I spent the weekend relaxing quietly, and taking care of me. I considered writing more, once or twice, and even had the occasional worthy notion to reflect upon. I chose differently. Instead, I took care of myself gently, and spent the weekend relaxing, recovering from the long week, and building emotional resilience for the week to come.

In the middle of autumn, a rose blooms.

In the middle of autumn, a rose blooms.

This morning I scroll through my feed noting the pendulum swing of opinion in action; French flag overlays disappearing quietly in favor of newly outraged articles about terrorism elsewhere in the world, other deaths, other wounds, other pain, accompanied by reminders that all these lives matter as well and… where was everyone then? I see articles wisely counseling the use of language that refrains from honoring terror groups with dignified titles, and asking that we not culturally dignify terrorists with honorifics or titles crafted to convey legitimacy. That makes sense to me, language has power. The reactive articles from pundits on the opposite end of the political spectrum reflexively spit back resentment that any change is asked of ‘the righteous and justified’, seemingly unaware that being one of ‘the good guys’ requires acts of goodness, not just a naming convention. What a mess we’ve made. Certainly, it is at times like these that it is most apparent we are very fancy monkeys; we do not easily agree on what is ‘good’ or most suited to our kind.

It’s strange how little part politics has to play in the life of any one individual human being. It’s a choice. One choice among so many, and we make tons of small choices every day. Treating each other well, truly, and without regard to our origins, our politics, our lifestyle, our beliefs, or our circumstances, is something to aspire to. People who successfully treat everyone quite well are a joy to be near, to stay connected to – to love. Behavior is chosen. What choices must I make differently to be that person – someone who treats everyone quite well, and is a joy to be near? How do I change the world when I make choices based on whether or not the outcome fits into ‘treating others well’? I reflect on these things most days.  It isn’t enough to consider, to think, or to wonder; there are verbs involved. There is a need for balance; among all the people I wish to treat well is one person I am often most likely to overlook – myself.

A busy work week begins soon. How will I choose my actions to ensure I treat myself, and those around me, truly well? What choices will I make to secure a comfortable experience, pleasant, fulfilling, and content? What choices will I make to provide that experience to others? How can I do better by the woman in the mirror today, than I did yesterday?

Blue sky between rain showers.

Blue sky between rain showers.

I turn the thoughts over in my head somewhat fretfully. I notice I am picking at the edges of my cuticle, left hand, index finger. I smile, and recognize that as small as it is, I could start with not tearing my hands to shreds with fussing and worrying. It’s a start. However small, as starting points go, each moment I choose to stop something damaging, and continue with something helpful, I begin again. Each new beginning holds the power to change the world.  Perhaps it isn’t ‘everything’ – but it is more than nothing, and it is enough to choose, and to choose again. It is through our choices that we change the world.