“I’m not one of those complicated, mixed up cats. I’m not looking for the secret of life… I just go on from day to day taking what comes.” ~Frank Sinatra
Maybe Frank had it right after all, that there isn’t really a secret to life, that we should just go from each day to the next by the seat of our pants. But in that kind of world, what would drive the decision-making process? That’s probably the most complicated of all, choosing the paths that not only lead us through life, but also making the day-to-day decisions that keep us moving forward instead of standing still.
That’s what complicates life more than emotion, isn’t it? Because most times our decisions aren’t based on emotion; instead they’re driven by need. We need money so we work a job we might not even like because it’s there, because it will pay us a wage that we can use to get some of the bill collectors off our backs. We need money so we sell some of our treasured possessions to get clothes so we can look presentable when we go to work. We need time to spend with our families so we sometimes decline extra work in order to be there. It’s these decisions that decide where our personal adventures lead.
It seems to me that these needs all stem from one major issue: the lack of money. Now, we’re not rich by any means so I know what I’m talking about. And having two children makes for tighter belts no matter who you are. But we both work hard, and we make those tradeoffs that we have to make to provide, to meet those needs on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis, and yes, it’s complicated. Balancing checkbooks, juggling schedules, and praying for time and energy to breathe takes up a vast amount of brainpower. We’re lucky there’s two of us, too. I honestly don’t know how single parents do it.
These complications are like dominoes. They’re set up nice and neat, and we do our best to tiptoe around them, or even add more to the even rows without knocking them over, without breathing on them. Every little while we even remove a few from the line, but the line never seems to get any smaller. That’s what I think about when I think about the story of our life. But oh the good feeling when we can exhale after taking another one off the board and not knocking over the whole pile!
Because that’s what I think about when I think about life being so complicated, the successes that come from making the right decisions in those singular moments. Maybe Frank was wrong. Maybe we shouldn’t let things affect us and roll along, oblivious. Maybe we should just open our eyes and try to avoid the pitfalls. And try not to breathe.