It starts first thing in the morning. Before you even fully open your eyes. As the first song of the day on the radio sinks deep into your consciousness.
Decisions! Choices! Alternatives!
What to wear, what to eat for breakfast, which fragrance of shower gel to use this morning?
Or is it just me?
I hate throwing open the wardrobe doors to discover that my choices have been limited because my favourite items are languishing in the washing basket or creased at the bottom of the ironing pile. You see I know what I want all along and although I love creating a new look there are other times when I crave the comfort of the familiar.
Oldest son is in year 9, which is “third year” in old money. The year of “options”, picking which subjects to take for the next two years at school. He’s chosen well. Ditching the technical and creative subjects he loathes and sticking with the subjects he enjoys.
He’s thinking ahead to what would be useful for his chosen career – he wants to be a sports journalist. He wants to commentate on football matches and get to go to as many sporting events as he can and get paid for it!
I wish him well and will help him achieve his goals in whatever way I can. They are his dreams and desires and should be cherished.
Youngest son wants to be a Lego designer. He’s creative. Always building the most marvellous models. His head is filled with the constant click, click, click of multi-coloured bricks being assembled into his own fantastic world!
His own choices at school in year 9 will be so different from his brother’s. But I like that, the way both boys are a blend of me and Andrew. Each one shares a pick and mix selection of our creativity, academic ability and sense of humour.
My own options are now far more vast than they have ever been. I have the boys to consider in any choice I make but in the end I am the sole responsible adult. That’s scary and liberating in the same breath.
I have been giving up and reducing the things I “do”, still there are not enough hours in the day! Something always crops up to fill the time.
So I’m trying to streamline even more. The “N” word that once so rarely formed on my lips is now my common currency.
In some ways I am like a stubborn child “I don’t want to do this, so I’m not going to!” Should I stamp my feet too for dramatic effect?!
I’m sure everyone is full of opinions, how I should spend my time, my money. If I do something a bit different I know I’ll get raised eyebrows and tutting.
Does that matter?
Maybe I should look to the boys as my example. They still inhabit a childlike world where anything is possible and their dreams of “what I’d like to be when I grow up” can still come true.
As adults that gets knocked out of us pretty quickly.
Andrew wanted to be a DJ but settled for a life off-shore as that would pay the bills and provide for us. Dreams changed over time and although the DJ one was set aside I know he still pretended up in the den. So often I would catch him up there with his headphones on in his own little world as real as the sporting arena and Lego universe our sons live in.
Perhaps my own options and choices should be coloured by my dreams and desires?
I want to write. That’s apparent more and more as I sit and pour my heart out to you. Where this will lead to I have no idea but I’m going to pursue getting published.
It’s just the same as when I look in my wardrobe and know what I really want to wear. Deep down I know what I want to do. However it’s all too easy to get lost when other things come in, take over and obscure the path we should take.
As you know by now I am a Christian and take my faith very seriously. It’s my faith, family and friends that have seen me this far on my journey.
So once more I take comfort from the Psalms as I weigh up my options and make my choices.
Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the LORD;
Trust him and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
And the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for him to act.
Psalm 37 v 3 - 7