Louise at Recover Your Joy posted a video on choice this morning. The timing was perfect because I am in the midst of making a choice and already feel all the anxiety and loss related to making it.
This video helped me clarify the difficulty by reminding me that every choice involves a loss ... we cannot have one and also have the other, so, in our minds, we are losing one or the other. I remember learning many years ago that the closer the choices are in perceived value, the more difficult it is to make the decision. It would seem, if they were both equal, the choice would be simple, an either/or, flip the coin and be happy with either. But that's not the way it works because, the option not-taken is as valued as the taken one, the perception is that something very valuable has been lost.
As the year comes to an end, I am in planning mode, trying to figure out which way to go with my art, which way to go with my life. It wasn't until I watched the video that I realized how much I'm thinking about the perception by others of my choices. Of course, I also know that people don't think about me or my choices anywhere near as much as I think about what they're thinking about them.
Was that convoluted? One of my favorite jokes makes it simpler:
When I was 20, I worried about what people thought about me.
When I became 40, I quit worrying about what people thought about me.
When I became 60, I realized people weren't thinking about me.
I have some choices to make and watching this video clarified my need to make them from my own space without regard to the perceptions of others. And, when I think about it from that point of view, I realize that the most important thing for me right now is Time. Time for art and time to go at my own pace and in my own directions. Some of the choices I've been considering would take hold of my time and become a dictator of how I use it. It's probably impossible to not have some outside forces directing time but, as much as possible, I want time to be mine ... all mine. So Time is the decider. Any choice which gives me more control over my own time, is good. Any choice which comes with a loss of control over time would have to have an awful lot of other values to make it a reasonable choice.
Time as the clarifying value makes looking at the choices much easier. We'll have to see how this new clarity plays out in making the upcoming choices but I highly recommend the video you'll find on Louise's blog.
About this image: It's about Time -- time the great agent of transformation is always with us, always changing the world around us, always moving from now to then. Life is the ever-shifting sand painting of how we experience time as it swirls around us, blows through us and moves us onward. It is the music that moves us, the dancer that twirls us, the illusion that controls us.