What choices have you made today?
Get up with the alarm or hit the snooze button? Shave or go with a little stubble? Boxers or briefs? Skirt or pants? Eggs or oatmeal? Tell your boss his project idea isn't going to work or smile and start planning? Visit that family member or decide to stay home? Ride the train or drive? Ask the cute co-worker for coffee or remain silent? Say yes to the job offer across the country or look for something closer to home? Go to church or sleep in?
Every day in every way we have choices. Some are major. Some are minor. Most are lifestyle preferences on how we feel on a particular day. Major or minor, what we choose says something about us and our values.
I was thinking about choices and attitudes recently. The other day I was riding my bicycle to do some errands. It was so much easier to go to the store and the shopping mall on my bike rather than contend with the long holiday traffic lines. But I had a practical reason for riding as we are down to one car and that particular car was "in the shop". I needed some sort of transportation and the bicycle was it.
Our one car lifestyle is a lifestyle choice. We are choosing to reduce our carbon footprint. We are choosing to take time and research our next car options so that we can purchase a car that matches our needs. We are choosing to save up our money so we can buy our next car without a loan. We are choosing to see if we can live in a place where there is (limited) public transportation and "bike paths". When I view the decision for one car as our choice I am much better in my attitude.
Many years ago we were down to one car. We were seeing how long we could go without purchasing another much needed second car. It took a lot of coordination of schedules, "I need the car on Wednesday. You need it Thursday night." etc. At that time, the choice for the one car was necessitated by a total car accident of our previous car and not one that we had readily chosen.
How I internally complained about our situation! As I would be walking along, pushing our two young boys in the stroller, struggling under grocery bags, every passing car seemed to mock me. "Why don't you have a car? We have a car- ha, ha, ha."
But I am so grateful for that experience. Our two boys developed into wonderful walkers. When they were quite small I remember taking them to Washington DC with a friend and her two "slightly older than ours" children. Our guys just kept plugging along, never flagging while the friend's children had a little bit of a struggle. Also, the experience has made all of us more aware of others' transportation plights, the development of cities and what we as citizens can choose to do.
So as I was pedaling along the other day, I realized that I had none of the animosity and annoyance in our current one car choice as I did with the previous time. For me it was because I have chosen to live like this. I have the pleasure of exercising and doing an errand. I have the opportunity to explore areas of our town that I cannot traverse in the car. I have the satisfaction in knowing that I am living my beliefs.
What a difference a shift in attitude and perspective make. Because I made the choice and it wasn't decided for me, I feel that I have options. The end result is the same- one car- yet my attitude is totally different as I pass motorists. No longer do I feel that they are mocking me. I feel confident with the ease in which I travel and with the fun that I am experiencing.
What about you? What choices have you made? Are making? Are some of your choices thrust upon you or can you decide for yourself? In dealing with other people, do you make the choices for them or do you allow them to do so? What are you having to decide that could be handled differently with an attitude and perspective choice?