In Others’ Words: Torn

1208755_take_the_high_road EB White quote 10.14.13

And there you have it: Life choice distilled down into one 20-word sentence. Is your life other-focused or you-focused? Or is it a constant arrival at the fork in the road and deciding, once again, which way do you go?

It’s not that I think going one way is wrong (enjoyment) and going the other way is right (living to improve, i.e. help, the world). But it’s the reality of choice and balance. Again.

And can helping to improve the world be its own kind of enjoyment?

In Your Words:  How do you plan your day, balancing between enjoyment and work (helping others)? And yes, we’re continuing the “enjoyment” conversation from Friday!

Improve or Enjoy? — That is the Question! Click to Tweet 

How do you balance between work & fun? Click to Tweet 

Is your life other-focused or you-focused? Click to Tweet

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15 Comments

  1. October 14, 2013, 5:13 am   /  Reply

    In merely surviving, I’m enjoying every day of my own survival, and hope that implicit in that the world is being improved.

    • October 14, 2013, 9:46 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Andrew. I like your attitude. And I always enjoy your comments on my blog.

  2. October 14, 2013, 5:59 am   /  Reply

    My day is a mixture of both. Like Andrew, I hope that everything I do improves the world.
    At the least, I hope I do no harm. 🙂
    Great thought to chew on today.

    • October 14, 2013, 9:46 am   /  Reply

      Ah, you made me think of the Hippocratic Oath, Pat: First, do no harm.

  3. October 14, 2013, 6:56 am   /  Reply

    I am a planner by nature, but having kids in the house has taught me that some plans will not be accomplished. At least not in the time frame I envisioned. The boys teach me to enjoy the moment, but I still hope to improve the world around me as well—definitely a decision by decision basis.

    I’m learning to just “be” in my walk with the Lord, and not always seek to “do.” Which means some days, not a lot gets “done,” but it’s okay.

    Thought provoking post today, Beth!

    • October 14, 2013, 9:48 am   /  Reply

      As a mom, I’ve learned that by investing in my children — both as I planned and during the enjoy-the-moment moments — I am improving the future through the people they are becoming. It’s a beautiful joy to see your children grow and become the individuals God meant for them to become (trials and all).

  4. October 14, 2013, 7:19 am   /  Reply

    I like to think I’m balanced, but after a woman fussed at me yesterday while wrangling toddler in public made me think maybe I could be “you-focused.” Then, again, she could have been “you-focused” which is why she engaged me in an argument. Sigh. Life lessons always … leave me thinking.

    • October 14, 2013, 9:49 am   /  Reply

      Oh, sigh.
      Really — why do other people do that? She didn’t know what was going on in your life at that moment … but then, we don’t know what was going on in hers behind the scenes.
      I hope today has hidden blessings revealed to you, Stacy!

  5. October 14, 2013, 7:42 am   /  Reply

    What’s hard is that I don’t always feel like I have a choice in planning my day–I have to go to work, I have to get responsibilities taken care of, etc, etc. But I always have a choice, don’t I? A choice in the attitude I carry with me into the day. At work we talk about how the best volunteers are the ones that come with hands held out and a “How can I be of service?” attitude. I want to get better at that being my modus operandi. 🙂

    • October 14, 2013, 9:49 am   /  Reply

      Love that thought: Open hands and “how can I be of service?”

  6. October 14, 2013, 8:49 am   /  Reply

    Don’t these two paths meet up just beyond the trees in the photo? So yes, I believe helping to improve the world is enjoyment. Look what even a well-directed smile can do.

    Love your thought-provoking posts, Beth.

    • October 14, 2013, 9:49 am   /  Reply

      Brilliant, Anne, brilliant! Two roads converged …

  7. October 14, 2013, 9:19 am   /  Reply

    Can’t we take enjoyment in the improvement? Maybe that’s the ultimate goal… 😛

    • October 14, 2013, 9:50 am   /  Reply

      I like your insight, Lindsay.

  8. October 14, 2013, 5:21 pm   /  Reply

    Fortunately for some of us…helping others is part of our chosen profession that we love. It’s such a blessing when you can do both at the same time. But still, there are times when I throw a pity party and wonder when my turn is coming….that’s me-focused, huh? Balance is a matter of constant re-adjustment and seeking wisdom.

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