One of my dearest friends from the Old Days in Eastern Europe came to visit this weekend. I took her upstairs and let her choose which of our two guest rooms she preferred. Then I let her pick her towel, in an assortment of colors. The next morning, she had the weighty decision of which Polish mug to use for coffee. When we went out for brunch later, I described two fun restaurants in town, letting her have the final say.
“It’s all about choices with you,” she observed. “Makes sense, since we used to live in a place where you couldn’t choose anything.”
I guess I’ve exercised my freedom of choice a few times this summer.
Sometimes we get to use our God-given sound mind to reason things out and sift through the options, as in a major purchase. Like buying a car.
My old dependable car, on its last legs and suddenly revived, began a swift decline once more. It was time. We shopped carefully and found an incredible deal on a new-to-me used one. I exchanged a beige Nissan Altima for a beige Nissan Altima (boring, huh?) but one that’s 16 years younger.
I’m loyal to cars like I am to people. I choose wisely and I keep them forever. As I signed the papers at the dealership, I explained what I like.
“I don’t need all the new flashy stuff. I like basic. No frills. Sturdy. Reliable.” I look over at Steve and we both laugh.
It’s all about choices. Picking a good one. I did that with husbands and I’ve done it with cars. I’ve only had five cars in my lifetime: Cecilia Celica, Cuffy Cavalier, Pissant Passat (the one featured in my book), Nellie Nissan (may she rest in peace!), and now Alma Altima.
Sometimes decision-making is just plain overwhelming. I can vacillate and wish someone (anyone!) would make the decision for me. Like whether to take a class.
Earlier, I wrote about my difficult decision about my Rhetoric class. It didn’t end there. For seven weeks out of a ten-week course, I kept up a grueling pace of reading four extremely-hard-to-grasp chapters and writing four I’m-in-way-over-my-head essays each week. Then, my textbooks were recalled by the library. I tried to extend the loan and couldn’t. How could I continue without the books?
I prayed, I agonized, and I dropped the class. It helps that I had spent no money on either the class or the textbooks; just time and diminishing brain power. How could I invest so much work and then quit? Especially when my professor offered me an extension and said I had earned an “A” so far. Being a drop-out is something new for me. I waffled all week, second-guessing my verdict.
But this last weekend, I felt relieved. My decision freed me up to enjoy my houseguest from Europe, a wedding with Cru students, and a visit from relatives on their way to meet their brand new grandson. Because of my choice, I sidestepped having to spend the weekend either writing a 20-page research paper (footnotes and all) or losing sleep and stressing over it.
And tonight? I get to read a book for pleasure. Yes, I’ve stopped regretting my decision. It’s all about the choices we make. Choose wisely, my friend.