Tag Archive | choices

I Must Decide, but How?

I have a decision to make, it’s not a life altering one, but my choice will effect my family. I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of each option, and the weight of this burden is suffocating. It shouldn’t be this difficult.


Both are things I must do, both have value. Why is it so hard to choose?

I know choosing one over the other will have repercussions, consequences I will have to face and I’m prepared to face them, but it’s like grasping hold of a double edged sword, praying I can balance its weight without injury.

Do I do what is best for my family or do I do what is best for me? An unanswerable question because when I do what is best for me, I am better equipped emotionally and mentally to care for my family, and when I do what is best for them, it fills me with a sense of fulfillment which in turn leaves me emotionally and mentally satisfied.

I know what I should do. I know what I want to do, but I want to do what I should do almost as much as I should do what I want to. The very fact that this makes perfect sense to me makes me wonder if I am overthinking this whole thing.

I could push myself and attempt both, but if I do, I fear I may not be capable of giving the time and attention required to do either to the best of my ability and my efforts will be in vain.

I don’t know what to do.

On one hand, the house really needs to be cleaned up, on the other hand, I just want to lock myself away and write.

Maybe I’ll just read a book today instead.

Find the Good, Even on the Bad Days


There is something good in every day, sometimes we have to actively seek it out and sometimes we simply need to open our eyes. A little thing as simple as a flower in bloom, a smile from a stranger, or your favorite song on the radio . . . There is always something good.

A bad day

is just a bad day,

it comes to an end

just like any other.

We can turn some of those bad days into good, simply by looking at things from a different perspective. By making an effort, a conscious choice to not to let our circumstances control the way we feel and respond to things around us, especially things we cannot control.

Frustration, anger, disappointment . . . feel them, but don’t embrace them. Don’t wear them like a heavy cloak weighing you down with every step you try to take. Shake it off, shrug it off, let it go, and do something different. Find the good you can and carry it in your heart.

There really is GOOD in every day.



Be a Good Human – It’s your choice . . .

It’s simple really, choose goodness. Choose kindness, respect, and compassion. Choose to walk away, choose to not respond to everything, at least until you’ve taken a moment to decide if you should.

Choose not to rush to judgement, choose to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you criticize the way they walk. Choose actions over words, giving over taking, understanding over assumption.

It really is a choice and I can’t help but think your choices and mine, could change the world, even if it makes a difference to one person, one person who is wondering if there is anyone left cares, they might just go on and change the world even more.

Be a good human, the world needs more good humans.


Testing Compassion Capacity


My compassion capacity was tested the other day, just a little bit. Many of these moments occur in the same place, Walmart. People sometimes seem to schedule their shopping trips around the time they are in the worst possible mood.

I was in line, a long line. I like to think of myself as a patient person, but my patience had already been tested at least three times in the ten minutes before I took my place in that long line.

As I stood waiting, the cart behind me made contact, nudging me ever so slightly forward, I turned to see a little boy, no more than three or four, grinning gleefully at his accomplishment. I turned and resumed my attempt to practice patience in the face of all things Walmart.

It happened again, with just a little more force and obvious glee accompanied by giggles. I ignored it. I ignored it the third time as well. The fourth time, I turned in hopes of making eye contact with the little trolls mother, she was blissfully glued to her iPhone, unaware of the war her little munchkin had declared on me.

I was annoyed and out of what little patience I once had. I gave the boy that mommy look I keep in reserve, leftover from when my own children where still little trolls. It worked, at least I thought it did. He turned his attentions in full force on his mother. She told him to shut up. It’s always pains me to hear a mother slap down a child with those words.

I looked at them closer, at least I looked a little closer at the troll. He was starving, I could tell. Not for nourishment of the body, but for attention, and he was trying in every way he could to satisfy his hunger.

He tugged at her, she shoved his little hand away. He laid on the floor and tried to kick those within kicking distance. She reached down and pulled him by one arm back to a standing position. “Quit acting like a brat.”, she said. Her eyes never leaving the glowing screen in her other hand.

He resumed his cart bashing fun.

