My first reaction when life turns on a dime is to swing into action and do something, anything to fix the problem. Yesterday was one such day and I reacted as I always do, with rapid fire decision-making and jumping in to make things happen quickly. In the cold light of a foggy fall morning though, I realized that the adrenaline charged decisions I have made in my life were not always the best ones. And even if they were a good choice or perhaps the only choice, I wouldn’t know because I never took the time to weigh the options, to look forward to the consequences and make a calm, reasoned decision. That is my goal for today.
First I need to breathe, and find the inner calm I know exists when I turn off the fire alarm reaction and look directly at what I am facing. I suspect that the impulse to charge off in one direction or another is in part a way to avoid looking the dragon in the teeth. The next step then is to look at the dragon. What is the very worst that can happen? And if it is the very worst, what will I do to adjust to that reality? If I am to do something now, what does that look like?
I have received advice over the years when confronted with any choice to look at the short-term and then the long-term. How do the choices I make today to cope with what may very well be a short-term crisis affect my long-term goals? The cusp of this decision rests on the essential question of my priorities. In the end, how do I want this to look?
Instead of making lists of things to do, which was my plan of attack; I will instead look at the options and weigh them against the goals I have for myself and the shared goals of our family. Once I have a clear picture of our priorities for the coming months and years I can decide which option makes the most sense today and then down the road.
In many ways this crisis at a crossroad is a good thing and I suspect I would have been less likely to take the steps to really analyze the most critical choices if not confronted with the need to stare hard at the components. By taking the time to sit with my life picture I will take yet another step towards choosing my life path instead of it choosing me. Ah, I feel better already!