I have been thinking for the past couple of weeks about writing an article on choices but I couldn’t quite decide how I wanted to write it. I have been talking about choices to my college students and focusing on the choices they make when they ride. I was thinking that was what the focus of the article would be. In fact, I was sitting down in the late afternoon after prepping my gardens for winter and was about to start writing when there was a bit of a change in my plans. My cell phone battery was at 10% and when I plugged it in my phone flashed up a message that it didn’t recognize the charger and therefore it wouldn’t charge. I use this charger all of the time but I figured I would try one of my others. Nothing worked. Now the battery was at 8% and I needed to do something to fix the situation.

I had some choices facing me. I could sit there stuck and rattled not being able to decide what to do or I could choose to take action and go to Verizon to get it fixed. That was a pretty easy choice as I couldn’t get it to work so off to Verizon I went. Now here is where the important choices really came in. It is about a 20-25 minute drive to the Verizon store. I could have chosen to be really angry and annoyed at this change in my plans and the time I would be wasting. I could make the decision that I was having a bad day or I could choose to let go of any frustration and anger and just drive there in peace and get the problem fixed. I chose the latter as I have finally learned that the other choice would do me no good and the stress I would create in myself becoming angry would actually cause more harm.

But there were still more choices to be made. During this drive I could have run the whole wheel of thoughts about all of the outcomes that may occur when I got to the store and become very anxious. I will admit I started down that road thinking; is it still under warranty, what if I have to buy a new phone, what will it cost and on and on. But I pretty quickly shifted gears and decided why worry about something that hasn’t happen. So I continued quietly on my drive.

When I got to the store I chose to be really nice to the woman who met me at the door and did not complain or make any demands. I explained my situation and she smiled, took my phone cleaned out the charging port, plugged it in and all was working well! Very simple fix and I smiled gratefully, thanked her and wished her a good night. I was out of the sore in less 5 minutes and on my way home.

My last choice was choosing to see the positive in the situation. It was a beautiful drive as the fall foliage is still so pretty. I was home in less than an hour and I now had the perfect, simple life event that I could use to talk about the choices we have in life. In the past I would have become angry, stressed and worried about this little blip in my life’s radar making it a huge negative event. But I now am better at stopping my habitual patterns and making better choices and therefore I am a much happier person.

We all face choices every day, big and small. It is our decisions on how we choose to respond to life’s events that can make life a wonderful or miserable experience. It is not the events that do it to us. Even when we face terrible life events we can choose to walk through life in grace or in misery. We can choose to stay stuck in our problems or find our way through them and look for the lessons in front of us. How do you want to choose to go through life? You have the power to make positive choices and changes or stay suck in your old behaviors. No one can do it for you.