Your Choices Matter

Monday Blogs PictureRecently I decided to take a diabetes risk test for fun.

Let’s get a few things out of the way before I continue this post. Yes, this might be a slightly odd definition of the term fun. I am pretty good at amusing myself with stuff that most people wouldn’t immediately think of as entertaining. (I credit my years as a homeschooled child who had hours of glorious freedom after the daily schoolwork was finished for this ability. Ha!)

Yes, I’ve taken similar quizzes for other diseases and disorders out of curiosity as well. No, I’m not worried about being diagnosed with any of them. Sometimes I’m working on story ideas involving characters who may be less than perfectly healthy, for example.  I am also the kind of person who is irresistibly driven to complete quizzes and surveys of any kind. There is something fascinating about giving this kind of feedback even if I’m the only one who will know the results.

There were certain questions on the diabetes quiz that no one can change like your ethnicity, age, and family history of diabetes.

Many other risk factors can be tweaked, though. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight lowers the chances that someone will develop this disease. There were times when I played around with the questions and got wildly different responses based on whether on the hypothetical people I was answering for did these things.

It isn’t currently scientifically possible to prevent everyone from developing diabetes*, of course, but your choices still matter. There are small decisions we all make every day that have a big impact on our lives over time. For example, I’m slowly learning a new language. If you start taking brisk walks today, you could work your way up to running marathons in a few months.

*Although how we might manage to change this would be great fodder for a science fiction short story.

We can’t affect everything. It’s perfectly okay to admit that those limits exist. There may come a time when you can push past them. Then again, there may not.

We can affect a lot of things in life, though. The older I get, the more value I place on focusing on those things we do have control over and seeing exactly how much we can change them.

You decide where the line is and how you’ll react when someone else crosses it.

You decide whether, if, or how to forgive.

You decide if you’ll be looking down at the cigarette butts and broken glass in the gutter or up at that glorious sunset at the end of the street.

You decide whether to keep trying.

You decide when it’s time to give up and try something new.

You decide if you’ll exercise today.

You decide if you’ll take that second helping at dinner.

Life is full of choices. What choices will you be making today?

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