“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.”I got this quote in my inbox on Friday. As I read it, I just smiled because it is so simple, yet makes so much sense. How many times have we stayed on the same path for far longer than is good for us because it is easier than making a change? I know I have- far too often.
― Steven D. Woodhull
A prime example is getting out of Massachusetts. For many, many years my Grandmother (rest her soul) and my parents advised me to get out of there. They offered us a place to stay in Indiana so we could make a life for ourselves out here. For those same years- we had a million "reasons" (read-excuses) why we should stay there but what it boiled down to was that it was the life we knew. Even though Massachusetts has an incredibly high cost of living, even though we struggled month to month- it was easier than picking up and changing our lives completely. Of course- now we know by having made that move coming up on three years ago- it was the best thing we could have done.
We also know that had we listened to our loved ones years ago- Josh would not be facing the exact same conundrum right this minute. Josh is having a tough time of it up there. We have offered him a home, my parents have offered him a home, my sisters have offered him a home- all in different places across the country- all with the possibility of a fresh start. He, like his parents before him, is trying his hardest to make it work where he is comfortable. What he doesn't realize is that all of us understand how hard it is to make that change and we only want to hold open the door to possibilities for him. It is up to him to walk through that door.
Choosing to take the road less traveled is just that- stepping through a door and opening up a world of possibilities. It's a chance to re-invent yourself and to (as Oprah is wont to say) "Live your best life". It's literally a chance to have a mulligan or a "do over". You can go someplace were very few (or no) people know you. They don't know your history, they don't know your mistakes, they only know what they see of your words and actions from this day forward. Sounds good doesn't it? No matter how good it sounds it can very, very hard to make that first step. It means physically walking away from what you consider "home". Even though there are email, IM, phones, it means "leaving" your friends. It means leaving your comfort zone. Stepping out of that comfort zone can be very SCARY- but if you take that leap it can be equally gratifying.
In going back to the quote at the beginning of this blog- I cannot be grateful enough that we did exactly what Mr. Woodhull advises and made another choice. Having taken that chance, having stepped out of our comfort zone, having opened ourselves up to the possibilities has given us more blessings than we could ever have imagined. Most importantly, it has allowed us to find out who we are and not have to live up to what others think. It has allowed us to reinvest in our relationship with one another and if possible we are happier now than we were as newlyweds. It has give us peace, in our home, in our hearts and our souls. Would I recommend the road less traveled- you bet I would because if you keep your mind and your heart open- it can change your life immeasureably.