Choose… or it will be chosen.


Not making a decision means you just made a huge choice.

Wait, what? When you think to yourself, I can’t decide this right now… you make a HUGE choice to let the natural consequences take over and give up the ability, the right, to make a purposeful impact or positive outcome of your specific direction.  I HATE giving up that choice.  Often the outcomes of not making good choices are negative ones.

I admit to being a procrastinator. I do that.  A lot.  Usually I don’t to the extent that it makes choices for me, however; though it may greatly impact my sanity while I try to go about undoing the time constraints it laid upon my life.

I’ve been trying hard to help my young teens see this fact and to step forward and make choices.  Every single day there are so many choices to be made.  The biggest choice of (which is SO big in my life, I want it written in bright red letters and in plain sight so I will never forget)  “Choose JOY.  Everyday.”

No matter how hard life is, no matter the circumstances, you can always CHOOSE to focus on the negative and the hard things, or to search for that one small nugget (if that’s all there is that day) of joy, of goodness, of things that aren’t all bad.  Decide to make that one nugget of good truth the main focus.  Make it count and make it the most important thing.

sun

Trust me, I’m not one of those overly sunny personalities who cheerlead about just how WONDERFUL life can be if only you CHOOSE to be happy. Those kinda grate on my nerves. I need the honesty of being allowed to say, “wow, this really sucks,” when life gets kinda crappy.

But I’ve learned there’s a secret, a truth that lives inside each day that you have to consciously force yourself to see. Every single day of your life you will encounter hard things.  It’s true.  What you choose to do with that is everything.

Somedays will actually flat out suck.  Sometimes there’s no other way to say it.  The day just flat out sucks. You can sit and wallow in that fact, and whine about how hard things are, and how it’s not how you want it to be…  OR  you can go find a nugget of sunshine.  A single ray of sun that lights your dark corner and go sit in it.  Like a warm sunbeam on a cold and snowy day where the clouds refuse to break and you shiver continuously… it can warm you like you never imagined possible.

If you sit with it and let it wash over you, then you’ve chosen to let it outshine whatever else is going on.  Saying to yourself, “yeah, well you don’t know my life then, Christi, whoever you are.”  Well you got me there.  That said, YOU don’t have a clue what I have going on, either.  Somedays it takes some crazy hard work to find something sun-ray-worthy…  But I’ll find it.  I’m stubborn like that.  It can even be something as simple as, “I had enough milk to eat my breakfast” vs “I just ran out of milk and now I have to go to the store”.  It’s all perspective, and a big, whopping, heaping helping of choice in how you decide to look at it.

There are lots of decisions to get made and lots of things that wont be fun to deal with coming my way.  I really dont like being unhappy.  Being unhappy is not my favorite thing.  Smiling?  As Buddy the human elf in “ELF” says, “Smiling’s my favorite!”  Yup, mine too Buddy.  Why choose to frown or be down?  You are going to get hit with what may come in this life, but add a dash of what you GET to choose… and whalla!  Presto – you can have sunshine on a cloudy day.  Would you really rather fill a bucket full of your tears?  Really?

So make the choices… dont let the choices find you and decide your outcomes.  I challenge you to CHOOSE Joy.  EVERYDAY.  When life gives you lemons…  yeah, you know.  As cliche as it sounds, it just works.  Mix a batch of lemonade up and invite a friend.  It’s a good thing to share some of that joy and a little sugar goes a long way to making a smile real.

 

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Sweet sugary memories


No matter what, It’s important to remember that sugary sweetness is not reserved for distant memories alone… but for new ones made in ways you dont necessarily see “in the moment”.  Looking back on today, I will choose happily to forget the mess, the insanity, and the obvious lack-of-my-mind when beginning a huge cookie decorating assembly line in my LIVING ROOM!

That’s right… My tiny kitchen is just that, tiny.  It’s hard enough to use the mixer on the counter, find a way to get sticky dough onto hot stone cookie trays, and get things in and out of the oven without adding 3 sets of excited and eager helping hands.  So the decorations moved to the living room… all the better to watch the traditional 5th or 6th rerun of ELF (a family favorite Christmas movie) while we work.  (But yes, to be honest) …it is a tad scary not to obsess about what the living room will look like after – later – when the memories are NOT being made.  Ah, but that is a worry and concern for another time.  Not one to tarnish the memories being made NOW.

So as we went along, with the occasional spat at who was taking too long with the icing thing-a-mabob and who used the most of the treasured snowflake sprinkles, we sealed in sweet cement our memories of another Christmas together, one where my kids are young and still call me Mommy, not Mom or “Hey You”.  It doesn’t even much matter what the cookies look like, all that matters is how yummy they taste going down.  All that mattered today was that I held my kids tight in my heart and they stayed little with magic in their eyes while making our cookies and the famed gingerbread house.  

Today a torch was passed…  I relaxed and let go of the icing decorator cone and let Lindsey do the biggest job.  Then, with pure joy, each kiddo took their turn and we let perfection go by the wayside and instead made some of the best and sweetest memories we ever have.  OH did they taste good going down!  The Gingerbread house sits protected by an army of Nutcrackers and cozy next to the house my Grandma made me before she passed away.  Nearly half the cookies slid down to our tummies, and are no more.  Just a plate full  remain and some of those are already reserved for Santa!

All this is to say – enjoy your traditions, and if you don’t have any yet – start some.  There’s no time better than the today to begin to enjoy life.

With sweet sugary goodness, we pass holiday cheer and blessings on to you…

Merry Christmas!