The hardest thing

Published by Lori Pickert on February 15, 2010 at 04:10 PM

The whole problem with people is … they know what matters, but they don’t choose it … The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters. — Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees


Comment by Jill on February 15, 2010 at 05:35 PM

Yeah, I 've noticed this in my own life. Why is this???

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 15, 2010 at 07:03 PM

maybe that’s the meaning of life. :^)

Comment by Brynn on February 16, 2010 at 01:13 AM

This is the affirmation I need! Seems after the birth of each of my children, I experience a secret mini self-identity crisis and my mind frantically wanders to all the careers I want to pursue/wish I had pursued. I come back around and realize my place at home with my sons is really where I want to be because it is what really matters (while also realizing that career dreams and life at home are not mutually exclusive, and that I am perhaps growing more with my children than I would elsewhere). Anyhow, I am posting this somewhere. Don't think there are any more post-pregnancy crises ahead (no more pregnancies!), but nonetheless, it sure affirms why I wake up each morning to spend my day with my three sons...because it matters, and it's really fun!


Comment by Kimberly Hosey ... on February 16, 2010 at 05:13 AM

Excellent reminder. Kids seem to be pretty good at choosing, in my experience. Maybe we need to just not forget as we grow older.

Comment by Cristina on February 16, 2010 at 02:22 PM

It's hard because all change is hard. It's leaping into the unknown.

I've seen my own daughter have panic attacks over new situations even if she knows she will enjoy them, simply because she doesn't know what to expect from them. I've taken to surprising her with these situations. I actually sprang her first interview on her with the library. I knew they wanted her to work there, and that she would love to work there, so I just waited until we were leaving for the library to tell her they wanted to interview her. :o) The less time she has to think about the situation, the better.

Peace and Laughter!

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 16, 2010 at 03:18 PM

brynn, i think it feels like that time with young ones is going to last forever .. but (alas!) .. it’s doesn’t .. and there is lots more life ahead, with more freedom and time to pursue your own ideas and dreams. and absolutely, you can still pursue these things while you are home with children. :)

i do think that when we see our time with our kids as a deliberate, thoughtful choice, we can appreciate and enjoy it more.

kim, what a great point — kids do seem to always hone in on the authentic things!

cristina, lol re: ambushing your daughter. :)

interesting that you read “change” into the quote .. i read it and thought about that inner voice that seems to always be calling you in one direction, while you struggle with the demons of other people’s opinions, society’s beliefs, your own fears, etc.

it also made me think of this thoreau quote:

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

Comment by Cristina on February 16, 2010 at 03:49 PM

Ah, but as I see it, all choices involve some degree of change. "They know what matters, but they don't choose it" gives me that particular feeling. Why don't we make the choice? Because it involves change. It may only be changing your attitude about living up to other's standards, but this is still a change. Demons of other people's opinions, society's beliefs, your own fears, etc. are what keep us in the familiar rather than making the courageous step of reaching for something different.

Within my own homeschooling society, I see people who choose this rougher path but still hold onto the accepted cultural norms. They want to homeschool, BUT they also want to be assured their child will be accepted in colleges (this coming from parents with children as young as four!). They clearly see all the problems within their public schools, BUT they want to be assured their child has a fulfilling social life. They want to unschool, BUT they fear their child will make poor choices and ruin their lives. It all comes down to deciding between the devil you know and the uncertainty of the future.

I'm sorry! I'm somewhat unconventional in my thinking! I do like your Thoreau quote. I can see examples of the fear of change in that as well. :o)

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 17, 2010 at 01:49 PM

i don’t see it as unconventional at all — just a slightly different perspective. and sharing and discussing is what it’s all about. :^)

i see what you are saying about choice & change. and oh, i agree about the “devil you know”. parents are looking for a guarantee, as if there were such a thing, and they seem willing to settle for the guarantee that their child will at least be in the same position as the other children their age — no better, but no worse?

going back to what i was saying to jill, i think this *is* one of the crucial lessons we are teaching our children by example — choosing what matters, which is sometimes hard, which, as you say, often means swimming against the tide.

both the thoreau quote and this one make me envision someone narrowing in on what they want to do with their life … getting rid of the extraneous, choosing what matters.

Comment by molly on February 25, 2010 at 04:54 AM

Love this. Thank you.

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