You chose this tree, this limb, this saw, this sawing motion, this air.

You made a lot of decisions along the way that got you to this point. Nothing is by accident. You look at other people and you think, he has a better job, a cuter wife, a nicer husband, more obedient kids, and you forget, you chose this life.

I have a friend who I’ve known for twenty some years, and I used to think, I wish my life were as easy as his. This guy taught for forty years at a community college.  He retired at exactly the right age for obtaining the maximum teacher retirement  benefit.  He never married or had a live in girlfriend and he’s never had children.  He is very careful with his money and since he is not responsible for anyone, he’s never had to bail out a son, nephew or niece, who was shoplifting lipstick at Target or got caught with his pants down or skirts up.  His life is quiet and without big incidents.  He drives a safe car; he buys the cheapest gas.  He saves most of his money.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he has no debts and a top notch credit score.  He eats at nice restaurants.  He lives in a perfect world.

I’ve been married twice.  I have two kids, two step kids, a husband, an ex husband.  I have many friends who lean on me.  Having invested all our resources, in fact, we’ve hawked everything we’ve ever owned, to start a publishing company, we are people who live risk, challenge, opportunity.  We are not safe.  We have people who love us and count on us.  But, we are out on a limb every day.  We do not go to fancy restaurants.  We cook.

I have a friend who is a very successful doctor.  At some point, she was wishing that she could be an editor like me.  She certainly could retire from medicine at some point and get into editing; she has skill, but I explained to her that I get to be an editor because I made sacrifices.  I am not in a big house; I am not a member of a country club.  Let’s face it, I can’t afford martinis except on rare occasions.  But I do get to be an editor.  I made choices that led me into the publishing world and the writing world and here I am.

And one day, my friend of the perfect credit score said to me, It’s not fair to be angry with me because you don’t have what I have.  I made my choices.  I chose this life.  You chose your life, and even though I can be a real pain in the ass, I knew he was right.  I chose this life and I might as well enjoy it.  I chose this tree. I chose this limb. I climbed out on this limb.  I saw the ground. I took a saw.  I started sawing my limb.  I felt the lift of limb for a moment, then air.  Enjoy this air.  I say to myself.  Enjoy breathing. Enjoy this falling sensation.  Take deep breaths.  Open your eyes.  Is this flying? Or falling? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

Published in: on June 19, 2015 at 1:06 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. “You choose your life” is my new mantra. Thanks for writing this at this time.

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