"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

Fork in the Road

The term fork in the road typically means a decision point; a metaphoric place we come to on life’s path where we need to decide between two or more options—including standing still (not making a choice), which of course is a decision.

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Creating a list of pros and cons for each option is often helpful. And if we truly learn from our mistakes—which I believe we do—we can benefit from both positive and negative outcomes of past choices. In addition to doing our due diligence (looking before we leap), we can also draw upon the “gut factor”—our instinct as it relates to the matter at hand.

As Len and I wait for our home to sell, we’re having fun researching where we want to move. We’re looking at climate, cultural offerings, property and income tax rates, unemployment rate, crime rate, occurrence of natural disasters (ie., earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods)—to name but a few of the considerations.

What was your last fork in the road?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”  — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

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Comments on: "Fork in the Road" (76)

  1. I am at the same fork, whether to sell my house or not is my fork at the moment, and if I do where will I move is also the question. I will be curious as to what you decide. It is all a learning and growing process.

  2. Cherry Harris said:

    I recently applied for a weekend job . I work for myself in the week but work has dropped off considerably and money is tight . I have social phobia and confidence problems… so I applied for a cleaning job in a local hotel , something I felt I could cope with . I applied KNOWING it would take away my freedom on weekends , MAD or WHAT !!!! .

    My husband and myself , are building a house by the sea in Wales , and we hope to be moving there in a year or so . So naturally we always go weekends to do a bit work on it and I love it . It’s my little paradise .
    SOOOOO three interviews later I was ‘LUCKY ‘ enough to get the job . I went for one day and had to give up .I chose my beautiful ‘half house’ by the sea and my freedom …I just know I made the right decision . I hope you think so too.
    Love your post as always Cherry x

    • Cherry – I believe I would have made the exact same choice: a husband you love, your little paradise, and a half-house by the sea are some pretty darned compelling reasons :)

  3. Laurie, if you are considering Phoenix, Arizona, I am give you information about living here ;). I think I am nearing a fork in the road, but until I read your post I didn’t realize it.

    • Luanne – Right now the geographic draw is Boise, Idaho. But I’ve ear-marked your information offer for Phoenix — thank you :)

      • I’m not pushing PHoenix, mind you ;). It has a nasty summer.

      • Luanne – the “cool” thing about Phoenix is that while it can be hot as blazes, the humidity levels remain pretty low (dry heat) as compared to here (Crystal Lake, IL) where just last week we were flirting with an 88% humidity level on a hellishly hot day.

  4. Time With Thea said:

    Excellent advice. My husband and I are looking at moving in the next couple of years and we have no idea where we would like to relocate. Your pro and con with all of the considerations is a good place to work from in helping make the decision. ~Thea

  5. Good luck, Laurie! I just can’t imagine picking up and moving across country like that. I lived in California for a few years but soon discovered that I had firm roots in Indiana. Thanks for sharing your story and heart. My fork in the rode presently relates to home and repairs to it due to somewhat natural disasters. I guess it’s come time to face it now that the rain has stopped and the weather has cooled down. Wish me luck!

    • Thorns4roses – In February of 2011 our garage sustained tremendous damage from that horrific storm that the midwest was hit with. We had to pay a hefty deductible, but the insurance company picked up the rest. You may want to check with your insurance company. You may be pleasantly surprised at what they’ll cover :)

  6. Laurie, I am aware of facing ‘forks in the road’ regularly. . . often on a minute to minute basis.

  7. I finally have the luxury of responding to one of your blogs ON THE SAME DAY IT WAS WRITTEN! All of my forks have led me down the spiritual path so I choose the path of least resistance these days. I just give in to the one that my soul craves and listen for the voice of Spirit (which, by the way, can be found on any path).

  8. My last fork in the road was the decision to leave a “regular” job to begin full-time freelance work, and in hindsight, I only wish I’d made the move sooner! The next fork in the road is one I apparently share with you and some of your other followers: contemplating a move (back) out West. I grew up in CA, have lived all over since then, including the last 20 years in FL; it’s time for a change, and Portland, Oregon is looking like “the one.”

