Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is a chess match. Every decision that you make has a consequence to it. P.K. Subban

Do we get to, want to, have to, or should do things in our lives, and do how we look at these things change them? I have to water my dahlias becomes I get to water my dahlias. I have to phone Mom becomes I get to phone Mom. It won’t be long and watering dahlias won’t be an option, they will be done for the year, but I can enjoy them now. 

We cannot turn every have-to into a want-to. Sometimes we just have to do it and get it over with and go about our life. Do we have to go for a walk, usually not, but we may want to, or think we should, and if we are lucky we get to. There are people who do not get to say,” Let’s go for a walk,” because they are unable to walk. How lucky are we if we can and do? Many people cannot water or weed their gardens because they do not have one. Not everyone gets to cook today, some because they are not able; because they are no longer in their own home, and some because they have no food to cook.

We may have things on our list we don’t want to do, but feel we should, we must, or we have to do. Is our life the sum of the choices we have made? If we want a better life do we need to make better choices? What if we chose to go for a walk every day? What if we chose to eat for health? The two choices that lead to the greatest amount of happiness in our lives I think are the choice of who we choose as a spouse and what we choose as our livelihood. Perhaps if we realized what a momentous choice it was when we made them we would be so filled with fear we wouldn’t make a choice at all. We make our choices and then we live with them and hopefully make the best of them.

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. John C. Maxwell

When we visit somewhere with breathtaking vistas of mountains, oceans, and scenery that take our breath away we think what would our lives be like if we could live here? Life would still be life with all its challenges but does living amongst beauty add to our lives? There is beauty everywhere if we look for it. It might not be the grandeur of snow-covered mountain peaks, but we can stroll in a park, a public garden, or if we are lucky our own garden.

Having our own garden to sit in is a joy; to be surrounded by greenery and flowers gives us a lift. My garden needs tending because the weeds are taking over, and if we let them they do take over. If we weed every week it isn’t that daunting but with going away and not weeding since we got back I have to get out there and create order out of chaos.

I wonder if our life isn’t always moving towards one of two extremes, too orderly, or too chaotic. Too orderly has never been one of my failings and I’ve sometimes thought it might be better to be too orderly than too chaotic if one had to choose, but too orderly may be harder to live with. It is finding the balance that is the challenge.

Choices, choices, choices, if we are lucky we have choices to make, if we are wise we make the right ones. The challenge is to know which choice will be the best one over time. Tonight I can work in the garden or go to the gym but doing both will be a challenge. I think the garden should win out. I could have weeded this weekend but Saturday it rained, and yesterday we had visitors. I could have, I would have, I should have, but I didn’t do it so it is still to be done. I get to, I want to, I have to, and I should, so I will and then it will be done until it needs to be done again.

Is making our lives better as easy as choosing what is the next thing we must do, can do, should do, get to do, or want to do and then do it?

The quality of your life ultimately depends on the quality of your decisions. Ray Dalio

The hardest decisions in life are not between good and bad or right and wrong, but between two goods or two rights. Joe Andrew

Nothing happens until you decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward. Oprah Winfrey

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