Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: andy andrews

Life Choices: Is there a clearly good or bad decision?

The Noticer cover on a desert background, a book filled with help with our life choices.

Not only do our life choices have an effect on the rest of our existence, they ripple out to the lives around us and down their timelines as well. But that doesn’t mean there are always clear “right” and “wrong” choices at the moment we’re making them. We can’t possibly know what all the results will be for all our options and which ones will lead us the “right” way, so we do the best we can with what we have and keep on living and loving.

“There are generations yet unborn, whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take…tonight. And tomorrow. And tomorrow night. And the next day. And the next.”

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Maybe we should limit ourselves to what will do us, and those around us, the most good in the moment we are in when we are considering our life choices.

I made a note at this line, “The Butterfly Effect.” Remember that movie? I think I’d like to watch it again. I remember the concept but not the details, the plot eludes me other than tiny ripples make large differences in the distant future.

I remember thinking about it when my kids were very little and becoming overwhelmed with the idea that what I do now, while they are so young, every day, can have lasting effects on their lives and their own families lives in the future. At the time I was feeling so not ready for the family situation I thought I had wanted. I remember walking home from the park pushing a stroller, my husband walking with his daughter a few paces behind, wanting out.

What have I done? My choices are going to destroy more lives, ruin more people’s futures. My family will be disappointed. My husband will lose what he thought was the love of his life. And my sons…another couple of children brought into this world and then abandoned. I literally wanted to run away, not divorce and reorganize, just run away from all of it. It was a rough time.

Luckily, I got some help and decided to stick around and see what happened. Today, I’m glad I did, but in all honesty, it wasn’t always so. It was touch and go for a while. Some days and weeks were better than others. And I still have bad days from time to time. But that’s all beside the point.

My decision to stay in the relationship, to raise my children with my husband, led me right where I am right now. It was one decision that led to another and one that will affect everyone around me forever. If I had decided to do the opposite, or chose and entirely different option, I can’t know what would have happened, unless we invent some way of seeing alternate timelines.

And that doesn’t necessarily mean I made a correct or best choice either. Life is good right now, but it could always be better. It’s good for me, but maybe it would have been better for my stepdaughter if I had left. My husband could have met someone else that would have made a better parent to her than I did. Who knows? All I’m saying is that every decision you make, everything that accidentally happens, every stroke of fate, leads you to another that gets you where you are now.

I became overwhelmed back then because I was trying to make “the right” choices to create “the right” future. But there is no “right.” There is only the moment we are in, with the information we have, and the people that are there now.

At some point in my life, I decided to stop worrying about making the “right” decision and started thinking about how I could make life nicer for the people around me in that moment, including myself. I stopped nagging about things I wanted done and did them myself. I stopped complaining about other people’s choices and focused on my own. It was only the beginning and I don’t even remember where that idea came from, what book, website, movie, or conversation led me to stop and think.

Inspiration to change comes from everywhere at every moment. As I walk through the store, drive down the freeway, or post on the internet, I try to remember that I’m influencing the world around me. I want to send positives out into the world, but sometimes the negatives influence others to do good things too. I’m not going to worry about any other timeline but the one I’m in and that branches out from what I’m doing right now, the best I have isn’t always that great, but it is what is and I can’t change that.

I posted about this book when I read it back in January. Go check out “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews, to see where my journey with it began.

Andy Andrews has a lot of inspirational books out and a podcast too! His website links to all his work.


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Life is a Journey Not to the Top of One Mountain but Several

The Noticer book cover on desert background. If life is a journey, this is a sweet book to help guide your path.

“Life is a journey.” It’s pretty cliché, I know, but sometimes a cliché just works so well we can’t describe something a better way.

Have you ever felt that life had become stagnant? A career had peaked and there was nowhere to go. A relationship had hit a plateau. A hobby you adore suddenly seemed pointless. That’s the mountaintop and life’s journey doesn’t end there.

“Think with me here…everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you’ll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of the mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what’s a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination – our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life’s next peak.”

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

You can get to the top of a hill and think, “Ah, yes. Here I am. I’ve made it to the top.” You begin to set up camp, make a space for yourself, but then that feeling sets in. When you take a look at your immediate surroundings, it seems there is nowhere to go but down the other side. Is this all there is? I’ve gotten to the top and now I just sit and wait?

Nope. Not even close. Take a longer look out at the horizon, get your binoculars out if you have to. There’s another peak in the distance, maybe another small one or a big one. The valley below may be wide or narrow, swampy wet or bone dry, it may even look like perfect farmland, but it has to be crossed. This is growth.

We tend to look at our life as one long climb, interrupted by trials and errors. If we somehow manage to get to the top, we win, but most of us never get that far. Most of us keep looking at our feet, climbing is all we know.

