And Not Or: What Are You Choosing?

This morning I wrote a Facebook post and used the hashtag #AndNotOr. It felt really good because I am one of those people who had ingrained in me a black and white mentality. Things were often one way or another. Or, maybe I made them that way because the land of gray was just too hard to navigate.

Do you know what I mean?

Black and White says:

Don’t eat carbs. Choose a cruise or a beach. Pay a bill or blow it on new clothes. Save or spend.

Gray, (and my reptilian, fight-or-flight mind), says:

Find moderation in what you eat. (What the hell does that mean? I don’t know what moderation is. I can’t trust myself to be in control. Please give me a box or plate or rules to guide my uncontrolled heart).

Choose both a cruise and a beach- find a way to have both in one trip, or look for a way to take two separate trips. Research more. Find possibilities. (Possibilities? But then I get my hopes up. Who am I to have it all? That takes too much time. I may need to ask people for help. That sucks. It’s easier to pick one.)

Moderation again- pay a bill and buy something fun. Where can I cut back on a bill or bills so I can have more money for the things that bring me joy? Can I make a partial payment and get a much deserved and needed massage, pedicure or new blouse? How long can I put myself off before I burn out? How resentful will I be at myself if every dime goes towards bills? Balance. Create balance. (Balance is hard work. It takes time for me to prioritize and examine how I got myself into a place that bills run my life. I don’t want to look at what I don’t have. I don’t want to look at how this job isn’t working for me. I don’t want to take a bus, rather than have a car I can’t afford. This is painful, I’d rather not see.)

Save or spend? Why not both? Even change adds up, it that’s all you can save. We’ve heard it said different ways: Live like there is no tomorrow, plan as though you’ll live forever. This is balance where we live every moment we have. (I can’t afford to live, let alone plan for the future. What if I’m stupid in my investments? What if I lose my money? I don’t have the skill to know how to save. A financial advisor will think I’m stupid. I don’t want to be stupid. I’ll just spend my money. It’s easier. Someone else will take care of me when I’m old. Or, I’ll die young. They say good people die young, and I’m good, so I’ll count on that. I’m sure cancer will get me before I need money. I blame Monsanto.)

So, I invite you to dive into more gray- dive into the power of ‘and’, because in doing so, you enrich your life. You learn more about yourself. You question and discover your perspectives so you can challenge them and see if they are working for you or if you can shed them for something different and try it on for awhile. Just because you choose, it doesn’t mean something will or has to change, but it gives it some light so you CAN. And, in not choosing, in not having awareness, you are making a choice as well. That’s ok, just don’t be lazy about living your life. That, you only have one of.


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