It’s a lesson I learn over and over: life doesn’t have a right answer.
But I still think it should.
I grew up in the school of perfection. It’s taking a long time to undo that education – at 27, I’ve still not graduated remediation, and certainly not with any honors. It’s hard to turn off that be-all, do-all setting.
This year, life asked a lot of questions and none of the answers were simple. There wasn’t a script to turn to, to help decide what was right. So we made it up as we went. Some decisions Scott & I made this year:
- To sell our house at a loss.
- To live in an apartment rather than start building immediately.
- To buy a tractor.
- For me to change jobs – twice.
- To take a step back from ministry for a while.
- For me to quit my only recurring freelance gig.
- To then pay for surgery for a cat.
- To not really celebrate Christmas.
Decision making takes a lot of guts. Certainly it takes a lot of energy. Even if those decisions seem silly (buying a tractor?!?), they take a lot out of you.
Even deciding not to do something is gutsy – will I be missing out? Will I let someone down with my “no”? What if I do?
I’m learning that life is gutsy: the everyday living, the deciding to show up once more, and then again the next day. The choosing between or creating an instead.
Yes, the BIG decisions are also gutsy: moving to a new state, changing majors, walking away from a relationship that’s not working. But I think the decisions we make every day affect us more than we realize: What time do we roll out of bed? Will I spend my evening watching T.V. or writing that book? Will I give enough attention to exercise or drinking water? Will I make time to call my grandmother on her birthday?
This constant choosing is the gutsy part of life. Taking action. Moving forward into the unknown. Every day we make decisions that shape our lives. We are gutsy to continue to make them when the choices aren’t clear or easy.
There was no singular, defining gutsy moment for me this year. But I feel like I made a lot of smaller, still-gusty choices that added up to a whole year of change. I am more disciplined this year than I was last. Instead of meeting setbacks and retreating, I recognized what was hard, altered course, and kept going. And I learned a lot about myself along the way. I think that is the right answer to life’s questions: learn something and keep going.
Did you have a defining “Gutsy” moment this year?
Did you step outside your comfort zone in 2014 to do things you once never thought possible? Have big plans for 2015? Bright, shiny, big goals you want to crush in the New Year? If so, you need to enter Jessica Lawlor’s Second Annual Get Gutsy Essay Contest! Check out her blog for details and get your entry in by January 13, 2015.
My entry from last year: Gutsy with Intent: On Deciding & Doing
Image courtesy of sneugle. on flickr creative commons.