Have you ever ‘bit off more than you can chew’?  Whatever does it mean, anyway?  A cautious person might be inclined to give serious thought before purchasing more of even a very good deal.  Another might say, “At this price, I’ll take two!”  Now what might a marginal woman do?

Probably what anyone would — once.  Maybe even twice.  But self preservation moves in — a little voice saying “is this the direction I want  my life to go?”  And so when I see my husband, telling me our goals are the same as he continues to sabotage  himself,  and thus our child as well,  i realize I must get our daughter and climb up the side of the laundry tub before we get sucked down into his drain of willful self defeat.  Man against himself.  Thus my decision to think more carefully before again biting off more than I can chew.

Of course a time or two more inevitably does occur.  But each time self-preservation spoke to me as I shook and dusted myself off and started all over again, carefully preserving my education foundation upon which my future goals were dependent.

It seems to me, in my life I’ve allowed serendipity to play a role in directing or redirecting me when determining goals as one door closes but another looks inviting.  It is amazing how frequently one thing leads to another.  Perhaps that is a purpose of meet and greet or other such information sessions — to widen one’s perspectives.  When I first started college, I wanted to be a journalist.  After all, I had been editor of my high school newspaper.  But more information directed me to explore other classes that eventually led me to graduate school and psychology.  And now in retirement, organizations such as OLLI, a lifelong learning institution for retired people, becomes another useful way to redirect one’s life for yet new purposes.  I’ve long enjoyed reading such books as Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s memoir, “Gift from the Sea,” where meditation and contemplation helped her reimagine her middle years and retirement in very different ways. I always keep her book on my bedside table.

Even a less cautious person such as movie actor Woody Harrelson, gives credit to a buddy of his who said, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.”

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