What if instead we looked at our life as a journey, with up sides, down sides, hills, mountains, fertile valleys, and dry deserts? Each portion of the journey helps us get to the next. Each hill gives us a view to survey and decide which direction to choose. Each valley teaches us the skills we need for the next climb.

Each of us should be living our own independent lives, creating our own future, following our own individual paths. People join us on our journey, long and short term. We’re born to parents that attend us in the beginning, into families that help us through the first valleys, but at some point, we stand on a mountaintop and choose a direction of our own.

We meet friends and lovers, choose full-time, part-time, and occasional partners, build small and large clans that make it easier to pass through the next valley and up the climb to the peak. Again, we stand and survey the view, choose a direction, find out who will join us, and wish the others well on their own chosen journey.

At the end of our lives, we may be at any point on the map. We’ve met people and lost people. We’ve created relationships, lost some, built on old ones. I’d like the see the “location history” of a single life, with all the intersections of other’s lives, how long they moved alongside us, and where we all ended up.

This past year, I’ve been on a mountain top and had begun to feel that “Is this all there is?” feeling. The longer I sat on it, the more fearful I became about what was coming next. Stay on the mountain dreaming about the other peaks, waiting for something to happen, or head down into the valley to work through and then head back up another peak. Neither option looked like something I wanted to do.

But then I thought, “I can’t sit here enjoying the spoils until I die. It’s just too early in life for that!” I took a good look around, decided on a new general direction and headed down the hillside. I’m not sure what peak I’m headed to at this point. I only know that the journey isn’t over and that standing still for too long isn’t going to make anything easier.

Life is a journey that’s too short to wait on fear of the unknown.

I posted about this book when I read it back in January. Go check out “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews, to see where my journey with it began.

Andy Andrews has a lot of inspirational books out and a podcast too! His website links to all his work.


“Four Reasons a Newsletter is Better Than a Social Media Feed”
Bypass the social media algorithms and sign up for my weekly newsletter. Each week will give you a rundown of my favorites posts, podcasts, and few funnies. Read what you want, when you want, without getting sucked into the endless scroll mode!

“The Noticer” by Andy Andrews

The Noticer book cover on a desert background.

This doesn’t happen very often, but I didn’t know what I was going to read when I picked up “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews off the shelf. It’s a perfect case of judging a book by its cover!

Remember when I said I was going to try reading one book at a time for a while? You don’t? Well, I did. Maybe it was in my monthly newsletter (which you can go sign up for at my Autobibilography page). Anyway…it’s not working already.

I like a lot of wonderful non-fiction books but I’m not always in the right frame of mind to read them. Sometimes they are a more difficult read and I need to be fresh minded, or it needs to be very quiet in the house for me to focus. In the afternoon, that’s not likely to be the case, but I do occasionally have some time to grab a cup of tea and read a bit. So, what can I do?

Have a second, easier book on hand! That book is typically a novel. Fiction is imagination work and not as hard for me to read. I can jump in anytime, pick up where I left off, and enjoy the journey. That’s not so much true with non-fiction.

Backstory…just a little. Last month, you may remember, a reader friend of mine had to move out of state suddenly and gifted her entire library for me to redistribute. I know…don’t be jealous. Needless to say, I kept a few, ok several, maybe ninety, books for myself. What’s happening with the rest of them? That’s another post!

So yesterday morning, I walked over to that glorious stack of gifted books looking for a nice easy novel to read with my third cup of coffee and breakfast cookie (don’t judge me). I found this cute little book and figured it would be an inspiring read.

It has the quote “This is the best book I have ever read in my life” on the cover. How can I go wrong?

I took it to my spot on the couch and began adding the title to my reading journal.

Title. “The Noticer”
Author. Andy Andrews
Year published. 2009
Genre. I wrote fiction but then flipped the book over and found “self-help” in the corner. Groan. That’s not what I was looking for, but I was already in my spot with coffee and I’d already added it in my cute new book. I’m already too invested. I may as well keep going.

I’m hooked. It’s adorable! Have you read it? If you have, give me a comment about what you thought. Andy Andrews has a lot of inspirational books out and a podcast too! His website links to all his work.


I’ve written some posts about some pieces of the book that found inspiring.
Life is a Journey Not to the Top of One Mountain But Several
Life choices: Is there a clearly good or bad decision?


“Four Reasons a Newsletter is Better Than a Social Media Feed”
Bypass the social media algorithms and sign up for my weekly newsletter. Each week will give you a rundown of my favorites posts, podcasts, and few funnies. Read what you want, when you want, without getting sucked into the endless scroll mode!

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