Life is about the choices we make, good and bad.



Another day.

Another funeral.

They come regular.

“What are you gonna do this week?” my wife asks.

“Go to a funeral,” I say.

“Who died?”

“Don’t know yet.”

I shrug.

“But the phone will ring.”

She sighs.

The phone rings.

As I sit and listen to the eulogy about a person’s life, boiled down from a pulpit to fifteen minutes, I realize one thing.

Life is all about choices.

Good ones.

And bad ones.

They weren’t all good at the time.

They weren’t all bad.

Twenty years later, we look back, and the choices finally take shape.

We take one job.

We say no to another.

We marry one girl.

We forget another.

We divorce one woman.

We find another.

We drink too much alcohol.

We abstain altogether.

We drive too fast.

We remain forever in the slow lane.

We take a chance.

We ignore all risks.

We pack up and move.

We decide to stay.

We write because we love the written word.

We ignore the written word because there’s no money in them.

We write mysteries.

We write romances.

We don’t write at all.

They make life worth living.

They make life a living hell.

They’re wonderful in novels.

I hate to make them in the real world.

They define us.

Or they destroy us.

We remember them.

We are haunted by them.

But who knows?

The road not taken, the road we see so clearly in our regrets, may have wound up as the roughest road of all.

In the years I’ve been on this earth, I’ve made good choices.

I’ve made a lot of bad ones.

I have to live with them.

But you know who winds up as the most unfortunate soul of all?

The one who faced choices, looked away, and didn’t make any of them.

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  • Roger Summers

    “I Took a Chance With Choices and Ended Up With You.” Isn’t that a country/western song I heard last night at the CMA Awards at Arlington Taxpayer and Tourist (AT&T) Stadium?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      That’s what I like about country music, Roger. It is written by the greatest philosophers we have in the world today. And I love the name you have for Jerry’s World. My wife refuses to shop in Arlington because the tax you pay went to build AT&T stadium.

  • Darlene Jones

    Mostly, I’ve made good choices, I think. The ones I regret are the things I chose not to do when I had the chance.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Darlene, we can live with those kinds of regrets.

  • Don Newbury

    We all, at times, go lacking in courage, failing to make choices at life’s most important intersections. Heads down, we avoid “shout outs,” fearful of their bouncing back….

  • What you forget about choices is that each one has consequences, and that the consequences have consequences ad infinitum.

    If you regret a choice you didn’t make, you are also regretting all the bad things that would have followed that choice.

    Maybe I have thought too much about consequences all my life, but as a result, I can look back and not regret some of those choices I didn’t make. If that makes any sense.

    Imagination walked those stories forward to their logical conclusions – and decided I didn’t want to end up there.

  • on the edge of a cliff
    an expanse of choices
    no looking back

    Life is so rich with choices (good/ bad). There’s no reset button on our deathbed. Thoughtful post Caleb.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Thanks, Leslie. But you can capture in three lines and thirteen words what I take 750 words to say.

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