I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were talking about choices. The places in our lives when we are faced with a decision. And while there really are endless possibilities, the two that we are presented with, either this or that, don’t really thrill us all that much. Kind of like being able to decide which cancer you would like to have...that would pretty much describe the concept of better shitty. No one wants cancer, and, unfortunately, none of us get to pick which kind we would prefer...but there are times in life where the options we are presented with both suck. We would rather have two fabulous choices to start off this new life phase...but really we have shitty and better shitty.
Sometimes in life, there are a variety of choices and all of them are ok. Sometimes there are only two options and neither of them is great. That is when I go for the better shitty one. I am not sure why this classification helps me...but it does. It provides me some relief in knowing that I am even though I really don’t like either choice, I can pick the better shitty one and be grateful for that.
But there is something else to know about better shitty, it helps me see that I always have a choice in how I look at things. If I am in a situation where I am picking the better shitty one, I can reflect on all the other times that I have had so many better options. I can see that perhaps this time, while my choices may not astound me or make me feel great, I always have a choice about how I characterize these things in my life.
Better shitty is an indicator that I am not loving where I am. Perhaps it is an indicator that I have allowed morbid reflection to seep in, perhaps I have allowed gratitude for the amazing life that I have to be crowded out. Perhaps I can just accept that sometimes in this life, you really just have to choose between the shitty or better shitty option. It isn’t fatal (well hopefully not). It is just this one decision that I have to make that doesn’t excite me all that much.
What I find when I am picking better shitty, is that I am really looking for the silver lining. I am trying to be positive when faced with two hard choices that I do not like, want or think are fair. Better shitty helps me see, immediately, that my having a choice at all is better than having no choice ever.
There is a lot to life regarding choosing. A lot of things that we get to pick. In fact, I would posture that never in the history of the human race have we ever had so many choices and good ones at that. But just like better shitty, having a ton of choices can be paralyzing. Have you ever tried to buy mustard? There are like way too many choices! I have stood on the mustard aisle at the grocery store for like 20 minutes...I just can’t seem to make up my mind about exactly what kind of flipping mustard I want! Ridiculous!
I believe that all of the many choices we are given in this life has resulted in us all having a better shitty outcome. We can decide so many things about our lives, where we live, who we date, who we eat for dinner, where we shop...so many things that have resulted in us all perhaps feeling that all of these choices are the better shitty option...
I am a pretty good decision maker but occasionally I get stymied over (usually something that doesn’t even matter) which decision to make. And I can tell you that I really want someone else to make it for me. I have this feeling daily. Do I call this person or not? Do I buy the shoes or not? Do I _____ or not?
What I know about my decision making abilities is that they will always be based on self. Me, what do I want, what do I need, where do I want to go...and I have come to realize that this is my best version of better shitty. I have historically thought that I was so lucky to be so in charge of my life. But lately, I have to say that I am not so sure. Perhaps my life would be even better if I was less in the way, less of the decider of things...perhaps all that I come up with is just the better shitty option, when if I could just wait a minute, pause, perhaps something bigger, more inclusive and wonderful might happen for me and to me. Just a thought...
Regardless, I am very aware of the fact that even when I am faced with picking the better shitty option, I am still amazingly blessed. I am not having to make life and death choices. I am not having to make decisions about whether I want to eat or stay warm.
Going back to my conversation with my girlfriend who is currently plagued with doubt about where her life goes now as she doesn’t really like either of her options, for me, sometimes I have to be willing to not pick the better shitty option. Sometimes I have to pick the shitty one, the one that has pain and heartache and awfulness all over it. Not because I am a masochist. But because pain is a wonderful teacher. If I am never willing to pick the shitty option that is pain soaked, then I prevent myself from learning some pretty powerful and life altering lessons.
I can spend all of my days picking the better shitty option but perhaps life will not teach me all that it can that way. Sometimes I have to be willing to pick the worse shitty and just be ok with that. And I can be grateful that any of my shitties are usually pretty fucking ok. And I can be immensely grateful that most of my decisions, like what kind of mustard to buy, are pretty innocuous.
Life can be seen as one long process of shitty and better shitty choices. I prefer to see it as one moment after another of me being provided the opportunity to grow, change and learn not just so that I get a better life. No, but so that I may share all I learn with others in the hope that any pain that I have experienced, any joy I have had, can help someone else when they are at the end of their tether. Pain, growth, joy...all of these mean more when shared...even the better shitty options. Always.