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  • Kerry Chaput

One Minute. One Choice.



I work out with a friend religiously three times a week. That's three mornings every week that I commit to exercising, and every single one of them starts with me trying to find a reason not to go. Every. Damn. Time. But I always show up, and I'm always glad I did.


I started to think about how I use this philosophy with other parts of my life (which by all measures is pure insanity right now). Food choice, wine intake, work, homeschool, and of course, writing. About a hundred times a day I ask myself, what about this one choice? In one minute, there'll be another choice. And another and another. It's so easy to get swept away in the madness and decide, F it, I give up. Let me eat the stupid cupcake because it's all spinning out of control anyway. So I make one choice at a time. One minute at a time. And sometimes that involves eating the stupid cupcake. More often though, it doesn't feel so bad to just look in front of me and think, I can do this one thing. It won't kill me. As in the words of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, "A person can stand just about anything for ten seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds."


This has been my version of coping for as long as I can remember. One minute at a time. When homeschool has me wanting to throw the tablet or I want to pour a glass of whisky at noon, I ask myself if in that one minute I desperately need it. No whiskey has been drunk before 5 and the tablet is still working, so I guess it's going all right.


I must admit that 2020 has pushed the limits of my ability to make minute to minute choices. Some days it feels as if you're teetering on a house of cards and you just want a rest for your mind and then you let it all crumble down. And that's OK. Just try to find that place where you decide to start climbing back up. One minute at a time. One choice at a time. And if you need it, eat the stupid cupcake.


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