Friday, March 29, 2013

Defining "non-negotiable"

Since the plan I most often use is called the "survive by the seat of your pants plan" I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and plan ahead. I was recently introduced to the idea of defining my plan by what my plan is NOT. Most of us are very clear in what we don't want. What we do want is more cosmic and general without the specifics. We want world peace, a happy family, no drama.
I have one of those lives that is overwhelmed with "busy" but I'm not entirely sure that anything is ever accomplished. I haven't found the cure for the common cold. I can't understand most foreign languages so that leaves me out of the whole world peace thing and I rarely have a clean kitchen floor. As for no drama I just turn off the television.
Sometimes getting to the next great thing requires a gentle nudge or push out of your comfort zone. Even with a safety net, change can be scary. Defining what you want is scary. You have to be clear on what is most important to you and you must be willing to remove the less important things from your life. Other than your core values, importance is relative to where you are in the cycle of life. When you are a mother with toddlers it may be getting them through the day without having to retrieve objects from their nose, keeping their little fingers out of light sockets and outlasting them until bed time. With teenagers the importance may be placed on a car with a great safety record and more airbags, as well as an afternoon nap so you can stay up until curfew.
Often we can be faced with two equally good options. No worries, pick one and get on with your life. But when faced with something that may clearly have consequences you are not willing to deal with, you have met a non-negotiable and should run the other way.
It's true non-negotiables may create limits, but they won't leave a bad taste in your mouth. I think this camel needs a rinse.  So pick your battles, identify your non-negotiables and have a life that you create instead of the one that just happens to you because you aren't sure what it is that you really want.

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