Election Day


This morning, Coombsie and I will head over to the nearby elementary school, and make some choices.

Choices are on my mind this morning, and not just because it’s Election Day. To “elect,” after all, is to choose. I will make choices based on my political leanings, but I’d be lying if I said a great deal of those choices won’t be fueled by very deep-set personal beliefs, and by parents who tried to instill in my siblings and me a number of core values: consider the source, do the best you can for you, don’t wish your life away.

A choice is also based on experience. I CHOOSE every morning to stay on the path of recovery, because I know that to stray from it is to lose my ability to make any kind of healthy choices. So I choose to stay sober. I choose to ask for help with that.

I am also witnessing the very real, very painful repercussions of what happens when someone makes a choice without considering the ramifications. I spent a good deal of last night talking to a dear friend who has been laid real low by a choice that someone made. She’s suffering. Her children are suffering. And I said that sometimes you have to make the decision to accept something that you cannot change. You have to let certain trains derail, and all you can do is hold your loved ones tight. And choose to walk through the bad feelings with dignity.

I’m not always very good about making that last particular choice, even as I know that this is the choice that has never led to MORE bad feelings. I hurt, and I want someone else to hurt. It has been very, very difficult to navigate this latest situation with anything like maturity. But I’m choosing today to be there for my friend, nothing more. Because the rest of it is none of my business, as much as I’d like to make it my business. Today I am choosing to, as my friend Nick always says, “keep my eyes on my own desk.”

At the end of today, we’ll see what our collective choices have yielded. Some of us are going to be disappointed. Some of us are going to be elated. We can CHOOSE how we’ll process those feelings.

But to make no choice at all is to deny ourselves the privilege of choice.