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.