Sunday, November 28, 2010

Decisions matter

Tonight I went out for dinner at a nice place with my relatives. I only see my relatives every few months, and while that's not that long, it certainly makes you realise that it is quite a bit of time when you see their faces. It's not that one person's aged significantly, you just realise the changes immediately when you see them and when everyone starts talking about their lives.

Anyway, during our dinner, I noticed three things:

1. My one-year-old cousin Jonathan has grown and changed significantly. A few months back, he was just a baby. And now, it seems as though he has a character of his own. He's playful, adorable and just so active all the time. Shows just how much change a few months can bring.

2. It is possible to enjoy a dinner with very little input. Try, no input at all. Just seeing my cousins' faces and watching their crazy antics were enough to make my night.

3. Decisions matter.

Now, that last one was really the key one for me tonight. I noticed when I saw my aunt caring for her two kids, three-year-old Phoebe and her recent child, Jonathan. It's wonderful, watching her care for them, before you realise that it takes so much work to look after a child. I look at her, and I really do admire her.

She's highly educated, and very capable at what she does, from what I've heard from my mum. And yet, she withdrew from the workforce and decided to look after her children, and in today's society, that's rare. Many mothers now work either part-time, or work full-time and send their kids to child care. I admire Herda's (my aunt) decision to be a stay-at-home mum and making her kids priority number one. It's not to say that mums who work do not make their kids their first priority -- of course they do, but it's different in the sense that they still want to work, whereas Herda is putting her full focus on her kids.

It shows that decisions really do matter. They change everything, and it's not to say that they'll change for the bad, but a decision changes someone's life. Herda made a decision to stay at home and make Phoebe and Jonathan her priority, and that changes her life and her children's lives. And it's a huge decision, as it comes with great responsibilities and sacrifices to be made. It's so stressful to be a stay-at-home mum, and it's hard work. I truly do admire that, and it makes me wonder if I would come to the same conclusion when I'm in her situation in a few decades' time.

Of course, some decisions we make are not as life-changing as the one that Herda made, but they still matter. To me, it's like these little decisions building up to the big one. When we make a decision, we're making an educated view of things and as we make more decisions, we learn more about ourselves and what we want in our lives. Make some wrong decisions, and tell you kids and grandkids about them when you're older, and have a laugh. However, make sure make most of your decisions the right ones -- and to do that, I believe you need to have a certainty in what you want in your life. Whether right or wrong, in the end, all the decisions in your life matter. Yes, that includes choosing between jam or peanut butter to put on your toast in the morning. Our decisions define who we are, and as cliche as that sounds -- it's true.

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