All the hoopla around the exit of Prince Harry and Meghan was the inspiration for this post. While I offer no opinion about their life, I am absolutely shocked by Meghan’s statement at the onset of the big interview when she said she hadn’t given much thought to what royal life would be like and was surprised at the reality of it. An expert on “the institution” I’m not, but even this American commoner guessed pretty closely how it would play through.
Over and over I witness people making foolish decisions, the repercussions of which can be prevented. One large example is having a baby. I am amazed at how many people put more thought into what they will have for breakfast than getting pregnant. Did you play through what that hot night of unprotected sex might lead to? A pregnancy as a single woman, struggling to make ends meet, sleepless nights with a colicky baby and finding childcare while you go to school AND try to work are all possible scenarios.
And speaking of breakfast, another example is the effect food has on us. Wrestling with diet is something most of us do on a daily basis. Think about what you are about to eat. Feel it in your mouth, taste it. Then play it through further after it’s gone. Was it satisfying? Do you wish you didn’t eat it? Did it bloat you or make you constipated? Or did it support your vision of a healthy body by consuming food that is nutrient dense instead of dead? Did it increase your vitality? If you opted for the better choice how did that make you feel? Sometimes a splurge is worth the satisfaction. Consider the cost/value. Play it through.
On the cost/value note, spending on superfluous items is a biggie. This thrift shopper, totally out of character for me, once bought a suit off the mannequin in the window of a pricey boutique, next door to a liquor store. During a short break from work at Christmastime, I ran out to get some wine for the salon and was beguiled by this suit. The only one of its’ size, I disrobed the wearer. It was absolutely stunning, fit me like a glove BUT was $300 twenty years ago. In 10 minutes I made a spontaneous decision to buy it. The style was timeless, the fit was forgiving and I knew I would have it and love it forever. Guess what? I still wear that suit and it still looks amazing on me, if I may say so. If you want to see a picture of me in it, leave a comment!
Something I really struggle with is balancing time helping others, something that brings me great joy…when in balance. You ask how helping those in need can ever be a bad thing. It is if it is at the expense of your mental and physical health. I now play through my plan. When that plan stresses me out, I simply modify it. I don’t have to do it all. Something is better than nothing.
I actually had to see a counselor over my obligations to an elderly Aunt. When the angst became all consuming I reached out for help. She suggested I use the practice of Mitzvah, where the emphasis is on deeds—not on positive thoughts or wishes, but on conscious acts of empathy and kindness. Then she had me set a limit of how many Mitzvahs could be reasonably performed without becoming resentful. That simple “play through”, along with many others, literally changed my life and has made decision making easier than ever.
So the next time you are faced with a dilemma, just play it through and you’ll know what to do!