Freeplaylife Challenge:: Week 20!

The last time I blogged, I was moving 80 mph down I-10 towards New Orleans. Since then I’ve been across Mississippi, Alabama, and down into the Florida keys. Then back up again finally flying into Atlanta today. It’s been a whirlwind for certain with limited wifi and even less access to sleep, but I knew sooner or later I’d catch up with both. In the meantime, I did what I could to enjoy where I was at. This wasn’t difficult.

And so I have sleep, wifi, and family here in Georgia (along with Krispy Kreme, Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, and sweet tea) –all is well!

I am happy.

Strike that.

I am choosing to be happy.

I could also choose to be unhappy. There are mosquitoes, bad riptides at the Florida beaches, humidity, traffic, uncomfortable heat, rude drivers.

I could choose to be anxious. When I get back from this trip, I won’t have a home to go back to since my lease ran out and everything is in storage. My money this month is dwindling at an alarming pace. I can’t remember if I forwarded my mail. I think I have 3 parking tickets in LA that I haven’t paid from months and months ago.

I could choose to be a lot of things, but since all that takes just as much effort (sometimes more) I’ll go ahead and spend my time choosing to be happy.

This week, the challenge isn’t to choose to be happy all the time. Instead, it’s to be aware of what you’re choosing. Replace words like “I have to” or “I feel” or “I am” with a simple “I choose to…”

You may feel obligated to do lots of shit. You may feel guilted into it. Bullied to finish it. Shamed by someone to help out with it. But you never ever really “have” to do something. You may do it under duress, but you are still choosing to do it. When you do things because of having to, then the power rests outside of yourself. When you do things because you grab hold and claim it, then the power rests with you. It’s a world of difference.

I don’t mean this in a the way that so often happens when people take the idea that each of us has the power and ability to choose how we react to a situation and turn it into a weapon of douchebaggery. “Oh, you aren’t happy when I ___________? Well that’s your choice, don’t blame how you feel on me!” I mean it in the most holistic way possible.

Every day you choose yes or no. Every day you choose to shift into a million and one emotions. I notice that a vast majority of people would rather pretend to be inauthentically happy than actually be authentically angry/sad/anxious/unsure.

This week, choose to be who/what you are. Choose to feel what you really feel. Choose to do what you are really doing. Verbalize it that way. Be comfortable with it that way. Yeah, the dude in the car ahead of you may have cut you off but he’s not the one with the power to make you angry. You are. Sure the passive aggressive asshole may have guilted you into baking 3423904823049 cupcakes for the big kid/parent picnic, but she’s not the one with the power to make you stay up all night cooking…you are.

No more “have to” “wish I could” “want to” this week. This week is all about what you are actually choosing to do.

Go get em, Tiger!

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5 Comments

  1. spot on. another perfectly said blog. thank you.

  2. Once again, perfect timing, my friend. <3 thank you.

  3. Linda /

    Right on! I think this is the key to true emotional maturity and intelligence.

  4. OMG. So perfect for today. I chose to write an email to my mom to whine a little bit to get the issue out of my system (writing things down helps me finish thinking about them) and then I’ll just choose to not let it bother me because it’s not my problem if other people are crazy.

  5. Alex /

    Yes perfect timing. I made some tough choices this week and I’m ok with them because I decided.

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