the difficult thing about making a choice is that you have to choose one thing over another.
and the great thing about making choices is that we have the opportunity to do it.
this morning I chose to go work out in the weight room instead of riding my bike outside. I am itching to do an early morning ride again, but it has just been too darn cold. hard to imagine, I'm sure, but I do have limits. this morning the 5:30 am temperature was supposed to be about 38 degrees in salt lake, which means a few degrees colder up the canyon, and I just didn't think I had it in me to be that cold.
I had also made the choice a few weeks back to not sign up for Power Camp, which began november 10. a handful of my friends have been getting up early and trudging off to class, which begins at 5:15 am, every weekday morning these past two weeks.
so I am feeling somewhat sad about not being part of Power Camp, and I'm feeling sad that I'm not on my bike in the dark, early morning.
and as I sat at the stoplight on foothill and sunnyside at 5:30 this morning, a cyclist passed me, heading up toward the zoo and possibly emigration. an entire wave of longing encompassed me and I felt like a puppy dog whose owners had just left for the day, leaving him all alone, lonely, sad, rejected.
I had made my choice, but oh, it was still painful. I had even been quite rational in making my choice: I don't want to freeze (morning ride). and I don't want to spend a lot of money and have to get up at 4:45 every morning (Power Camp). these were rational decisions. but I still ached.
I am one of the many people who have sought out and benefited from therapy. life has thrown me a bunch of curve balls, and there have been a few times when I have needed someone to help me sort things out. one of the best lessons I learned during this work is that knowing we have choices can help reduce the stress of a difficult situation. just to know that we aren't completely stuck, immovable, trapped, can offer us a toehold on sanity. obviously I'm not talking about decisions about whether or not to ride my bike in 38 degree weather, but the underlying issue is the same: the fact that we have the option of making choices that will, in small or great ways, adjust our lives.
how very lucky we are, to have options. many people in many countries do not. and although we may not like our options, we have them. at times when we are forced to make a choice, it can feel overwhelming, and can take a great deal of time and energy to arrive at one. but what if we weren't able to choose? what if we truly had no other options?
we are so fortunate, so very blessed.
my twinge of pain this morning, triggered by the well-clothed and bundled 5:30 am cyclist, is a potent reminder to me of how good my life is. that I have a bike, that I have a place to work out, that I have friends, and that I sometimes have to navigate that road full of forks and curves and make decisions, make choices, choose how it is I am going to be.
today I choose gratitude for everything life is directing my way.