One night, of all things, I cleaned out a stopped up bathroom sink. I hadn’t deliberately put gunk in there–except that it is mostly “my” sink. Maybe I was at least partly responsible for it. In any case, it was up to me to clean it out since I wanted it to flow freely. Toothpaste, mouthwash, dirty hands, occasional hair, and who knows what else built up on the sides of the sink stopper. It wasn’t hard to clean–it just needed the right tool.
Many of my friends and I were not happy about the presidential election and now the inauguration is upon us. Maybe I was at least partly responsible for the state of this country’s political and social divides. As Barbara Kingsolver pointed out several weeks ago, each of us can do something within our sphere of influence–write, teach, call, sing, march, smile–that will make a difference in the free flow of human dignity and individual worth. All our efforts are needed; support for one another is much better than finding fault.
Whatever we do, big or small, will determine our future. Don’t stand by and let the gunk build up! Find the right tool for you and let’s keep working together for a brighter tomorrow.
Opportunities come and go. My first impulse is to imagine how I might fit into that scheme or place or plan.
Take house hunting. Of course you have some basic things in mind: how much bedroom or office space do you need? Is the yard suitable for children and/or pets? Is there a view from the kitchen window? How do you like the floor plan? What’s the neighborhood like in the evenings or during the day?
Underneath these questions is the bottom line: What would it be like to live here?
Again, my first impulse is to imagine what it might be like to live in that house in that neighborhood.
But before making a big decision like that it’s important to ask yourself why. Keep up with your friends and colleagues; move into a better school district; downsize or expand to fit your family; start building some equity.
Every decision has similar questions to ask. Moving, starting a family, choosing a job–these are not just one-time options but they will become part of your story for years to come. Are your answers the whole truth? Can you look in the mirror and tell yourself the real reason to do this?
I always have to take a giant step back to consider the drawbacks as well as the appeal. It’s seldom easy to reverse a major turn. I have to ask myself: “Is this consistent with my values and how I want to live my life?”
Since it will become part of my story, I want to know the truth about why, and I want to be able to tell the truth of my story in a couple of sentences. No matter how momentous the decision, some years down the road it will be told in one short paragraph.
What is my story and how do I want to carry it forward?
More to come . . .