I firmly held the end of the cart and looked the little bugger right in the eyes . . . he cringed. I said, “You are really strong, aren’t you?” He smiled and tried to push into me again. Not strong enough. I was safe.

I looked at him again, really looked. He was dirty and disheveled and my heart broke a little. Mom was still absorbed in whatever escape she’d found on her phone. I looked at her. She had dark circles beneath her eyes, her hair was hastily drawn into a pony tail and she looked like I know I must have looked at some point in my parenting journey. Tired. So very tired.

Her little man was obviously a handful and a half. My ire for her began to fade. We’ve all had those days. Maybe she was a good mom. Maybe even a great one. Maybe, just maybe, it was simply one of those days.

I glanced back at the munchkin troll, if he hadn’t been trying to dislodge the bones in my ankles, I might have thought he’d had an afternoon of fun, playing in the dirt at the park. I may have thought he was just a little angel in need of a good nap.

Either way, it pained my heart and I whispered a prayer for them.

I could have easily been angered. I could have said something nasty to mom or been harsh to the boy. I chose to bite my tongue instead. I chose patience. I chose compassion. It isn’t always an easy choice, but it is one we must choose, especially when we are tempted to feed the anger and annoyances we feel, and especially, especially . . . at Walmart.

Crystal R. Cook


Had I known.

Had I known
what tomorrow
would bring
when I dreamed
my little girl
would I be
who I am

Would I have
followed the road
that led me
to here,
would I be
who I am

Would I have
gone through
the heartaches,
the horrors,
and fears
through the
to become
who I am

Would I be
who I am
this day
if I’d known
who I would
one day

Before the
was asked
the answer
was clear.

Gladly I’d follow
the path
that led me
to here,
to become
who I am

Crystal R. Cook

I’m afraid we are broken.



How much of how we feel about our fellow man has been dictated by the prejudice of others? Resentments from the sins and sorrows of those who have come before us remain, festering and growing in their absence. We feed them, we nurture them and we pass them on to the next generation without wondering why.

We copy and paste them into our own psyche, we adopt them without question. Sheep following an unseen shepherd to the slaughter. I too often hear people trying to justify and defend their attitudes and opinions with false arguments and phony indignation. The thoughts they think are not their own, merely recycled resentments inherited from family, friends and foes of people they may have never known.

If we stopped to think for ourselves, would we see their experiences are not our own? Would we realize we have shaped our world based on the broken model of theirs? Would we notice we’ve damaged it even more in the name of progress and change? Would we see we can’t look at our own experiences through the tainted lenses of the past?

Our country is more divisive and separated and prejudice than ever, instead of eradicating these things we despise we seem to have inflated them. Since the beginning of mankind there have been the haves and the have nots, there has been social, economical and racial prejudice. Our society has managed to twist the dreams that once were, we have found new ways to undermine each other, to build walls of separation as we pretend to tear them down.

Sound bytes and sensationalistic headlines invade our minds from the left and from the right and we choose sides, ignoring the the good from the side we’ve not chosen and ignoring the bad from the side that we have.

We say we want equality in this country, but equality is just a concept, it can never be achieved, especially when everyone who cries out for it seems to want more than the rest. There can never be equality while there are those who have no means to even stand in line to receive it.

We use the word acceptance when what we really want is applause. We fight for what we call human rights when we have forgotten what human rights really are. We fight for freedom of expression but place restrictions upon it. We fight for freedom of religion but we really want everyone to agree with our own beliefs . . . at least that is what we accuse each other of, slowly molding it into a reality.

The needs of the some have become more important than the needs of the many. We champion the rights of criminals and forget their victims. We shout platitudes to placate the masses in a cacophony of false hopes and empty promises. The ones who fight for our country are now second in line to those who invade it.

Every cause and crusade has a mouthpiece, a puppet being manipulated an unseen hand. They herald their chosen truth, claiming to speak for the masses until the masses think they really are and begin to believe what they say. We are conditioned to follow, conditioned to believe. No need to form our own thoughts and opinions, the majority rules and those who do not follow their lead are considered radicals and extremists.

We are being broken by the choices we’ve made . . . Soon, there won’t be enough to mend.

Crystal R. Cook