We are faced with decisions daily. Some that will alter the course of our lives, others that will merely take us to the next moment. It’s easy to look back and second guess. But from any vantage point there is always the next crest where we can see even more. We evaluate how something is or looks in a moment, make a decision, then judge our decision a little further along the way. But on the next peak, everything may look differently. And, viewed from space, it just might make sense.
We made the decision to buy a trailer and live on the land. Soon after, the “stank” appeared which instigated the exploration inward to uncover the odor. 3+ months later, after various patching attempts and septic pump-outs, we have learned that the problem is a much larger than hoped. Not only does the tank need to be replaced but the wood underneath the bathroom floor has rotted due to the leakage of sewage over time. Lovely, huh? And, yes, it seems absolutely impossible that the dear sweet couple who sold it to us were in the dark… As you know, we moved out a few weeks ago due to the excessive heat and lack of shade which was also a bump in the road we didn’t anticipate. Did we make the wrong decision to buy the trailer and attempt that path?
On Monday, my trusty steed (my 2003 very high mile Acura) began to cough. Taking her to the doctor the next day, I learned that her medical bill exceeded her meager value. Another crossroad. Not a great time to add an expense or a car payment, I did my due diligence and drove 5 different types of cars and researched more on line. After many conversations with David, and a few early morning stress sessions, we pulled the trigger and are now the proud lessee’s of a brand spanking new Acura. Did we make the right decision?
Our typical pattern in buying cars is to purchase used with higher miles and affordable price tags. This strategy is good at the onset but less good when the problems start. My car went for 188,000 miles and could have been patched up to roll along further but now we are considering trips across country and want a reliable vehicle. Hmmm, decisions…
In contemplating the colder months, we may get out of dodge. If we move back into Flame in September when we return from the tropics (which gets my vote), we can most likely live there through October until the snow flies in earnest. Then we may head East or West. David’s work takes him to Seattle regularly so a two-month stint there is seeming likely. Then, we have the old stomping ground of Rhode Island where we might settle for a short bit in a family home near the beach. Yes, deep winter is not the best time to be at the beach but we adventurous spirits may don wetsuits and go anyway. This new vehicle will be a happy ride to either shore – or both. GPS, surround sound, reliability and decent gas mileage with space for a small amount of stuff, roof racks for the rest, and room for the dogs. Will any of this be the right decision?
There is something about making decisions from a home-base that buoys confidence. Spreading maps that stay for days across a kitchen counter; researching locales, vehicles or trailer purchases from the comfort of a living room couch – and thinking about these things over a period of time seems to provide the perfect cooking temperature. Most of our decisions, made from other people’s living rooms or basements, seem to come out partially baked – or seriously raw.
In 12-step programs there are “promises” of what life can be like if we do the work. One particularly poignant line states, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it”. In practicing my program over the years, mostly I have few (if any) regrets. In this interesting time of upheaval, I find myself second guessing most decisions down to the color underwear I buy. Do I really like that color? Should I buy two pairs? Does my underwear need to match my bra? Mental masturbation is what it is called and I have gotten quite good at it. Should I? What if? Will I wish I hadn’t? Did I do the wrong thing? Is all lost? Will I regret this? Am I failing? The obsessive rush of judgment probably isn’t even questions, it is answers. You made the wrong decision, again, you f-d up, you are failing – you suck… Nice, huh?
I watch myself do this. I can heap on judgment that I do this – or I can merely continue to watch. Today, I start a 3 day course on Shamanism. Called to this path for a while, I am finally ready. After a few great sessions early in this journey with a shaman, I explored further training. Not ready the first time the course was offered, as I was still coming out of my skin, the time has now come. I will pack for the weekend and stay in Boulder tonight. I don’t know what to expect but am ready for the plunge. This morning, walking the dogs the trees seemed extra shimmery. Are the spirits of the trees welcoming me to their world? Am I just noticing the welcome that is always there? As I scoop poop from the damp grass, I contemplate the meaning of life. For so long, I hoped there was a point of arrival. I craved it, actually. Even if the words I spoke declared my understanding that no point of arrival exists, secretly I prayed, “say it isn’t so!” I want to get there, arrive there, be there, stay there. I want safety, certainty and guarantees. I hoped if I just uncovered enough, explored enough, read enough, I could finally arrive.
Yesterday, one of my old friends expressed concern for my well-being after reading my blog. Knowing this concern was well-meant and based in love, I inquired. Is my being well? Am I doing this ok? Should I be baring my angst and my soul publicly? Should I share the depths of despair, the darkness, the pain? Should I poke fun at myself, laugh at the ridiculous and even go as far as doing another stand- up routine about walking through fire? Am I off the mark? Have I lost my rocker?
I did lose my rocker. It burned up in a fiery inferno. Now, rocker-less, I dance on the edge of darkness. I glory in the shimmer of the trees. I inhale the sweetness of Tigger’s brow. I revel ‘eau de new car’ and 9 miles on the odometer. Today, I embark on a shaman’s journey and wonder if shaman’s can drive luxury vehicles. I will stop for a fast food breakfast on the way (Einstein’s of course). I will put the petal to the metal and dig the sound of a herd of horses kicking into gear. I will find a way to pay for Flame’s repair determined not to abandon the dream of the open road in a vintage Airstream so early in the game. I will read the manual on my Acura. I will snuggle in my itchy red blanket that I carried from my house as I lay on the ground under the Colorado sky and converse with the spirit guides.
I will stay sober. I will stay true to my ever changing path. It’s likely I will continue to obsess about finding the right I-phone case and spend hundreds of dollars in my quest. I will love my friends. I will love my husband. I will drink strong coffee. I will recycle – yet occasionally throw out a plastic bottle in a gas station trash bin. I will keep writing. I will keep stretching and growing. I will cry. I will laugh. I will forget people’s names. I will fart. I will burp. I will highlight my hair. I will stop and smell the roses. I will stop and smell my underarms. I will wonder if I am eating enough vegetables. I will eat frozen yogurt for dinner. I will fight with my husband and then I will make up. I will love my dogs and be the best mom possible.
As I write, a charcoal grey beauty sits in the driveway waiting for me to turn the key, remembering my seat position, A/C and audio preferences, ready to go whenever I am, adorned with moonroof, leather seats, and iPhone piped through the sound system. She will transport me safely to get my shaman on.
Bad decision? I choose to think not.