tough decisions ahead make good choicesDear Kid,

It’s Sunday morning. Dad is out weeding the Back Forty (feet, not acres). Booker is lying in the grass supervising. I’m hoping that we’ll have tomatoes before November this year, but given past experience and when the seeds went in, I’m not taking them off the grocery list just yet.

It is going to be brutally hot today, and no one has figured out how to air condition three feet around me. (You are free to steal my idea of a personal outdoor portable air conditioner, develop and market it, and keep your mother in the style to which she would like to become accustomed.) I’m toying with the idea of going out and working in the gardens anyway, but I’m leaning more toward attacking in-door chores. I thought about starting to clean out my closet, but I don’t think I’ve had all the right shots so that’s going to have to wait until I get full haz-mat gear.

Important point: it is not possible to do everything.

It is possible to do a lot, it is probably possible to do more than you think you can, but it is not possible to do everything. Living means making choices (although to be clear, it is not a choice to spend all day watching TV today).

As hard as I try, I have not managed to clone myself or be in two places at once. If anyone ever figures that out, I guarantee it will be a mom. And so we choose. We divide and conquer. We make the best decisions we can in that moment. (At least, we hope we do.)

At college, you will have to make choices. To take This Class or That Class. To go to dinner or nap. To meet with a study group or hang out with friends. To do a little work daily or try to catch up all at once. Soup or salad.

Some choices are easy. Some seem easy but have far-reaching consequences.

It’s your choice. Make it a good one.

In my experience, the more you think in advance about who you want to be and the kind of choices you want to make, the more likely you are to make choices you are happy with.

So take a few minutes, now, during college orientation, during the first week of school (or all of the above), and think about what you want to be during the next four (or so) years, about how you want people to describe you, about what you want to experience and what you don’t want to go through.

Here’s to choices you can look back on with pride.

Love, Mom