Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us. ~ Anne Frank
One of the hardest things for a parent is to teach children that choices have consequences. Too often we want to protect them by preventing them from making a poor choice or bailing them out of a bad situation. From the time my grandchildren started climbing, my daughter’s frequent refrain was “make a better choice” instead of “don’t do this” or “don’t touch that.” And when they continued anyway, she told them “as a consequence” they had time out.
A better choice. And consequences. The choices we make—whether consciously or unconsciously—affect us in ways we cannot imagine. Not doing something is a choice. Little, everyday decisions accumulate and have consequences. When my husband changed jobs or was transferred, things happened fast. He went to work in the new town, leaving me behind to put a house of for sale. Putting off painting the front hall, repairing that screen door from the dog’s claws, and other household chores caught up. Should have made a better choice.
At the end of February, we had all the documents needed for taxes. Past history told me “corrected” documents could come in March. So I kept putting off gathering all the info to take to our tax person. Did I consciously make a decision not to work on taxes? Nope. I was preoccupied with my newest WIP. Writing about space adventures was much more interesting than gathering medical expenses or figuring out business miles. Avoidance was a choice. And the consequences were that last week I scrambled to get ready for Friday’s appointment.
Procrastination is my middle name. Granted, I work better under deadlines. It’s amazing how much I can get done when I have to. Not so amazing is that I could have done things ahead of time—like the taxes. Procrastination is a choice. Choices have consequences.
As I write this post, a line from a Robert Frost poem kept swirling around in my head. This ending from “The Road Not Taken” is perfect choice on which to end this post.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 8th and 30th of each month and on Mondays on her own site: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/