There’s so much that goes on in our lives that’s within our control, and there’s just a ton of stuff that is way beyond us. Who we choose to bring into our lives, and keep close — good or bad, choosing to focus on all that’s positive vs the drain of what’s going wrong, appreciating the littlest things instead of noticing everything that’s missing, and counting our blessings for our health, family, and friends rather than taking any of those for granted. And there’s the day-to-day decisions – what to do, what to cross off the list, what to let go, what to plan/buy/eat/shop/wear/pickup/remember/forget/pay/see/try/explore/pursue. The stuff of life that makes our days fly by.
Decisions, decisions. I’m darn fortunate when I look at my list. Should I get all new barstools and chairs for SR in a dark hardwood stain — the ones I originally wanted but weren’t available when I opened? I can swap out my existing ones for a trade-in fee thanks to the good fellas at ChairUp on the Bowery. For our all new lunch menu we’re launching in May: do we go with my culinary chef Katie’s badass Medici burger stuffed with ricotta, parm and spinach with a tangy marinara catchup or her outrageous black pepper sea salt parsley burger with au jus dipping sauce and parsley butter mohawks? When am I going to source a frame for a new chalkboard I bought to highlight the day’s specials? When am I going to get my shit together and orchestrate a professional photography shoot for the apparel line? Should we start brainstorming a brand new breakfast menu, even though we’re not finished with the lunch menu development? I heard a rumor that one of the beloved restaurants on my street is losing its lease this year. This will open up a tremendous opportunity for my small business, but I need to be prepared. It would be foolish not to to be ready.
Some things you just can’t plan, and some things aren’t your decision. I learned this last year when my stepdad was dying of congestive heart failure. Tom, bless him for his gentle giant ways and easy going loving self; he was one stubborn dude. Despite my pleadings about seeing other doctors, he chose the way he wanted to go. It was an eye opener realizing that all my logic, strategizing, big picture-ing it, and flat out begging were not going to change his decision. I wasn’t going to make Tom do what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to live, and I didn’t want to lose him. After many talks with my mom, I realized my pleading was just adding more stress and anxiety to an already awful situation. I wasn’t being helpful at all, quite the opposite. I accepted his decision, and I got on board. It was the right decision to make.
The last couple of weeks, my dear friend Treen has sadly been experiencing the final stages of her boyfriend Nick’s horrific and rare cancer. I’ve watched her suffer, as she has witnessed a devastating and cruel disease cause him great pain and his family much suffering. I went to four funerals last year and I’m going to Nick’s on Saturday. It blows my mind. Nick was a phenomenal person – kind, sweet, always with a happy smile on his face, generous, laid back, thoughtful, and a crazy successful entrepreneur. He sold his last business last summer and bought a ticket for his first ever trip — an around-the-world travel adventure. He was diagnosed with cancer the next month. He didn’t get to take the trip. Instead he fought cancer bravely and fiercely, but it was just fiercer than he was. He knew he couldn’t beat it. He asked to be moved into hospice a week ago, and he died on Sunday. He was 38. It’s awful and sad. We’re all relieved for his sake, for his family’s and for our dear pal Treen’s that he’s in peace and he’s no longer suffering. Fuck.
So about the decisions in life….there’s much we do get to choose. We can choose good and loving people to surround ourselves with; we can make healthy decisions; we can choose the high road and operate with integrity, grace and compassion. We can choose happiness, and we can choose love. We can choose to be kind to ourselves and to everyone we touch. I’m not saying these are easy choices or come without hard work. But they are decisions we make. They dictate the path we set for ourselves and the lives we lead.
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)