As I wrote in my previous blog, my decision to enter law school was somewhat sudden. Sometimes decisions are like that. After making it, I didn’t have buyer’s remorse so much as I had the thought, “What in the world have I gotten myself into?”
But it was a decision that came with a firm belief that it could be life changing. The choice of going to law school forced a number of other decisions. I was very worried about the prospect of learning to learn again because, as I previously said, my GPA wasn’t stellar the first time around. Law school also forced decisions of what I would give up. Now that I’m half-way through my third year, I’ve taken a moment to look back at decisions I’ve made, and their effect on me to date.
When I started school, TV was the first to go, and was quickly followed by actually giving the TV away to a good home. Good decision. Giving up some night life with friends was really hard, but they were very supportive and encouraging. Sad, but a necessary decision.
Less frequent mountain-bike rides on the trails around Reno was a tough one, and actually a bad decision in hindsight. That activity helped me clear my head and keep a better perspective. I turned to gym workouts, but it wasn’t the same. I should have kept the frequent comradery with biking-buddies.
After my youngest graduated high school and moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment, I made and executed plans to downsize my living expenses. A best friend had an RV space next to her house, so I found one and moved it in. I had internet and maintained a gym membership where I could work-out and shower as the RV didn’t have hot water. It was an interesting decision, economically a good one, but it had the consequence of being depressing at times. That caused a few evenings of watching Netflix with a soon-to-be empty bottle of wine. Sometimes an ugly decision.
But when I look back at previous decisions I’ve made—personal, financial, small or large, good or bad, they’ve all brought me to this place. Here I am, a law student, on a path that gives me a chance to add to and build up my toolbox. To do something different because I made a decision about my future.
I’ve said before I can’t change the past, still I’ve wasted a great deal of time reminiscing how I can’t go back, yet do nothing to change what’s coming. We’re all on a path, but it doesn’t mean we’re chained to it. The road we’re on isn’t keeping us from changing our direction mentally, physically, or spiritually – that’s on us.
That is the first choice one has to make: are you going to mark time based on a previous bad decision, or take your experiences and see if you can dovetail all you have learned into a better decision?
I think this blog is really to remind myself that decisions sometimes seem large. They’ve seemed that way lately. But remembering to take them in small doses, I make better decisions on how to deal with them. There’s a book I like reading periodically to remind myself my problems really aren’t that big: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson, PH.D. Interesting perspectives in there. I particularly like to refer my friends to the section, “Be aware of the snowball effect of your thinking.”
I’ve been blessed to know a few people who have graced me with a few phrases that I’ve never forgotten:
“If you can’t have any fun, there’s no point in getting out of bed.”
“Other’s successes are not your failures.”
“Do something, or you’re just in the way.”
“People’s lives change when they participate.”
Decisions are going to be made whether you take part or not. While you’re trying to make them all good, some will be bad, and might even turnout ugly. But you almost guarantee the latter when you never take part in it.
Keep Looking Forward,