Monday’s Meditation: On Making the Right Choice at the Right Time
Much of the security of childhood is due to the time-bound phases which are at the cornerstone of it; I’m sure of it.
In functional homes the developed world over, children trot along the same prescribed educational path: First comes pre-school. And then kindergarten, from which there may be a symbolic graduation ceremony which is most surely for the parents of said aspiring pupils. From there, the children proceed to elementary school. To middle school, maybe. Then come four years of high school, and, after that–though this is where the individualist chasms of adulthood begin to creep in–four years of college.
It’s a nice package deal, these years and grades so clearly laid out, enabling as they do the perpetual knowledge of one’s progress.
But then (though it seemed an impossible truth for so long) you reach the end. You’re spit forth from the structured educational years into the wide world, where you discover that in adulthood, those clearly defined phases begin to blur and obscure.
The calendar flows from year to year. The months bleed into each other. The days are a strand in the web that becomes your life.
There is no teacher’s note that comes on cue, ushering you out of one phase and into the next.
After our schooling days, we’re left to float through time and space with as much grace as we can muster, bumping up against the boundaries and milestones of professional goals, family life, and getting older, without ever knowing for certain when we have.
When have we? Have we? Have I? Have you?
In the absence of grades that open and close on schedule, how do we know when it’s time? Time to move, to launch a new product, to have children, to leave a job you’ve had for years? How, when the present circumstance might ostensibly just continue on forever? When there is no one pushing you out the door, placing a peculiar hat on your head, and telling you that you’ve graduated from this phase of life?
When the possibility of a major life decision appears on our radar, how do we know when it’s right?
The years are ours. The structure is created as we go.
And so we analyze and weigh our options and wonder. We think about what we’re going to be giving up and what we may gain. We study the decision like the diligent students we used to be.
We call on our intuition (if we’re wise) to help guide us.
We look at just the facts.
And in the end, we guess.
That’s our very best, to hazard a chance that we’re leading ourselves right.
Sometimes we reach a decision with bravado, all “HELL YES!” or “UM, NO.” But a lot of the time, I find, we shrug our shoulders into decision. Not because we’re joyless or doubtful, but because we just can’t know. And we acknowledge that.
I acknowledge that this decision may turn out to be a real shit one.
I acknowledge that I’m really not that sure about how this will all pan out.
Is it right? Is it time?
Sure, I guess. Let’s try this.
The beauty is, when the years are yours and the structure created as you go, there is no failing grade nor falling off course. Alive, you are learning.
And anyhow, a decision shrugged into is no less a decision than one made while leaping up and down in the air.
Any decision is one that moves you forward, my dear.
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