Another new morning, another new beginning, another great cup of coffee after a good night’s sleep; it’s a lovely morning so far. I sip my coffee and think about choices.

Each day shows me a new horizon. Each morning I see it with new eyes.

Each day shows me a new horizon. Each morning I see it with new eyes.

Each morning I wake to choices. I choose whether to turn on the aquarium, or go straight for the bathroom first. I choose whether to put on music – and what music it will be. I choose whether to start the water boiling for my coffee before or after my yoga…and before or after my shower…and before or after I dress; now that I am using an electric kettle, there is no risk of boiling over or leaving a burner on. I chose that too.

When I first see my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I choose how I treat myself, and what observations I focus on, or make time for. This morning I found myself so adorable I made a point of trying to get a picture of how approachably sexy my tousled hair and sleepy smile strike me, myself. I choose whether to enjoy the experience of who I am, or to change it, or to wallow in the misery of ‘I can’t help it!’ – all choices.

When I roll out my yoga mat, I choose whether to take my time or to choose a shorter sequence. I choose whether to focus on the pain and what I can’t do, or to focus on how good movement feels and what I can do. Each morning I choose whether to take an opiate painkiller, even after giving them up completely; this will be a necessary choice to make until I am “completely over it”, and I respect and value myself enough to make it willful, and part of an authentic experience of life, struggle, and change. Each morning I choose, and each morning I move on from that choice content with other options; medical cannabis is enough. That too is a choice.

Pain isn’t a choice, how I deal with it is. Emotions often work that way too; the immediate reactive emotion of the moment may not be fully chosen, but whether and how I express it most assuredly is. I’ve come a long way, in very small increments, from being that woman crying “I can’t choose how I feel!!” to having the understanding that I can choose how I manage my emotions, how I treat other people when I am emotional, and I can choose practices that over time help me become less reactive. Nice choices…and yeah… my results have varied, and there have been verbs involved. Still are.

I choose the clothes I wear. I choose the name I use. I choose where I live, and where I work. I choose whether I smile, and whether I am cross when an unfamiliar man in a public place tells me too smile on a difficult day – I even choose whether I understand that stranger to be ‘encouraging’ or ‘an inappropriately demanding asshole trying to force me into some cultural role comfortable for him’. So many choices. I chuckle thinking about the upcoming election; there’s choice there too, and yes my vote ‘counts’ – if not because someone will be elected, then because it is an expression of who I am, through my choice. Choice, I realize, isn’t exclusively about the outcome that results – it is a statement of self. Well, damn…that makes choosing well, and in accordance with my values, kind of a big deal; it makes a statement about who I am. 🙂

You, too. Unavoidably. Even in the refusal to choose, or the desire to stop others from choosing.

I know, I know, “it isn’t that simple” (isn’t it?); we don’t always get what we choose! Actually…we don’t always get what we want. Choice isn’t a getting, it’s a more active process, and because my own will and my own choices are not the only will and choice in action moment to moment in my experience of life, sometimes… things don’t go as desired, intended, or planned. I chose to move to this bigger apartment – but the landlady chose to approve that change and allow me to do so. Clearly my own choice was not the only choice involved…but…in fairness, reaching back in time all the way to moving into Number 27 in May, every action as a rent-paying tenant from that point built the landlady’s likelihood of approving me to move into the bigger unit less than a year later, didn’t it? That’s a lot of intermediate choices, and I certainly didn’t make them with a future move in mind; I lived my life. From my own perspective, that’s where the future exists – in the choices I make every day, along this journey; when my choices are consistent with my values, and my values support and nurture the woman I most want to be, the resulting life… is mine. It’s mine regardless, but I like to suppose that when I live it authentically, based on values that have served me well and represent the best woman I am capable of being, the life I live on that basis will suit me and I will have a sense of ‘things going my way’ – even when they don’t. 🙂 So far, things seems to be working out pretty much that way.

Bad days are bad days. I have some. Being a human primate comes with some challenges, some difficult moments, emotions on tap, and frequent puzzles and frustrations. Being a human being comes with some amazing opportunities to grow, and to transcend the petty bullshit I could choose instead. The choices are a constant in the midst of continuous change.

How beautiful that each new day I can choose to begin again!

How beautiful that each new day I can choose to begin again!

Today is a good day to choose.