I can think of so many big decisions we face in our lives that throw us for a loop and make us re-think so many things. Here’s a big, recent one for me. My husband owns a business. It’s his, he makes all the choices and those who have ever worked for him, myself included, are along for the ride. It’s a niche business that he has a specialized knowledge about. It was a big decision he and I made together to take on that “hobby” full-time as a business and it seemed like a good idea to me at the time. I loved the freedom, the planning, I enjoyed the travel and meeting people, but most of all I thought it was a partnership. As an outsider in my family, and an outcast of my old religion, I desperately wanted to be “part of something.”
My husband and I worked full-time in that business together for over five years. But then I realized, slowly and with difficulty, that this was not a partnership. I started pulling away, but begrudgingly kept working and began harboring resentment. I actually quit working there and went back three times in the last two years and each time I went back I tried to negotiate certain things into my work there to “force” a partnership.
But you cannot make anyone do anything they really don’t want to do and I finally made the last break from that job. I left the business, I left my role there 100%, I took everything from my office to my home and relinquished my worker role. What a big decision! Not only for me, but it forced big decisions on those left behind at that business, including my husband. The effects of this choice I made, standing at the crossroads of staying or going are huge. They linger. Right now, and probably for a while, they are the elephant in the room. I can tell you that for me, I know in my heart that I made the right choice. I feel better. I feel lighter. Regardless of where the journey leads me now, I can trust that I followed my intuition and did what was best for me. Sometimes the fallout is big, but if we really know our own heart and we made the best choice for us, we can breathe easy.
Here are some other bigger choices we might face:
- buying a house
- what college to go to
- choosing to remodel a part of your house (I’ve been through that and whoa, it can turn your life upside down)
- buying your first car or even your dream car (maybe you feel like you don’t deserve that nice car or maybe you overstep your financial limits)
- whether or not to allow an adult child in need to move back in you
- going to a marriage counselor (it can have the opposite effect, ie., you go there for one thing and end up working on something different)
- whether or not to take a vacation, where you go and with whom
- any major purchase
There are also smaller decisions, which may not seem so grand when you make them, but they turn you in a direction and/or bring people into your life on the crossroads. I’ll give you another example from my own life. I realized a couple of years ago that I needed Al-Anon in my life. Al-Anon is a fellowship of friends and family members of alcoholics or addicts. It is not for everyone, but it is a very helpful program when you need it to be. I had tried it in 2008 for a while, but it didn’t stick with me then. Desperation led me back in 2014 and that choice I made at that point in my life to look online, find a meeting near my home and it absolutely rocked my world. It was a small, gentle rock at first, but in the months since I began going to those meetings regularly I have been able to face big decisions I never would have before. I have met people that enriched my life in a way I never thought possible and I’ve had the blessed experience of knowing people who do not judge me at all and who love me all the time, no matter what, with no strings.
I could never have told you on that day that I walked into that room that seemingly small choice would lead me down a road to so many large intersections of choices. Can you think of a small choice you made that did the same? In my opinion, those are some of the juiciest bits of life. Sometimes I am just floored by experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met and to think that some of those blessings came from a small choice I didn’t give a lot of thought to.