Or is it? I'm not sure...maybe...what do you think??

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Choices, choices...

"My wallet's too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight!"

One of my favourite quotes from Friends because it sums up one of the fundamental problems in life: however fortunate we are, we seem to be able to find something in it to trouble us.

The more we have, the more we have to look after, think about, manage, decide.  And often, the more we want.   And this is never more true than in the area of choice and opportunity.

No one likes having the ability to choose being taken away from them.  We hate that feeling of being backed into a corner, with no way out.  Not being able to do anything to alter our situation leaves us feeling impotent and frustrated. As creatures with free will so central to our being, losing that option can seem the hardest kind of deprivation.

And yet at the other end of the scale, too many choices can be paralysing.   Particularly if like me you are not very good at making decision in the first place.  Or ever.

I'm having one of those moments today.  I have the opportunity to take my working life in about three or four different directions.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting here with gilt-edged job offers on the desk in front of me.   But there have been conversations, e-mails, phone calls with expressions of interest, suggestions about how we could take things further.  And I'm in the extremely fortunate position of being able to consider all of them because I've a husband who is happy to support me both emotionally and financially.    How lucky am I?

So right now I'm feeling really excited.  And confused.

A couple of months ago I was feeling exactly the opposite: my (chosen) limitation of being there for my children seemed to render me with countless other mums looking for a satisfying, stimulating school-hours only job.  And so this sudden flowering of opportunities has taken me by surprise.
Shall I stay where I am, go back to something old and familiar, or give it all up and start again with something new?

And given that I find it hard enough deciding what to buy for tea, how can I decide what to do with the rest of my life?

But I've decided that for now I'll just enjoy the feeling of all these opportunities.  Its like standing in the middle of a wide open space and seeing all these different paths laid out in front of me.   I don't know where any of the paths will end up, and once I've chosen one I don't know whether I'd ever be able to find my way back to this crossroads and try again.   But I know I'm very, very lucky to be stood here right now, enjoying the view.   The diamond shoes might feel a bit strange, but they are still sparkling, whichever way I dance.

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