    • Portland and/or the Pacific Northwest calls to me at least once a week. I can’t tell you how many of my close cyber friends are from that part of the country. Now you!

      • Dorothy – Having lived in Vancouver, Washington for five years, I can tell you first-hand that the Pacific Northwest is wonderful – and a great pivot point to many other grand locations.

    • Change It Up Editing – I lived across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington for five years and constantly found myself in wonderful, glorious Portland :)

  9. I feel like my entire life has been a fork in the road! :) I’m looking for a straight and narrow path. Good luck, right??!! As long as you’re on the subject of moving, I think about moving all the time. Something keeps calling me away from the place I am living now – been calling for 20 + years. The on-going conversation I have with myself is: Is the call real or is it the simple draw of: the grass is always greener. Unable to answer the call for of this time, I have learned to blossom where I’m planted, although I still believe I’d smile more if I were blossoming by the ocean! Change is hard. It’s complicated and more unnerving with every year that passes. Still, it calls.

    • Dorothy – I can well imagine the call of the sea to be a temptress. My sister lives within a stone’s throw (so I can get my ocean fixes by visiting her). We love our little cottage-sized home and wish we could simply pick it up and move it. The thing we just can’t take any more are the beyond-harsh winters. I’m game for “some” snow, but not not multiple feet of it at a time.

      • I lived in Main as a kid and then NY for my early years, now the south. I never know what season it is here, but though I love Maine, I think I’m with you – a little snow goes a long way!

      • Dorothy – That’s some mighty cold parts of the country you’ve lived in. Brrrrrr…

        If we move from Crystal Lake, Illinois to Boise, Idaho, we’ll go from 49 annual inches of snow, down to 22 annual inches of snow. To my way of thinking, that’s doable and we’ll still be able to tell the seasons apart :)

  10. I love that photo. Fork in the road.
    Many of my life decisions have been followed by the universe’s gentle nudge that indeed I’ve made the right decision. For example, in 2010 I choose to close my knitwear design business in fair of writing full-time. I’d suffering through wrist pains for a few years. It finally got so bad that I went to a hand therapy clinic. I was told, “Closing your knitting business was probably the best thing you could have done for your wrist.” Yup. : )

    • Leanne – I’m confident that when I laid on my stomach out on the street in front of our house, our neighbors were peeking through the windows saying, “What’s she up to now?!”

      As one of your readers, I, for one, am thrilled that you turned to writing :)

  11. Love your focus on how NOT making a decision IS a decision. Sometimes people (including me!) forget that. I stayed in an academic department, working for a doctoral degree, for years when it was making me miserable even though I was excelling with all my work. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to leave or not.

    I finally did, sans degree but with a sense of courage and adventure. I’m still looking for work and hoping my master’s degree will help me out! :-)

  12. The photo gave me a good laugh, Laurie. Bet you can’t guess what my last fork in the road was. LOL Might it have something to do with moving to South America? LOL

    I’ve heard that Ecuador comes highly recommended–just a thought.

    Hugs from you-know-where,
    Kathy

  13. You are right, Laurie, we were both thinking along similar lines. As you know, I tend to think about sixteen sides of an issue. But lately then just spend time waiting to see what decision arises naturally. It’s been fascinating to see that so often a decision just arises once everything has been pondered. It feels much more relaxing than it used to be.

    • Kathy D. – I told you last week that great minds (as in our two pointed noggins), think alike :) And I love that you’ve relaxed into observing the decision that rises naturally around you.

  14. Great post, Laurie! My hubby and I are in a similar boat, thinking about finding a better property for more dogs… the back and forth is endless, but we’re looking. Hugs to you, Paulette

    • Paulette – Best wishes to you as you continue to find the ideal location for everyone concerned — including your companion animals :)

      I can relate… as we look at homes, one of our criteria is a fully fenced yard because we have an Irish Wolfhound and a Standard Poodle.

