Last week I wrote about the difficulty of making changes, and how challenging it can be to do so, even when the change is something you desire. But what about when you have don’t get to make a choice? How does one navigate those situations in life where you are powerless to impact the situation at all?
I’ve experienced a couple of these moments this fall. My son moved away to attend college. Our exchange student had to return home. Our once bustling home has grown quiet. Instead of feeling that I have a million things to do, I find myself alone and trying to fill the hours with something meaningful.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in regret. Why didn’t I take the time to do more with the kids when they were here? Why did I get frustrated and short with them instead of enjoying every moment with them?
And then there is sadness. I miss them both terribly. And there’s nothing I can do to turn back the clock to those happy times we once shared.
Even when we cannot control what is happening around us, we do have control over how we are going to deal with these challenging situations. If I choose regret and sadness, I can live in misery. Or I can choose to be grateful for the wonderful memories that we made together, and find a new way to stay connected to these people that I love. And instead of moping around the house, I can put my energy into making each day the best that it can be.
Are you choosing happiness or misery in your life?