White Picket Fences

We envision the life we see ourselves having, and I’m not sure if we are lucky or not if we get that life. I guess it depends on the wisdom of each dream, or dreamer. Anyway, most of us have some illusion of white picket fences. Not literally, of course, but the idea that we will be happy if we have X or Z and that’s all we’ll need. But, as you get closer to X or Z, one might realize the choosing is harder.

Do we stay at home with our children, work full time, or something in between? Do we learn how to cook to please our in-laws, friends, or (god forbid) husbands? Do we try a juice cleanse or give up gluten? (I know, very 1950’s housewife examples but that’s what is on my brain…)

A friend recently told me she thinks the harder choice is always the right choice. I’m not sure if I agree, but I am thinking about it. Does that mean we are wired to resist what is right for us? Does that mean, since we gravitate to whatever our white picket fence is, that it is incorrect for us?

I think the goal is to ensure we stay flexible. Maybe we’ll get that fence, but maybe we won’t. Maybe we fall short of other people’s dreams for us (so what?). Life’s challenges are going to arrive precisely when we are NOT ready for them, so all we can do is stretch ourselves farther than we think we can, be kinder to others than we think we can, and breathe deeper, more often than we think we need.

It seems to me, my dreams get closer – then farther – then closer. It seems I get that snow storm in May, but as soon as I am just about done heaving that snow off the proverbial driveway, the snow melts away on its own. 

I won’t wish my next struggle upon myself, but I also don’t regret having to use my grit to get to where I am. It makes my feel happier with whatever white picket fences do finally come my way…and appreciation is always a good thing.

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