The Consequence of Choice

Last night I stumbled upon a show about wealthy people and their relationships. It was one of those so-called reality shows, the type where they show the awkwardly staged scenes and stuff.

I would have switched it off but one of the women caught my attention.

This woman had focused upon her career for so long that her biological clock was ticking, so she had entered into a romantic relationship with a man who was struggling financially with the goal of children in mind.

Wrong or right, many woman are forced to make the choice between having children and pursuing their careers in our society. I faced a similar choice.

Thirty years later, my children are grown. My youngest moved out, and after an adjustment period I embarked upon a new journey, a journey I would have started earlier if I had not given priority to my children.

Watching the clips in that show made me feel a pang of regret. If I had made a different decision, would that woman have represented me? Could I have avoided living in poverty if I had chosen not to have children? Was there some way that I could have juggled motherhood and not delayed my financial progress?

I don’t know.

I don’t know, and I realized that the questions were moot. I made the best decision I could using the knowledge that I had at that time.

They may not have had a lot of money growing up, but they had a mom who loved them, who actively chose to work at low-wage, easily attainable jobs so that, when pushed to choose between the job and the kids, the kids could win every time without financial risk.

I made that choice. It wasn’t a wrong choice, or perhaps even a right choice, but it was my decision, and I have no regrets.

When you make a choice based upon your best knowledge of the situation, then regardless of how things pan out, that decision is a wise one. It doesn’t matter if others made a different decision; we all live in unique situations. Comparing yourself to others is not only pointless, but a form of self-torture that’s best avoided.

What choices have you made that carried lasting consequences? Have you ever looked at someone who made a different choice and thought about the path you didn’t take? How did that make you feel? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

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When the Unspeakable Happens

We all have our demons. For the most part I keep mine stuffed in a box that I have hidden in the back of my mind. They like to escape sometimes, as they did recently when I made the mistake of watching Ford testify during the Kavanaugh thing.

Those demons caused me to go on a crying jag and write an incredibly long, painful post that I deleted once I returned to sanity. Some things are best left buried.

This doesn’t change the fact that sometimes Life allows the unspeakable to happen. How we deal with the unspeakable is what defines us. Do we cry over the injustice and allow it to control us or do we take a deep breath, accept what is, and use the incident to grow stronger as we move on?

How do you deal with the unspeakable in your life? Please share your stories in the comments below.

The Magic of Decision

I’ve lived in this little house for close to seven years. In that time I’ve never gotten around to making the little touches that turn a house into a home. I didn’t see the point since I didn’t know how long I was going to live here. Was I going to upgrade to another house, move into an RV, or thin down to almost nothing and travel once the kid was gone?

I honestly didn’t know. Something deep inside of me was restless so rather than waste time, money, and effort getting comfortable here I just made do in several areas. I would probably relocate after the kid left for college anyway, I reasoned.

I spent the first few days in shock after the kid turned 18. The knowledge that I was legally free of the responsibilities of parenthood and could do what I wanted did not compute. What would I do? While I still had a year before she left for college, I needed to get cracking!

But then I realized something: I am happy here. I like the house, I like the area, I even like the simple job that allows me to pay my bills while pursuing my simple passions.

I didn’t have to move. I didn’t have to travel. I didn’t have to go out in search of answers or happiness or even adventure.

I had enough right here, right now. I could settle down and stay right here.

As a result of finally making a decision I’ve finally started to settle in. I purchased a set of curtains to begin the adventure of making this little house a home. Once I accomplish the goal of getting my window treatments sorted I’ll move on to another.

Many people fail to realize how liberating it can be to make a decision. It frees you from considering other possibilities and allows you to focus on a single path instead of worrying about all of the other paths you could or should be taking.

For me personally, making the decision to remain here even after the kid moves out eliminated a stress that I didn’t even know I was carrying. It allowed me to admit that I didn’t need to travel. I didn’t need to move, change my circumstances, chase some dream or fulfil some magical bucket list.

I am happy right where I’m at.

What decisions have you held off making? Please share your stories in the comments below.