Fill in the blanks:
I chose __________________.
I have chosen to _______________________.
I choose to _______________________.
I was walking down the road the other day feeling kind of grumpy about having to pick up more groceries, cook more dinner, whatever it was. You know the feeling. Like you wish you were living in a parallel universe without the constant T0-Do list. And all of a sudden it hit my like a bolt of lightening: I chose this life. I chose the man, the place, the children, the work (and often lack thereof). I chose the precise mix of mess and beauty, urban insanity and country calm. Luck played a huge part in much of what I have, yes, but most of what I am inclined to grumble about is precisely what I wanted. And what I want.
And right then and there I felt joyous. Yes, joyous, as if bliss had been beamed down by the sun. Realizing that I had chosen what I was experiencing, right then, allowed me to stop resenting it and to be thankful for it. Thankful for the arm-ache that accompanies carrying your groceries home. Thankful for the chance to cook another meal for my family. Thankful for the flexible mix of unemployment and employment that I enjoy. Thankful for the bills to pay, the messes to observe before whisking away, the warm bodies to kiss before going to sleep. Thankful for the chaos and the conflict and the craziness.
Seems to me we (women, mostly) have a tendency to waste a lot of time whining about stuff that—if we were honest—is the direct or secondary result of a choice we've made. And we criticize the choices that others of us make, while we're secretly resenting our own. In a way, it's just a really mentally unhealthy sort of immaturity. We seem to forget the role that our choices play in our day-to-day realities.
And then I thought about our rather limited usage of the phrase "pro-choice." And how we all ought to live our lives in a truly pro-choice fashion. Accepting our own choices. Investing in the rightness of them, or consciously (and conscientiously) choosing otherwise if they were in error. And respecting without endless and acid discussion the right of other women to choose something for themselves that is different from what we've chosen.
Whatever. Maybe this is too simplistic. But accepting my own choices changed the color of my mood from something tending toward gray to something tending toward a lovely bright shade of greeny yellow. And I realized that I'd do well to repeat the same exercise a little more often.
I choose to remember what I have chosen.