Monday, May 4, 2015

The Challenge of Important Choices

Monday, May 4, 2015

I applied for a job today.  The site of this position is nowhere near to where I now live.  In fact, the location in question offers a view of the largest ocean in the world.  The job is in a small coastal community in Washington state.

I have always had a spirit of adventure.  I have sometimes wondered if this is why my family of origin apparently gave little thought to what I was put through as a kid.  I sometimes have thought most of them though "that boy can take it".  And yet just because you have the capacity to endure something doesn't mean you should have to have that capacity tested.  But I am digressing a bit.

The disappointing results of some of the bigger risks I have taken in recent years have had the unintended consequence of leaving me feeling more risk averse than I once was.  I still enjoy adventure, travel and the like but I find myself more circumspect now when I contemplate choices that could have profound impacts on the course of my life.  I often wish I were equipped with better decision making skills.  But I at least feel I am moving in the right direction.

I wrote not long ago about the subject of false dichotomies.  I have often had this idea firmly lodged in my mind that to be true to both my deepest career passions as well as my deepest desires for intimacy will simply not be feasible.  I often feel as if I will ultimately have to make an 'either-or choice' rather than enjoy a both-and life.  Is it too much to ask that I find fulfillment in the different major spheres of my life rather than just one?  I often wonder why I feel I will inevitably have to choose.  Is this perceived dichotomy real?  Does it have any basis in reality?  Or am I simply allowing unjustified fear to grip my mind?  This is a good topic to discuss with my therapist.

I do feel fortunate to have grown some in the sense that I no longer cross bridges that do not yet exist as frequently as I once did.  In other words, I do not get caught up in mental forecasts and ruminations about possible future scenarios I might have to contend with until they come to pass as often as I would find happening years ago.  But this pattern of living too much in possible futures is still something that happens much too often for my taste.  While psychotherapy has certainly proven enormously helpful to me I still feel I need to focus on some other means of addressing this pattern of imagining unpleasant future realities.  I don't expect my own mind will ever completely desist from such unneeded mental wandering.  But I can cultivate ways to bring a healthy approach to my own life each day I wake up.


It is a beautiful May evening outside.  Children can play outdoors at 7:30 pm on a still Monday evening.  It's so lovely to see the world greening up.

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