Friday, December 26, 2008

Shovel While the Shoveling is Good

I've never experienced a white Christmas like this one! Yesterday, Christmas Day, the snow fell all day long! I had almost a foot of snow at my house.

On Monday this past week I shoveled the snow from my driveway, front walkway and from my deck to my garbage cans. Today, I spent another hour and a half doing it all again... plus clearing the snow plow drift that was blocking my driveway! What a project!!

I could have rested. I could have simply kicked back on Christmas day. There was something I had to consider in my decision. The snow had begun to melt during the day and the temperatures were going to drop below freezing that night. That meant that all the liquid would turn to ice overnight.

The snow that was kicked into the entrance to my driveway by the snow plow would turn to hard ice chunks. This could literally trap me in my driveway if I left it to freeze. It could actually make it impossible for me to get out of my driveway in my 'every day car' for weeks to come!

I was faced with the dilemma of resting and relaxing today and paying a price for days and weeks to come... or, I could get out, sweat and exert myself in a significant way today - in order to ensure my freedom in the coming days and weeks.

We often have choices between instant gratification and long term benefit. It is easy to go for the quick fix or the instant payoff. It requires something deeper to make the choice to forgo instant gratification for a payoff in the future.

As I contemplated the luxury of napping in my recliner on Christmas day compared to going out in the freezinmg cold to shovel a foot of snow - the 'choice of the moment' seemed obvious.

I realized, however, that I literally could imprison myself with my choice. If I didn't clear my driveway I literally might not be able to get out of my house for days or weeks to come.

Still, there are times in life where we would choose the convenient and comfortable path - even if the long term consequence was dire.

Today... I made the right choice. As my heart pounded with each heavy shovel full of snow, I thought about the recliner inside. A hot cup of tea... the fire... and rest. With all that on my mind, I continued in my labor!

I'll tell you... nothing feels as good as that moment when I came inside, my work completed, and changed into clean, dry clothes and relaxed, knowing my freedom had been secured for the coming days! I had done the 'hard time' and now I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the day, knowing I had made a good choice.

I wish you, moment by moment, the ability to make good choices, and take the long view for your life. Foregoing short term gratification for long term gain is the most satisfying success of all!

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