to. You are not a fortune teller (if you are-and you failed to see what the outcome would be-maybe you should hang up your crystal ball and start searching Monster for new career options).

7. Being Happy is Your Choice Too Perhaps it is your most important choice because it is the one that will never fail you. Like almost everything-there is nothing simple about it. It is a tough decision to make because it is one that we must make again and again...and more times than not? You probably don't feel like it. But life is so incredibly much what we make of it, how we choose to view it, how much influence we allow our feelings to have, how much credit we give our brain, how much our conscience weighs that week. We can and should decide regardless what the circumstance, that we WILL be happy. That is one of a handful of choices that you will never regret. Even if you cannot muster a giddy happy? A refusal to be defeated still equals success in some situations.

Oh! Before I forget, the choice is yours. The consequences of your choices definitely are not up to your discretion, nor are they consistent. Just in case you haven't learned that lesson of eternal ambiguity just yet...

Slippery little buggers-those choices...

That concludes our dissertation on choices. I don't know about you, but perhaps we should choose to take this show on the road...Seriously though, it is a delicate balance, whether we make strong choices, whether we allow our failings to destroy us, or our great choices to blind us with misplaced arrogance. That a choice we make.

Here is what some more credible peeps have to say about choices and decisions...

"I know who I am and who I may be, it I choose."-Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them."-Kahlil Gibran

"Some choices we live not only once, but a thousand times over, remembering them the rest of our lives."-Richard Bach

"Man had no choice but to love. For when he does not, he finds his alternatives lie in loneliness, destruction and despair."-Unknown