I remember the first time I realized I’d never be able to read all the books ever published. Actually, the first lesson was that I wouldn’t be alive long enough to even read a list of all the titles of the books ever published. It was a sad day and I was reminded of it recently as I perused the shelves of a local used book store. It’s overwhelming for me, that volume of choice. My brain spins and heart yearns to read every word on every musty page, but the reality is so very different: my eyes glaze over as I wander through the stacks, barely taking in every twentieth title…stopping not when I see something new, but when the stream of letters form a name or title with which I am already familiar.
I was reminded of this decades-old pattern yesterday when I re-enacted another little dance of mine: career roulette. This time, I was skimming my gym’s copy of Becoming a Supple Leopard (which is the real name of a real book, I swear). Fascinated by the mechanics of the body, still high on the endorphins from a good workout, I started to daydream about going back to school and getting a degree in exercise science. How interesting it would be to learn more about bodies and how to care for them. My daydream continued and, on the ride home, morphed into the idea that I could perhaps study the psychology of exercise. Why are some humans motivated to move and others not? What is it that tells some people they aren’t cut out to be athletes and should stick to the books? How do people who want to move develop the habit, even when their brains fight them?
You might not be surprised to learn that I only finally ruled out law school as an option a few months ago. Or that I looked at requirements for PA (that’s physician assistant) school as recently as last summer. Or that a PhD in comparative literature or theological ethics is still on the table (the latter being a far more realistic option, which is, in itself, pretty funny). And hey, turns out my third-grade dream of being the first female President of the United States is still in reach.
But I think I’m living into my calling now, working to raise awareness of farmed animal welfare issues among Jesus followers. I know that’s a good purpose, and that I’m uniquely suited for it.
Choices. Roads taken and not taken. How can I, who feel like I have a million choices, spread some of that opportunity around to people who have none? Is it reasonable to feel restless so often? How does a person honor that restlessness and maintain some semblance of stability?
Listening for answers. Headed out to the gym.
3 thoughts on “choices”
you can bend your mind around that issue into even more head-shaking complexity when you consider that, because of that continual myriad of choices available, every time you chose one of them to the necessary exclusion of all of the others that were possible in the moment of your choosing, you forever eliminate an unfathomable number of possible futures that you might have created for yourself.
this is one reason why we have whisky.
Thanks and well done. I replied
By the way, you no longer live in Philadelphia.
I do the same things. Not so much with reading, but desiring to not miss an opportunity to learn and change the world. The Lord will guide us. Comforting to know He mostly does this through simple kindnesses and small acts of love and sacrifice….So faithful He is!
Keep it up in the gym! I’m back there next week!