Vision: Give yourself the freedom to choose
I grew up in Houston, Texas, the only child of parents who owned and ran a corner drug store from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. One of my parents had to be in the store 15 hours a day, day in and day out. When people couldn’t find my pharmacist Dad for advice or emergencies, they’d come two blocks to our house.
The drug store was the neighborhood community center. People went there to have their prescriptions filled, to eat lunch at the soda fountain, and to buy treats, or school supplies and gifts from the well-stocked aisles. Or, just to chat with my Mom, sometimes.
Everybody envied me. They thought I was the luckiest kid on the block. I had great parents and all those treats that were right there in the store. What I didn’t have were playmates at odd hours, like Sunday mornings, on holidays, during our required summer nap-time (polio was prevalent then) and after work-hours for most families.
I hated being an only child. I wanted a brother and a sister. I was sometimes lonely. My Mom worked, and my Dad couldn’t always take me to the park or my favorite place, the neighborhood swimming pool. So I built an extended family among my favorite teachers and friends. The world outside, and the world of reading, became as important to me as the sense of security I had with my parents.
As I grew older, I began to appreciate the freedom I was given as a child. It has helped me chart everything I cherish in my now considerable years of happy living. I live with a sense of being able to choose my course of action. Every day, I make the decision to choose. I’m responsible for my actions and reactions, as well as the corresponding results.
The ability to choose is my “wire frame” for living, and it supports me in many ways. It’s the process I use to help clients craft their own life visions, based on their goals and experience. I share it joyfully and gratefully because it’s worked so well for me. And…for many others, too.