Friday, November 7, 2008


What an awesome responsibility. Being solely responsible for every decision that is made in your own life. What is it that makes you get up in the morning and do all that needs to be done? Then consider other days you might get up and sluggishly take three hours to do what could easily be done in 30 minutes. What happens when you let something that you need to do slide for an hour, a day or even longer? Every decision, every act, and every lazy moment shapes the way your day goes and the direction of your life.

You have hundreds or maybe thousands of decision to make every day. Some are pretty trivial. Should you wear your black slack s and a sweater, or your blue pant suit? Some decisions effect others or the world at large. Should you use paper or plastic, or better yet, your own reusable bag? And more than you may think, most of your decisions effect your life journey. Decisions on how you spend or save your money, how much schooling you work to receive, how often you think of others when you make decisions or if you are the center of your choices. Will you stand at the rudder to guide the direction, or will you let a sail lead you in whatever direction the wind blows? Do you pray and give control of your life to the will of God, or to someone else? Do you plod through life checking off a never ending list of things to do, or do you live from minute to hour either taking care of what you want to deal with hoping the consequences are small, or worse yet jumping from one dramatic moment to the next dealing with things because they have become urgent and now you have to deal with them? You do have a choice. It is you, and only you, that decides.

I think that there should be a balance between planning and spontaneity in life. There are things that I need to do because I am responsible for doing them and then there are times in my life where an opportunity or experience presents itself and I just do it because it sounds like fun or it would be a good experience for my kids. There are times when I plan for an event, and then circumstances happen and I have to choose to follow the plans with a level of compromise or just give it up and go to plan C.

An example in my life comes with eating habits. I enjoy good food and I have a need to practice good nutrition, so what I called good food ten and twenty years ago is not the same as it is today. Do I plan my meals carefully or do I just make choices as the mealtimes (or snack times) come? I am usually a creature of habit, so eating the same thing at the same time each day is often my reality. I try to vary dinner meals a bit, but breakfast and lunch are very predictable. Even my weekly lunch out is a routine, though it is a treat. My colleagues from my team and I go out to a Mexican restaurant close to work. The tradition was started as I joined the team, but even though I am working with a new group this year the event continues regularly. If someone outside of our group plans something else during our weekly set time, we just plan to do it another day. It is not to be missed. On the downside of being a creature of habit, I will run into a course of time when the good eating habits are nonexistent, and it takes a bit of effort, as well as a strong will or motivation, to get back into doing what is right and my habits may need some planning and preparation to put back into practice. When I don't make good food choices, my health is being put into jeopardy. When I do eat things that aren't so good in moderation, I find a balance and can more easily live a healthy lifestyle.

As I go through the week, I know I will be getting up at 4:30 a.m. to workout and then getting ready for work on most weekdays. I will have a tall cup of tea before I leave the house and make another one to go. I pack one of about three combinations of foods for my lunch, take a shower, put on clothes that I set out the night before and brush my teeth, put on make-up and then do my that order...every day I go to work. Then I straighten up the bathroom, put a load of clothes in the washer, and make sure that the little boys are ready for the day. I am NOT a morning person, but there is much that I do in the morning since I can work on automatic with a fresh energy, and my routines are less likely to be interrupted by meetings, errands or guests dropping by to visit.

When I get home at the end of my day, I unload everything that does not belong in my vehicle. Trash can not live in there and so it just goes out at each stop at home as a habit. My kids get the same directions when we return home. The exceptions may be if we get home late when the little boys may be sleepy or after a day trip or vacation when there is much to unload. Then I need to set the goal to get it cleaned up before I do anything else. It is a habit that saves me time and energy in the long run.

So as you are planning out your day and making choices, remember that it is important to have a set of routines to guide you in things that keep you on track. It is important to know what matters to you most so that you can give attention to your priorities. Daily chores, getting out the door at a set time, preparing quick healthy meals all take time and planning but are made more efficient with an element of routine.

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