Thursday, October 8, 2009


My high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Crippen, used to tell me, "Life is about choices, Starkweather." Since he was one of my favorite teachers in high school (second only to Mr. Dougherty, the greatest geometry teacher of all time), I tended to listen to what he had to say. As you know, I've been feeling a little overcommitted lately and have been looking for ways to deal with the stress of it all. When I read this blog post on "The Healthy Tipping Point" I had an epiphany: Life IS about choices!!! (Mr. Crippen was right!)
We make hundreds of choices every day. Coffee or tea? TV or homework? Sleep or exercise? Left or right? Some choices are small and seemingly insignificant, while others can truly effect how we feel, how we chose to see the world, how successful we are. One thing that can have an enormous impact all by itself is recognizing that we have a choice. Our attitude is a choice, our effort is a choice, the way we treat others is a choice...
I have been making a conscious effort lately to recognize my own choices. I remind myself (sometimes more than once a day) that I CHOOSE to be as busy as I am this semester. I don't HAVE to put in fellowship applications, retake the GRE or apply to PhD programs, and I don't HAVE to get A's in all of my classes. I choose to do these things because I know that they will help me eventually to have a career that I am passionate about and lead the kind of life that I want. Sometimes I make choices that I'm not very proud of: I get frustrated easily with myself and sometimes with those around me, I can be inconsiderate, more often than not I chose to eat dessert without stopping to think about whether I really want it or not, I slept in on Tuesday morning instead of going to yoga (and have been trying to rationalize that away for the last three days). HOWEVER, just recently, I made a choice that I was very proud of. I had a school semi-obligation (something I should do, but not totally necessary) that I had been wishing I could get out of for days. Then it hit me -- I don't HAVE to do this, I'm CHOOSING to do it. And so I chose NOT to do it. : ) Instead, I went on a nice, long, relaxing, fun, and much needed dinner date with Aaron. It was one of the best nights I've had in quite some time, and not for one second have I regretted that choice.
It is an incredibly liberating and, I might even say, peaceful feeling to wake up every morning, knowing that you have a choice. I hope that I remember that more mornings than I forget it...

Have you made a choice lately that you're particularly proud of???

Have a lovely day!


  1. Yes, just this morning! I decided to listen to my body (and one of my favorite Peeps) and am choosing to relax tonight instead of overdoing it ... again.

  2. I'm SOOO glad to hear that! : ) Enjoy your down time tonight (football and a beer or glass of wine, perhaps?).

  3. Totally, made the choice to good to Maggie's this morning for a VERY yummy vegan muffin!! P.s. way to have your priorities straight, Aaron deserves your free time when you have it!! :))

  4. I love the word "discombobulated"...just made the choice to tell you that. :o) Anyway, I really like this IS about the choices we make and I know that you have already made some interesting ones in your life. I thought that I could leave myself behind when I came to China but I'm finding that I'm the same darn person here...too ready and willing to fill my life up with work. I am really examining that foible in myself right now and wondering where it comes from...what is it that I am avoiding or is it really that I just like to work all the time? I don't know yet but I'm hoping that I will figure it out.

    Good for you, that you are thinking about things like this and making choices based on what you truly want to do rather than what you think you "should" do. Too many people go through life fulfilling what they think are their obligations to other people and never fulfilling their own dreams. That is very sad.