  15. Hi Laurie,

    My last major fork in the road was turning down nomination to be President of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council 4 weeks ago, and remain as vice president for another year. 3 weeks before that I accepted nomination to be chairman of the Kaikoura Zone Water Management committee.
    And while both fisheries management and water management are interests in my life, my greater passion is with the forms of development possible for humanity.
    It seems that the fork in the road rapidly approaching for me, is do I commit myself to universal cooperation and universal abundance, or do I just stay involved (as the old farmer defined the difference, in a bacon and eggs breakfast, the chicken is involved, the pig is committed).

    As to choice of place to be, it is never easy.

    Great beauty in landscape (such as the mountains out our windows), only come about as the result of massive tectonic activity – meaning large earthquakes periodically. Proximity to bodies of water comes with risk of flooding. Large plains come with tornado risk.

    We have chosen to live here in Kaikoura, in the full knowledge of the earthquake risk, and we have a house that should remain largely intact even in the largest of earthquakes; some things will break, and it should still shelter us from the worst of the weather.

    While we do often have winds that reach and exceed 100 miles per hour, we have a very low risk of tornadoes. Ailsa and I both love weather. An hour ago the wind was 10 knots, now it is gusting 40 knots, and driving rain, and snowing on the mountains.

    If you are considering international – perhaps Kaikoura is worth a look?
    It is a small town, and it is over an hour in most directions to the next small town, 2.25 hours to the nearest city. And it is a very beautiful, very interesting, place to live.

    • Ted – trust me, we’ve investigated (especially as Len’s such a LORD OF THE RINGS fan. Not just the movies/books, but the “behind the scenes” information). And the flying in New Zealand (as you know) is out of this world (if you’re a skilled pilot at flying over mountains/sheer cliffs). And so on…

      • Yeah – in the gliding club I was known as the “Ridge Rabbit”, specialising in squeezing the lift out of the last few feet of air near the ridgeline.

        And yes – the flying here in NZ is awesome!!!
        And the weather is highly changeable. Had my share of “close calls”.

        And flying around “Lord of the Rings” territory is truly awe inspiring. Much of it is a sheer ice sculptured land, with some amazing hikes. And the film was shot in many locations, North and South Islands – and much of it was at the head of Lake Wakatipu – around Paradise Station (a place Ailsa and I have stayed at many times – the old owner was a family friend of Ailsa’s – David was a “real character”, and Ailsa spent most of her childhood holidays there – she hates the movies of Lord of The Rings, for all the terrible things {Orks} in her favourite places).

      • Ted – Forever you will now be “Ridge Rabbit” in Len’s mind. And I can definitely sympathize with Ailsa’s distaste of Orks (and other nasties) in her favorite places :)

  16. Every day is a fork in the road. How can one get through life without making decisions all day long?

    I’m happily settled in Charlottesville, VA. A great university town in a rural setting, with lots going on in the arts, 3 hrs to Washington, DC, 4 hrs. to the ocean, 30 minutes to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Great weather most of the time. Summer is warm and humid but managable. The rest of the year is pretty great, especially fall and spring. Little to no snow here most of the time.

  17. Melissa Crytzer Fry said:

    What a fun fork to consider! But probably also a bit daunting. The frequent fork in the road of many writers seems to be: “who is the right agent”?

  18. I love your photo of the fork… needed a good belly laugh.
    My fork was when I stood on stage to give a speech and couldn’t see the audience or my notes. I had to wing it. When the audience laughed my knees stopped shaking and I was able to fly with them. It opened the door to my career. Since, there have been a lot of forks. I discovered that it is ok to make decisions on moving, career, relationships and life starts to align around the dreams.
    Thank you for your blog and the fun times with your readers. When you get to the new destination let’s all celebrate Laurie and Len.

