It was January 21, 1991 at 8:31 am when I hung up the phone.

Some moments in your life become defining ones. Moments that you truly never forget like a child’s birth at exactly 6:31 am or 2:14 am. Or the moment you knew, truly saw with clarity that your life was different.

For me that January morning, it was the clarity of 4 words, a mere 12 letters formed in a way that would rock my world forever.

I have a choice

As an adult we often live our lives with many strange linguistic commands. “I should”, “I must”, “I need to”, “l have to”. So many little phrases that take away our time. Those phrases that really are powerful for the person, organization, or thing that commands we do something on their schedule. Their short phrases direct our actions to urgency.

The 3 C’s of life: Choices, Chances, Changes -You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change

“I have a choice.” I walked away from the phone that day, never the same. I realized that all the should’s and mandates of my life were false.

You would have laughed if you saw me that January morning walking around my house. “I have a choice to hang that picture on the wall where I want it to be, because I’m worthy of putting such beauty on my wall.” “I have a choice to do the laundry, because I’m grateful to have clean clothes.” I have a choice to go to work, because I can serve others and provide for my family.” And my favorite that day, “I have a choice to put the toilet paper on the roll over the top, because I like that better.”

I have a choice.

I don’t have to DO anything. I choose to bring into my life what I need and want. Ok, I know about those pesky consequences, but that’s part of choices too, isn’t it.

I heard a client say to me once when we had a similar conversation. “But, I have to go to work at 7am.” I, of course, pointed out, that “no, it was a choice”. She fought me on this. She too had forgotten that all the little moments, all the ticks of the clock are really choice makers.

I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday – Eleanor Roosevelt

So for this moment in time at 9:01am, I choose to hit publish and hear of your choices, your moments of choice. Hope you’ll share one!

Mary Helen Conroy is a reinvention coach for midlife and pre-retirement. Having reinvented herself many, many, many times she enjoys working besides those who want to discover with her that Life is a Daring Adventure and I’m not done yet! –