Friday, June 29, 2012

My Choice


At some point in my teens I was watching the Olympics with my mom and I remember her saying “I only recently realized I’ll never be an Olympic ice skater.” 

At the time I thought “Really?  You’re just now figuring that out?”   

Of course, I didn’t say that out loud.  I was a smart one.  But not smart enough, because I’m only now realizing what she meant.

People are curious.  We like to learn and do new things.  We have goals and aspirations.  When we’re younger everything is possible.  And probable.  Of course we’ll have time to not only become an Olympic athlete, but also a world famous chef, a heroic firefighter a gardener, quilter, artist, bagpipe player, (insert your own goal here).  Now that I’ve reached a certain level of maturity (cough)  I’ve realized I won’t be able to do all the things I had envisioned as a child.  Not because it’s not possible, but because I’ve chosen other things. 

There are goals that are more important to me than gardening (as you can tell by the weeds in my flowerbeds) Do I love gardening? Yes!  But writing is more important and when I have a choice that’s what I do.  Could I do both? Probably, but I wouldn’t achieve the skill with either that I will if I focus on one. 

Also, there’s my goal for my family.  I’ve always known I wanted to be a mother.  And while I had some sort of understanding that that took time and sacrifice, I hadn’t experienced it.  To be the best mom and wife I can be takes a lot of effort and a lot of time away from the pursuit of other activities. 

Do I regret this?  NO!  This is what I mean by choosing other things.  I’ve prioritized my wants.  The things I can’t live without, the things I’d like to do, and the things I no longer care about.  (Nurse? I admire what they do but I haven’t been interested in being one since 2nd grade.) It’s not that I can’t do these things, it’s that I’ve chosen other things, and those things have brought on new interests and new goals.  So yea, I may never be an Olympic athlete, but it’s still possible for me to be an award winning author.   That’s what I’ve chosen, and it’s worth the effort to do it right.  But it’s in that choice, the choice to put in the time and work to write, that I find myself relinquishing another option, and I hear myself thinking “I’ve just realized I’ll never…” Not because I  can’t but because I’ve chosen not to. 

18 comments:

  1. “I only recently realized I’ll never be an Olympic ice skater.” I love this line and I know exactly what she means. Sure, you choose other things, but certain things you become too old to do, like Olympic ice skating. I was watching the European cup the other day, thinking, wow - I think I could have done that if I had been born at the right time! I would have been damn good! Thank god you can't be too old to be a writer:)

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    1. You can never be too old to be a writer/storyteller.

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  2. Very good point here Sara!

    Funny, I was just reading some new Jenny Bent deals and this is the premise for one of the books: "Lori Nelson Spielman's THE LIFE LIST, after her mother dies, a woman must complete a list of goals she wrote when she was fourteen in order to earn her inheritance."

    I don't know anything else about this book (set to debut next year) but it seems connected to your post in some way!

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    1. I'll have to look up THE LIFE LIST when it comes out. I've read a few books that have a similar premise and I hear stories about people and their pre-marriage/bucket lists. There are a lot of things I want to try but for me, it's worth it to try to do some things well, than just dabble.

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  3. Go, Sara, Go!
    BTW, I'll never be a ballerina...or an opera singer...or...You get the point. ; )

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    1. There's a lot of things we'll never be, but a lot of things we will be!

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  4. Notice how some things are connected in a real way, giving them a special place in your life? Okay, I should probably explain. Dr. Wayne Dyer's most recently book is about exactly this: accepting endless possibilities, but recognizing that some situations aren't natural. Like me singing like kd lange, or having a body like Jay Lo, or...

    You get the point. Or you wouldn't have blogged about it. Great post, Sara.

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    1. I'll have to look up that book. It sounds interesting. And there is no way, no how, I could be a singer. Thanks!

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  5. All I can say is... "AGREED!" I completely understand this! Feel the same way. :)

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  6. Your closing line says it all for me. Excellent post.

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    1. Thanks, it was a pretty fun post to write.

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  7. And when that realization comes and afterwards your perfectly okay with it, then you know you've made the right choice! :)

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    1. Excellent point! That's exactly true.

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  8. It's funny how this realization comes upon you gradually. And DL's right - it doesn't hurt at all when you feel good with the choices you've made :-)

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    1. So many things are learned gradually. Line upon line as I grow and gain understanding.

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  9. We had similar thoughts recently, it seems. Way to stick to your guns and see your goals through! :)

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  10. That last line resonates with me. I'm at 'that age' too where I realise I can't conquer the world and everything in it. I need to be more selective ;)

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