Today has been interesting in a few ways. Oh, it was normal in that a lot of the patterns I normally follow were observed. Ate the same breakfast...that kind of thing. But I noticed a thread among the normalcy that tied this day together.
All of us make them every day. What we'll eat, what we'll wear, what we'll do. Who we'll bless, how we'll manage, where we'll go. Do we want the purple ponytail holder or the red lipstick? The salad at Fresh Market or the drive thru at the KFC (or possibly both)?
Decisions are not really ever an issue for me. I decide quickly if it doesn't matter and I'll be honest that I need more time if I do. I'm not afraid of making a bad one because I have a pretty good track record of making good ones with some real doozies sprinkled in to keep me humble. Real doozies. Seriously.
But today was just full of them. Decisions, that is. Do I keep my mouth shut or say what's been on my mind? Do I trade in this gosh awful phone that isn't working properly and just let Sprint have its way with me for the next two years? Do I wear the outfit that technically fits but I'm not 100% comfortable in yet?
(The answers to the above were "say what's been on my mind" - "trade the phone" - and "yes." Just in case you were wondering. And while I'm at it...I had the grilled chicken from the KFC drive thru and a salad from Fresh Market because I didn't have anything planned for lunch.)
Every day we are faced with so many options...so many choices. Oh, not every day is filled with earth-shattering or life-changing choices. Or is it? I pretty much think that the little decisions add up to the big decisions and end up changing the course of our lives. That's why the little things matter.
And our decisions are unique to us. I don't have to worry about whether I'll get the spray tan or buy tanning bed minutes because the answer to either is "no." Not that I'm anti-tanning...but at this point in time...I care not. My daughter, however, who is in a wedding this weekend, is opting for the spray tan. Good for her.
I had a friend ask me what I drink all day and I answered "black coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day." She commented that she would have trouble giving up having a real Coke from time to time. I understand that. After all...it was what I asked for after both of my children were born. In a cup with crushed ice and a straw that bended. (Not that I was being particular
or anything. I'd earned it, right?)
But the truth? It's a choice. To give up the sweetener and the sugar-free creamer in my coffee that I've recently endured was a choice I made for better health and more rapid weight loss. I mentioned that and then felt that maybe I'd been a little harsh.
Frankly, I wish someone had pointed this out to me about 90 pounds ago. How those things we hold onto are what is sometimes holding us back from being all that we were created to be. Had someone told me that I needed to quit eating c-rap years ago, there may not have been so many years consumed by the locusts (okay, ahem, by my gluttony).
Life is full of "yes" and "no" and often the choice is mutually exclusive. Sometimes this sucks, to be honest. Today I went to the gym and worked out with my daughter during a time that I normally attend a class that I love and get a lot out of. I had to choose. It won't happen often that she'll be off early and have a little more time to herself at night...so I opted to let her have that time and I did my cardio at 7:00 tonight watching NCIS after a pretty intense workout session.
(Cardio after workout makes me feel like my shirt is on backwards or something. Just hate that.)
Sometimes we choose something...and then feel like it wasn't worth the effort. A friend told me in a message today that she chose to help someone by offering some extremely good advice that was - to be polite - brushed off rather than thoughtfully considered. That happens sometimes when we choose to help other people because those individuals have already decided that they are right and know everything on a subject and are not open to criticism. Poor deluded little creatures. That whole "pride goeth before a fall" thing really is true.
I've found that I generally don't like criticism or the people who bring it...but I end up respecting that opinion if I find truth in it. Most of the time I do. Sometimes not. But I always back up and think about what is said to see if there is some truth that I can glean from it. More often than not...there is. Doesn't mean I like it...but I often need to hear it and improve my performance.
If someone jumps out and helps you or presents you with options...it may be because that person is a generous soul...or it may be that God is using that individual to speak to you about something that needs your attention...but you're missing. It isn't easy to hear these things...and often we will feel uncomfortable around that person or wonder if they like us.
Of course, getting comfortable being uncomfortable is usually in your best interest. I know it is for me.
Remember that as you go through your day that you have choice after choice to make. Those choices add up to hours which add up to days and years and decades. We may begin calling them "traditions" or "the way it has always been done" but it usually boils down to a series of decisions that someone made way back when for reasons that made sense at the time. Or seemed to at least.
If you are trying to make changes - as I am - you have to be aware of the power of decisions. Who you listen to. How you spend your spare time. What your goals are. Where you are headed. Every day I have to remind myself of where I started, where I am, and where I'm trying to go. As I'm dealing with a frustrating plateau three pounds from my goal of 50 pounds off...I know that it is only a matter of time before this weight moves. All I have to do is keep doing the right things. Making the right decisions. Doing all that I can do.
Some decisions matter not...like whether you measure your water intake by a single bottle with tic marks (my way) or putting a gallon in your refrigerator and drinking it all day until it is gone. Just two ways of doing the same thing. The point is...you are drinking your water.
Other decisions matter a little bit...such as whether you'll skip your workout because you're tired...even though you have your clothes in the car and a friend is expecting you to show up. In those cases you have to weigh the consequences and move on. (Personally, I'd go to the gym because someone is waiting...but that's just me.)
But there are some that really do matter...and these require a huge commitment on your part. Sometimes it is those that keep us in flux because we are frozen to the spot freaked out with what all is involved to get us from Point A to Point B.
Been there. Done that. Have a drawer full of tee shirts. (In various sizes from M to OMG.)
What you have to do is stand on Point A, look at Point B and do one thing toward it. The first thing - and the most helpful - is to quit yapping at yourself for being at Point A in the first place. That's done. Get over it. Move on.
(Again, I go through this every day so I'm pretty much giving my thought process here...)
When you start headed toward your goal, you have to let the little distractions along the way not get to you. For me, that was making the decision to give this one more try before I considered surgery. Having people tell me that I was working too hard. Being told that "just one bite" won't hurt me (little did they know I'd be lying in a gutter surrounded by wrappers with chocolate smudged all over my mouth). Going through weeks of not having anyone notice that I'd lost weight. Having people demand that I tell them what program I'm on. And here lately...being three pounds away from my awesome shoes and unable to put them on because I am on a plateau.
All no big deal in the grand scheme of things. Seriously.
Right now, my decisions are easy..."I don't eat that." "Cannot eat there." "Will not try that." When you have a considerable amount of weight to lose, you have no business deviating from the plan.
I'm sure that having more decisions someday is going to be really tough. Or will it? I'd really like to find out.
I don't know what decisions you have facing you and if you are decisive like me or if you hate decision making like my daughter does. But whatever it is...just ask God for guidance and then be very clear about where you are headed. It makes the decision making so much easier.
This journey has been full of saying "yes" to this and "no" to that and learning to be okay with it. I'm working on it every day. And for that...I am very grateful. It certainly beats wishing I could move toward Point B while my rear end is firmly planted at Point A. At least I'm moving in the direction of Point B. Which totally rocks, by the way. Soon, I hope to be headed toward Point B in my awesome new shoes.