    • Kathy S. – I had fun taking the photo (laying on my belly in the street in front of our house). I love the word picture you painted of being “blind” before an audience and winging it :) If ANYone can pull it off, it’s YOU :)

  19. My family and I are moving house this September. To our own home. We’ve been living in an office-rented accommodation for the past ten years and so this move is an exciting one.

  20. The older I get the more important each move becomes, and the more deliberation that goes into them. It’s a big decision. Not that it can’t be changed, but moving requires a lot of energy and isn’t cheap! My husband and I often deliberate where we might like to live next, but we both know we can’t possibly figure it out until the time comes. I’m excited for you Laurie – despite the drawbacks, you are heading for the adventure of new surroundings; what fun!
    If you are interested in Phoenix I know a fabulous Realtor. ;)

    • Cynthia – It is, indeed, a BIG decision, especially as Len and I both feel it’s our last move. In other words, not a lot of wiggle room for error. That’s why property and income tax rates are so important to us – we’ll both retire within the next 15 years and be on a fixed income. We don’t want it eaten away by high taxes. I’ve dog-eared your offer to put us in touch with a fabulous realtor should be decide on Phoenix – thank you :)

  21. I have quite a collection of “forks.” They seem to show up on a daily basis. I have learned that even simple, seemingly innocent decisions can have major consequences!

  22. I’m on the road right before you get to the fork…if there is such a thing! I resigned from a stressful job and I’m taking care of some health issues. I’m getting antsy to go back to work again but I want to be very selective so I haven’t narrowed my options yet.

    It sounds like so much fun researching where you want to live next. Enjoy the process!

  23. At a fork with no tines

  24. There’s always a fork in the road, or so it seems to me. Best wishes on your future move :)

  25. My own last ‘fork’? Well it was just this past week when I opted to accept an offer from our school superintendent to accept a new basic skills position (Title 1) in my wife’ school. This will represent a departure from the past several years, where I had been moving from building to building. I could have opted to stick with my old position, but the chance to be in Lucille’s building (especially with all issues of the past months) was really a perfect opportunity and I accepted it.

    Great to see you are conducting a thorough examination in regards to your impending move Laurie, and I’m sure you’ll make the right choice.

    Ah, some Robert Frost here:

    The Road Not Taken

    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 kept 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.

  26. Love that fork in the road pic! Very cool illustration ;) My current crossroad and cause of indecisiveness lies in whether to follow up an animal care course I’m considering. Having just finished a 6 month stint of academic qualifications I don’t know if I really have the enthusiasm and commitment to deal with any more courses right now. It’s looking to be a lot more work than I first thought and I’m torn!

    • Europasicewolf – Have you made a “Pros & Cons” list yet? If the “pro” column outweighs the “cons,” it may well be worth pursuing. Interestingly, the answer already resides within you – you just need to spend a little time coaxing it out :)

  27. Hello Laurie, good luck with selling the house and finding your perfect dream location! :-)
    My last fork in the road was last month: deciding whether to risk quitting my job and going self employed, to do what I love doing. With a young family, this was a big risk… but I went for it, because I knew that if I didn’t, I would regret it. However it turns out (early days yet!) I’m glad I made the jump!
    Light & Blessings x

  28. totsymae1011 said:

    I’ve gotten better with forks. It’s not rocket science. Just knowing that whatever decision I make is the decision to live with it. Though, some road forks are tough and sometimes you never know if you made the wrong decision ’til you get halfway down the road and you’re standing there like a dog in the dark.

    • Totsymae1011 – You’re absolutely right. Every decision we make comes with its own set of consequences. Our better choices have lovely consequences; our not-quite-so-brilliant decisions come back to bite us in the butt :)

  29. blackwatertown said:

    One fork that was on my mind was whether or not – or when – to return to blogging. At a low ebb, I did not want to blurt the causes everywhere.
    But the decision has now been made.

  30. Love the picture! Most of our forks in the road seem to involve care-giving, deciding what we can reasonably do for father, aunt and brother-in-law, and all the logistics entailed. Looking forward to making a decision for just the two of us about moving somewhere farther north, but still by the sea, some day.

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