10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Make A Change
The house is still. It’s the middle of the night so…that’s appropriate.
The only sound I can hear is the soft whrrrrr of the refrigerator, which spends its nights keeping my kale and green drink ingredients cool and fresh.
Damn you stainless steel box of cold air! (yelled dramatically while waving a fist).
Why can’t my protein, vegetable laden juices taste like a chocolate malt?
Is that too much to ask?
I’m submitting a formal complaint right here and now. This healthy shit has GOT to start tasting better…or else…
My refrigerator has undergone a recent renaissance.
It seems to follow my life’s trajectory. Right now it’s all cleanses, bitter greens and shit.
I’m home most days writing, so I give myself very few options so I won’t cheat with fat infused deliciousness. As a matter of fact there is nothing delicious within a three-mile radius. I’d have to get in my car and drive to get it, and my laziness overrules my craving for gooey goodness, so I think technically, I’m not an addict, which gives me some solace.
What I am is: a vessel seeking clarity…with a bad attitude…in dire need of a cheeseburger.
For about two decades the freezer in my apartment contained two things: vodka and cigarettes (if you’re just a casual smoker, keeping cigs in the freezer keeps them fresh) not even an ice-cube dared show its face. Later, ground coffee replaced the cigarettes.
Quick story about how THAT happened.
Back in ’93 when I had my first “energy work” done, a friend came by the apartment to get the dirt. Remember, I had been violently ill for three days.
She was one of my gossip girls, so she knew about the cigcicles, and since she could tell my story was going be juicy and warrant a smoke, she walked over to the kitchen, which was just to the left of where I was sitting, and opened the freezer.
Suddenly, she jumped back, as if she’d seen a ghost, slamming the thing shut.
I watched it all happen, puzzled.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her, with my head tilted sideways like a dog hearing a high-pitched whistle.
My friend still standing in front of the closed freezer door says, “A voice just said DONT SMOKE AROUND HER!”
“I’d better go”
Man, the disembodied voices in my apartment in those days were bossy!
“Sit your ass down, I’ve got a story to tell.” I barked, taking a page out of their book.
And THAT was the end of my casual smoking.
I tried one occasionally in the years that followed but they made me feel awful, and when something stops being fun, I quit doing it. Think Jane Fonda Workouts.
So, back to the middle of the night as I tossed and turned and awfulized; mulling over this decision or that.
I finally made the first decision and that was to switch my brain from FU mode to productive mode, remembering all the recent things I’ve heard and read on making life altering choices when you’re at a crossroads.
So, to save you the obsessing and the time and trouble, here is a list of the things you should ask yourself:
1) Will I regret not making this change? (Regrets are like walking around with a wet coat on. They are killjoys.)
2) Why exactly am I hesitant/ indecisive? Make a list. (The list that you make in the light of day will always be shorter than the phone book sized one you make at three AM…just sayin’).
3) What doors will close if I make this change? Do I care? (That one makes my butt clench. Here’s a great quote from Mark Nepo for the people pleasers among us: “I tried so hard to please that I never realized; No one was watching.”
Right!? Did the top of your head just blow off? Mine too)
4) Which choice will make the better story? (kinda like the movie viewing analogy from Saturday’s post.)
5) How does the choice or change FEEL? (that really should be number one. Check your kishke).
6) What’s the worst thing that can happen? (consult your three AM list, believe me, they’re ALL there).
7) Whats the BEST thing that can happen? (usually written on a Post It)
8) What would I tell my best friend to do? (sans snarkiness, jealousy, competitiveness and ego).
9) What’s the “next right thing” to do to stay free of ego? (In other words, check your motivation. Is it pure? Not really? THERE’S your answer.)
10) What choice or change would make me the proudest in five years? (That’s often the clincher for me. Can’t say I’m too proud of myself when I can’t be brave and I play it safe.)
There you have it. I hopes this helps. Clarity is key to making the best choices. That and chocolate.
Love you all,