Having ventured beyond our normal neighborhood, we found ourselves with friends in an ice cream shoppe. (It seems to me that anyplace where you can buy ice cream and stay and eat it there should have that "ppe" at the end of its name). The list of flavors was impressive. There was even a printed card to explain some of the most creative among them. I picked one, and received a cup of it, the size of which I never allow myself. It was fantastic.
I had picked a flavor full of tastes I knew I liked, but the truth is, almost any flavor I could have picked from the list would have provided me with a larger than my normal, richer than my normal cup of ice cream. I had taken a long time making my choice, but essentially, with few exceptions, any choice would have been a good choice.
I wonder sometimes, as we look for the best jobs for ourselves, or the best schools for our kids, whether the same is true there. Obviously, we want things that fit--where we can feel comfortable and competent. We want things that provide us with the best opportunities, whether intellectual, social, or financial. But how often do we pass up things that, just like many of the flavors on the ice cream list, would provide us with a large, rich experience, perhaps just as large and rich as we think our "perfect" choice would? We spend a lot of time and energy trying to get it "just right." After all, we won't always be able to enjoy ice cream in an ice cream shoppe--our waistbands and wallets would surely suffer--so we want to make the experience perfect. But just as I realized in the ice cream shoppe that there were actually many good choices, perhaps in life, there are multiple good choices as well. Perhaps success, and happiness, rests not with getting exactly what you want, but with savoring whatever it is you get.
I enjoyed my chocolate raspberry ice cream immensely. I am hopeful that it won't ruin my enjoyment of smaller, less rich treats in the future. But I am also confident that thinking about it will remind me, at least once in a while, not to sweat some of the choices. Because sometimes, you do okay, no matter what you choose. Especially when it's all ice cream.