Mindful Monday: On Monday's I'm going to share what's been on my mind. I by no means have any of this figured out, I'm just thinking out loud here.
I never seem to have an answer to the question, "what's your favorite______?" The perfectionist in me thinks I have to have the perfect answer, or that there is only one answer. What if the answer I give isn't actually my favorite? How can I possibly decide and pick just one thing out of all those options? Being the indecisive, perfectionist, people pleaser that I sometimes am, I'm finally realizing that there are far too many areas in which I have yet to form an opinion for myself. Rather than making a decision, I often just go along with the choices of others, saying I don't really care or it doesn't matter. Of course this doesn't happen in every situation, but apparently enough that I'm aware of it.
For some reason a conversation I had with someone this summer keeps coming to mind. The topic was deeper, but for simplicity sake let's just say the topic was music. Someone asked me what my favorite type of music was and I responded with something along the lines of, 'I pretty much just listen to whatever's already on. I usually let someone else pick the station and most anything goes.' Normally the conversation would move to the next question or topic of small talk, but this time the response caught me off guard. This person looked right at me, saying, "but what do YOU like to listen to? What does Melissa enjoy?" Ummm, what? You actually want to know what I like and aren't just trying to make small talk? You're really listening and interested and my answer matters to you?
That got me thinking, what do I like? There are several areas I've just gone along with other people's preferences or opinions. You know, that go with the flow, don't tip the boat, do things they way they've always been done attitude. I don't make a decision because I don't have to. But what is it that I really enjoy? What is the purpose or motive behind my choices?
What fun to discover new likes and interests. Everything takes on a new perspective. I don't have to pick one favorite for life and chisel it in stone, it can change and grow as I do. Maybe something I thought was my favorite really isn't anymore. There are some things I really don't care or have an opinion about, where either way really is fine with me. But there are others I'm pondering in a new light. The freedom comes in the mindfulness of choice and ability to define and recognize the situation. I can say 'I don't care' or 'it doesn't matter' when I really do mean it, but I can also state my opinion with confidence. It's like an exciting new adventure, called life.
Food for Thought: "We don't need to have just one favorite. We keep adding to our favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They're always with us. We just sort of accumulate them." -Lloyd Alexander