Hard choices? Make them.

WSN: Some winning thoughts by Jim Winner

Last winter, I wrote an article about spending an extended time at the condominium Joyce, and I bought in Naples, Florida. You might recall it spoke a lot of loneliness, fear, adjustment, and trying to survive the first winter.

Fast forward to today. Life is good. I am in a healthy place. I consider myself blessed in that I get to spend my winters in Florida. I am a completely different person than I was a year ago. I’m no fan of dreary Indiana winters and am already looking forward to the sunshine, ocean, and all that comes with a Florida winter.

I’m looking forward to some experiences I’ve never had before. I knew I wanted to go back to Florida. I also knew I wasn’t looking forward to returning to Naples.

I have family further up the Gulf coast in Bradenton. I also have several old and new friends around Sarasota. After looking at several areas, I decided to sell the Naples condo and buy in the Sarasota area. Joyce loved Naples. She liked the dining and shopping, the beautiful neighborhoods, and the proximity to everything. I like a more laid back, “old Florida” lifestyle. I’ve always dreamed of a place close to the water. I spent several days last week looking at properties nearer to family and friends. I’m happy to report that I found a place I liked. It’s a condominium on the extreme south end of Siesta Key, at Turtle Beach. It’s cheery, and it’s light. It fronts on the Little Sarasota Bay and is 1/4 mile from the Gulf of Mexico. I made an offer which was accepted the next day. I am soon to become its owner.

Could I have kept the condo in Naples and try just to figure things out? I suppose so. Was that what I wanted to do? No. I made a very intentional decision several months ago that this is now my life to live. I am accepting my role as captain of this journey. I say that with the ultimate respect for the life Joyce and I shared. The truth is that life is over. The life that I live now is mine to embrace, savor, and enjoy.

Each of us traveling this road needs to make choices. The choices facing each of us are different. Yours may relate to keeping your home, whether you move to be closer to family, where your children go to school, what you will do with certain things, etc. My point is that we need to be sure of the choices we make are the choices that best serve us. Don’t try to live your life based on what you feel others would want you to do. This is your time. This is not the time to be worried about how the choices you make will cause others to feel. Of course, we must act responsibly and do things that are morally, fiscally, and socially acceptable. The truth is, we are all in a new season of life. A season meant to be cherished. A season meant to be lived to its fullest.

Brothers, the only direction is forward. Stay the course. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

I hope you choose joy today.

Jim Winner’s thoughts appear every other Thursday. You can write to him by Private Messenger

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