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SailingOne doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
Andre Gide (1869 – 1951)

I don’t think I slept much at all last night. Or, much at all this year come to think of it. I picture what Columbus must have felt as he set to sail. Did he have sleepless nights, wondering where his ship might go? 

While Columbus believed the world was round, most people of his Era were sure it was flat.  He could have listened to them. He could have silenced his inner belief and followed along. But instead, he chose to sail.

Once on their journey, Columbus and his crew battled starvation, volatile weather and deteriorating ships. Worse yet, his own crew lost faith in the mission and even plotted his death. But they persevered and eventually opened the Eastern world’s eyes to a whole new shore.

I know Columbus’ treatment of natives makes him a less than worthy role model, but I still find the scenario that surrounds his belief and his journey fascinating. If he can take his belief to the edge of the earth, through every obstacle and rocky condition, then perhaps I can feel a little more secure in my journey. Even when others doubt what I believe. Even when conditions make me nervous. I’ll choose to sail.

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Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like. –Lemony Snicket

Dinner at my parent’s house was never up for negotiation. “I’m not running a restaurant,” my mom used to say. “You’ll eat what we’re having.”

My parents made the best spaghetti. And stir-fry day was fabulous. But their meatloaf reminded me of cat food, and I was never too excited about green peas. Still…we ate what we were served.

As an adult, I can appreciate the different meals they made us. I had a healthy childhood with a variety of nutrients. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I didn’t…but I can’t imagine the health issues I’d have if they would have catered to my sweet childhood requests.

In a less simple sense, I wonder if fate doesn’t work the same way. Sometimes we’re happy with what we get, and sometimes we hate it. And sometimes we think we know what we want. But when looking back down the road, how often are we suprised with the way things had to happen?

Every beginning is a consequence – every beginning ends some thing. –Paul Valery

Most of the time, you’re so focused on new events that you don’t even notice what chapters in your life are ending. Inevitably it has to happen; that’s how we grow. But sometimes it’s hard to look back and realize the things we used to have and the things we had to give up. Did we fully appreciate the moments? And how sad that we rarely get a proper goodbye.

A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. –Segal’s Law

My roommate always says how impressed and proud she is that I have a 4-year degree.  Now granted I’m happy about it and it wasn’t exactly easy, but I never really thought about doing anything else. It was always: First you graduate high school, then you go to college. For four years I took classes, got the necessary credits and followed the path to graduation.

The truth is, I think it’s after graduation that the hard part begins. Once the paved path to graduation is over, the world opens up. You no longer have a single, simple goal of finishing your degree. You’re just… done. So what do you do with your life? You make a lot of decisions, go down a lot of different paths and are never quite sure what the outcomes of the other decisions might have been. Sometimes, you’re never quite sure what time it is.

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. –Author Unknown

I use to have a room in the basement of a split-level house. Sometimes at night, I’d get settled on the couch upstairs watching a movie. By the time it was over, I was quite content to stay put. Of course, I always woke up in the morning curled in an awkward position with an uncomfortably stiff neck. Sure…it was good idea at the time.

Clearly this was a small and insignificant “parking place” in life, but only the beginning of many more to come. It can be so hard to get up and move on when you find yourself comfortable. Maybe you had your eyes on another prize, but why can’t you stop when you feel content?

Because eventually the morning will come and you’ll have wished you made the effort. I think parking places can be fun…like a scenic drive, exploring the view. But only if you’re capable of pushing yourself through when it’s time to keep moving.

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