The Path of Life and the Choices We Make

The Path of Life and the Choices We Make

And how we forget the small things

The fog creates a halo effect over the granite outcropping

I started to write about this last week, and it was too heavy, so I dumped it in favor of something lighter. However, I am very curious about the choices we make and how they play out in life. I feel it's something worthy of discussion. So I'm going to take another run at it this week.

Recently, I've had conversations with several people about choice and how what we decide to do affects our life path. One of those conversations led to the idea of micro-choices and how each significant choice is made up of an untold number of very very small decisions that lead to what we commonly refer to as a "choice."

The discussion of micro choices was based around toothbrushing, of all things, but it made a point. To get started, visit the grocery aisle and choose from one of the 46+ major brands of toothpaste. And then pick a flavor, gel or paste, tube or pump, large or small, etc. I couldn't even think of how to look up all the sub-categories of the major brands, so I didn't even try. Anyway, then pick a toothbrush. Soft or hard, manual or electric, plastic or bamboo. You get the idea. Once home, do you brush once a day, twice a day, after every meal? Do you brush the gums too, or just the teeth, front to back, or back to front? I could go on for a very long time with this list. I won't since you undoubtedly get the idea. Those are some of the micro-choices that go into toothbrushing.

Of course, those micro-choices turn into a routine, and from day to day, you end up brushing your teeth the same way. We think we made all the right little choices, and our teeth will last a lifetime. The thing is, ya just never know until the dentist delivers the news, good or bad.

Zooming out for the big picture, we all make choices along the journey through life. Big decisions were made up of many teeny-tiny decisions that ultimately sent us off in one direction or another. Sometimes, there are the choices and decisions we make because of circumstances, which is a topic for a deeper discussion. This is about the big decisions we each make to try and have a full and happy life.

When we look at those big decisions with regret, we sometimes forget to examine all the little things that drove us to those regrettable outcomes. That examination might allow us to have less regret and more compassion for ourselves. And in the end, being compassionate to ourselves is an easier path to a full and happy life than any of the alternatives.

I hope your next dentist visit goes well.

I ran across some photos that I had forgotten about on a memory card. My usual process to see if there is potential in any of the images is to take a first pass at editing them. It's a fairly quick edit. I'm basically looking at focus, framing, detail, and color to see what is there. I may put more work into one of these - or not. Okay, probably not. It's good practice all the same and makes me better at what I do. And that is my goal, to get better.

At the top is an outcropping of granite along a creek. I was excited to make some exposures with the fog as a backdrop that morning. The rock is always there, taunting me to photograph it. With the creek and steep terrain, it's been a real challenge.

Just below is a photo of ripe nopal fruit on a prickly pear cactus. The fog had left moisture on the fruit that I thought added to the picture. The terms nopal and prickly-pear are interchangeable. Something I never knew until I lived in the desert southwest.

The tree in the rocks is my favorite place along my daily hiking path. It's a lovely tree and grass area that is challenging to photograph as the area to work in is extremely tight. This is one of my better photos of it. Although, I think I can do better.

The red fruit and the green paddles on this cactus are edible. The fruit looks ripe!

This is such a lovely tree and grass area. Winnie the Pooh should have a home here