Saturday, September 7, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame?

"Fundamentally, we are a product of choice, not nature (genes) or nurture (upbringing, environment)."

Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit

Henri Matisse

“Choose your love. Love your choice.”

I haven’t done anything fun for myself in a long time.  I’m not complaining.  I have a great job, wonderful kids and a good life in many, many ways.  The truth is, however, I’m better at taking care of others than at taking care of myself.  And a lot of my entertainment tends to be passive, such as comics or online games.  I thought about going to a baseball game tonight.  A ballgame on a Saturday evening would have been fun.  But I also hadn’t written today.  I was torn and I have not always been good at making a decision when two good decisions present themselves at the same time.  In fact, until tonight, that process has been very painful.
            Did I go?  Before I answer…
The big question was this: Do I take care of myself and do something fun or do I continue in my Purpose?
I’ll say this; any Purpose without self-care is destined to fail.  On the other hand, Purpose without consistency is also destined to fail.
So should I have gone to the game?  Yes and no.
Yes, I should have.  I had the money, not that it would have cost that much.  I also had the time.  I love baseball.  I even had my glove in the car and I could have brought it with me.  I might have met some new people and enjoyed a warm night under the stars.  I could have bought one of those $5 program books that I just love and maybe some food that was bad for me.  It might have been fun and it might have tapped into a different part of me, a part that doesn’t get attention very often.
No, I shouldn’t have gone.  I’m nowhere near reaching my various goals yet.  I could have used the time to rest and write.  I could have saved money, which is something I need to do anyway.  After some time at the game, I’m pretty sure I would have started feeling lonely and I would have wondered why I wasn’t at home writing.
So which was the right decision?  The best decision is whichever one I made. 
In this case, I chose to go home and work.  It was a good decision. 
I was pretty tired and I took a nap and then I started writing.  I’m almost done with this blog and I know that when it’s done, I’m going to feel good about myself.  I’ve relieved myself of some pressure and I’m closer to my goal of 25 blogs a month.  Also, I’m creating something that I think will bless the world and that makes me happy. 
Had I, however, chosen to go to the game, that would have been a good decision, too.  I would have had fun.  It would have added variety to my life.  “Variety,” as they say, “is the spice of life.”  
A couple of years ago I developed an interest in cooking.  Sometimes my food was good, but it wasn’t great until my oldest daughter added the right amount of the right spices to the recipe.  Then it was great.  She couldn’t explain how she did that.  She just knew what the recipe needed.   Maybe my life needed a little variety tonight.  Maybe I should have gone to the ballgame.
Or maybe, as I said, either decision would have been the right one. 
Yes, I missed the ballgame and the summer night under the stars and the fun.  But I got to write and save money and take a nap and move towards my goal.  I’m glad I stayed home.
Now let me write that paragraph differently:
Yes, I missed my writing, but I got to have fun on a summer night under the stars.  I can write tomorrow because I’m already ahead on my goals.  I created a special memory, one I will remember for the rest of my life.  It felt good to take care of myself.  I’m glad I went out.
There was no wrong answer.  Either one would have been correct.  A less optimistic person might say that means there is no right answer either, but that’s not true.  Both answers are right.  Both are good choices.  Because I didn’t go to the ballgame, I’m more aware of the need to have fun.  Had I gone, I would have been more aware of the need to stay focused.  This was not a no-win situation; it was a win-win situation.
More than having fun or being in Purpose, I need to be present.  I’m here and I’m writing and I’m happy.  I would have been happy at the ballgame, too, but I also know that when I do go, I want to go with a friend.  So this night was perfect.
In a few minutes, I’m going to do my radio show, something else I probably wouldn’t have done had I gone out.  This night just keeps getting better and better.  All I had to do was to Get Started and Keep Going…in either direction.