I feel like I have advanced several spaces on the board game of life because of my ability to be honest with myself about Barry’s prognosis. I feel no urgency to convince him of anything, nor to pretend things are better than they are. It is what it is.
I am starting to make choices without taking him into account. This is a first since we’ve been married. It has always been about him.
Sometimes, I think we cannot advance ourselves. Life has to push us forward or we do not move. Sometimes, choices would have bad consequences and we have to wait for life make the decision for us. Some choices are not ours to make. If we make the choice ourselves, there may be repercussions that dwarf the discomfort of things remaining the same.
Discomfort is the ultimate motivator. Once we find routines or habits that suit us, good luck getting us to change. Being uncomfortable can push us into dealing with issues we have spent years ignoring because there is no resolution in sight. It’s a matter of weighing consequences of action versus inaction. When the discomfort is great enough, suddenly there will be enough “courage” to make changes. When one sees the brevity of life, dying without regrets becomes a priority. Impermanence is the ultimate motivator, at least for me.
I see people in situations where they are comfortably miserable. That sounds like an oxymoron, but we all know it isn’t. Better the scourge we know than the unknown. We all know married couples that haven’t gotten along in years but, due to financial reasons, cannot even imagine separating. Will they go to their graves glad they “stuck it out”? I have a hard time imagining that. More likely is that they will wish they had made the effort, as expensive as it would have been, to live independently, date, and have had new experiences.
Without having to pretend things are different than they are, scales are falling off my eyes. Choices need to be made. To not make a choice is a choice.