Sunday, January 3, 2010
Life's Nudges: From God and my Other Friends
Throughout my life's journey there have been times when the pathway was changed by a nudge; sometimes just a subtle one or a quite distinct push. Funny thing is that without those nudges, I wouldn't be who I am with the life I lead. Would I have more worldly goods, a different life, or am I better off where I find myself now? Interesting thoughts that have come to the foreground of my thinking, lately.
When I was in high school, there weren't many opportunities locally for me to attend a four year university, so a large nudge landed me in Missouri. Before I even started classes I began working full-time in an exclusive children's clothing store. There I realized that attending to people and their demands was something in which I excelled. Rich, picky people can be pretty demanding in their requests, which only stretched my abilities to become flexible in dealing with people. Up until that time, I was actually quite shy around people I didn't know well.
By the time I was a Senior at the university, I had a close group of friends with the same major. One day in class a friend turned to me and asked if I was going to attend graduate school. I didn't even have a clue what that meant, so I asked her what that would entail. She assured me that I would be just taking more classes in my major and most of the classes were taught by the professors I already knew. So, I didn't see much of a challenge and right after graduation, I started in on my Master's. Classes and assignments in my graduate classes didn't seem much more difficult than my senior level classes and in a short while I finished my post-graduate work. If I hadn't received that nudge about graduate school, I suppose that my Bachelor's degree would have sufficed, but my upper degree provided more income once I began working in my field.
Another time that I received a nudge that changed my life, was when a friend wanted to meet someone she thought might be nice to date. Well, that nudge netted me my husband of over thirty years. Hate to even think what my life would have been like if I had resisted that invitation to meet him; not as colorful or packed with precious moments as it is now, I am sure
Once when I was unsure whether I should give into a nudge, a friend gave me this advice, which helped decide my acceptance, "Hey, it's only for four and a half months. You could stand on your head in the corner for that long. Try it. After that time, you can always do something else." She gave me enough of a nudge to take a chance and it landed me in a career that lasted for twenty-five years. Those twenty-five years garnered many priceless memories of people and events.
There have been many other times when I have felt that nudge as I stood at a crossroads. Whether I have given into the push in one direction or chosen to go the other way, the outcome has been my choice. Nudges just help me make the decision as a conscience choice, rather than haphazardly going through life. Stopping to smell the flowers and watch the butterflies allows me to make sure that I have taken the time to appreciate the choices I have been presented.