I have always liked making choices. Perhaps that is because choices have always come easily to me. I’ve never been one to agonize over my options or spend months hemming and hawing. I simply am not wired that way. My husband will spend weeks researching something, thinking about it, reviewing his options, and pondering over the benefits and drawbacks. He will finally, at long last, reach his decision. Not two minutes after his decision is made, he will begin to regret it, wondering whether or not he made the right choice. This, as you can imagine, drives me crazy.
I like options. I like open ended. I like possibility. To me, no decision is permanent. (There are exceptions to this rule of course, but I would never choose to make a permanent decision because, as I’ve stated previously, I like choice. Permanent decisions are the ones that rule out all future choice. There’s no fun in that.) Today was a day when I had a lot of things planned. Most them them were exceedingly dull but incredibly necessary things, like laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning. My options seemed highly limited.
At 8 a.m. when I finally hauled myself out of my basement cave and stared down the list of things I “should” do, I naturally decided we should walk the dog instead. And, that’s exactly what we set out to do. As the boys and I rounded the first bend on what was to be a 3-mile walk, though, my phone rang. It was my dear friend Celeste inviting me to go visit the new Athleta store in the Cherry Creek Mall. Hmmm…now I had a choice. Finish the longer walk or take a shorter walk and meet my friend? I called my sister, set her up to watch the boys, and we cut our walk down by 1/2 mile so I could get to the mall. After my quick shopping date with Celeste, I headed back to get the boys. But, as soon as I got back to my sister’s house, my mom called and said I could take the boys swimming at her condo. Hmmm…another decision. Should I head home and get some laundry done at last? Hadn’t I put it off long enough? I looked at my boys, got back in the car, and ran home to get swimsuits and towels so we could go swimming instead.
At one point, I sat there at the pool, soaking wet on a plastic chair under a blue sky in the hot sun, thinking about all the things I had planned to do today that were not getting done because I had made other choices today instead. So much left undone. Then, my mind traveled to the people affected by the movie theater shooting in Aurora. Earlier today I had read about three friends who had planned to be in theater 9 along with their friends for a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Two were short on cash and the third didn’t want to leave his low-on-funds friends behind, so they skipped the movie instead. Six of their friends were injured and another buddy was killed in that dark theater. Funny how “instead” can change your day or your life.
My house is still a pit. The laundry remains in a pile. The boys’ suitcase sits upstairs in the hallway as of yet unpacked. It will all be there for me tomorrow. It can wait. Today, I chose to see a good friend and spend the afternoon splashing with my boys instead. I have no regrets.