We all make decisions every day.  Whether to wear this shirt or that one.  Whether to go here or go there.  How to discipline a child.  Whether or not we should take offense at somebody else’s comments.

We walk along the road of our lives, and suddenly we find that there are multiple possibilities lying before us.  Sometimes the road we’re on deadends and we have to choose to go either right or left.  Sometimes the road continues, and our decision is whether to keep walking or turn onto a new lane that has crossed our path.  Sometimes there is a busy intersection with multi-lane highways converging on us and we have to decide which one will take us where we want to go.

Because we all make decisions every day, you’d think that we would know when we’ve actually made a decision.  But that’s not always the case.  Sometimes you think you’ve made a decision, when all you’ve really done is identify the fact that the decision is there to be made. Sometimes you think you’re walking, and all you’re doing is standing at the intersection saying “I should go down that road now”, but you’re not walking anywhere. And until you are actually walking down the road, you have not really made a decision. You’ve only said that you “should” make one.

I think it’s fear that keeps us from taking the new road.  If our old comfortable road goes on, we keep walking on it even when we know we should have turned.  If our old road has dead-ended, we’re stalled because we’re afraid to start walking again.

I’ve realized recently that I’ve done that in my life.  I have decisions that I thought I had made, but I haven’t really made them.  I am not walking down the new road.  I am standing at the intersection, hovering, knowing that I should turn, but afraid to do so.

I’ve made progress in that I’ve identified where I want to go, and I can see the crossroads, but I’ve wasted a lot of time hovering instead of walking.  Now is the time to pick up camp, and to actually start walking again.  My road is one that no one else has walked, because it is mine.  The twists and turns are mine as well.  But if I never turn, if I never actually decide, I will continue hovering until all the roads are closed for reconstruction.

If you, like me, are hovering at a crossroad (or three), then I urge you to look around. If you know which direction you want to take, then start walking.  One step at a time.

That’s my plan anyway.


The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.



  1. Fear says:

    […] Fear July 31, 2012 By Betsy Horvath Leave a Comment Sometimes I find myself totally paralyzed by fear. It comes from many sources and for many reasons. Usually it’s fear of failure or a fear of my own inadequacy in a particular situation. Sometimes it’s fear of the future or fear of the consequences of my own actions. Sometimes it’s fear of change or the potential that might come after change. But I find myself stopped at the crossroads, unable to make a decision (as I mentioned in this blog post). […]

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