Monday, November 23, 2009

Remember the Alamo

One of my “claims to fame” is that I look for life lessons and strategies in unusual places.

Okay, so I’m not actually famous. Yet. (Picture me miming the universal hand sign for telephone and mouthing the words, “Oprah – call me.”)

Anyhoo...

This week’s travels took me to San Antonio, Texas. As a nice treat, my hotel room had a lovely view of The Alamo. In fact, I was so close that I could have thrown a rock out my window and hit a tourist.

Luckily for the ridiculously loud couple wearing matching “Deep In the *HEART SHAPE* of Texas” sweatshirts, my hotel windows were bolted shut.

Yet, being that close to this national landmark got me thinking about how life can sometimes feel like a battlefield. (Oh crap – now I’ll have that Jordin Sparks song in my head for the rest of the day. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

According to the glossy literature in my hotel room, the "Battle of the Alamo" was unique in that there were many sides waging war. It was complex as well as challenging. Just like life.

Furthermore, the battle cry of "Remember the Alamo" has come to represent strength, honor and tenacity. These are certainly desirable attributes in life as well.

Luckily, most of us are not personally fighting against the minions of tyranny on a day-to-day basis. (If you are the exception and are just taking a break from your revolution to visit my blog of all things, it's an honor I'm sure!)

In our daily lives, we just have to pick our battles

It’s true. Sometimes managing life balance involves making quick choices about when to fight, when to flee and when to surrender. Or in an ideal world, when to act like a gentle leaf floating on a babbling brook, just going with the flow.

(Full stop.) We've already established that we do not live in an ideal world.  But it's a nice thought.

When I find myself at the battle line I ask myself, "What am I hoping to accomplish?  What's my goal?"

As I get older, I find that I am less likely to choose battles which are only fought to prove that I'm right or better or have a higher rank.  

My daughter wants to wear red and white polka dot socks with her purple dress? More power to her.  Hubby wants to believe that his way of organizing the pantry is best? Okey dokey artichokie!

As you think about sources of stress in your life, maybe this is something to consider. 

Sometimes you do have to set boundaries and fight for what you believe in.
On the other hand, sometimes we put forth troops of energy towards the wrong battles.  Even if we "win" does it really make our lives any better? You know, that whole winning the battle but losing the war thing. 

Today's Balance Beam message unofficially sponsored by Jordin Sparks, The Alamo and tacky souvenier shops everywhere:  Pick your battles.

Best,


Sing it with me! "Why does love always feel like a battlefield, a battlefield, a battlefield?  Better go get your armor..."


Photo source: Texas Bed & Breakfast Association
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11 comments:

Rae said...

Excellent post and terrific advice. I am learning that some battles are just pointless. In the end no one wins, so why bother in the first place. Now I have that tune rattling around in my head too. It is wearing a groove in my gray matter. Next post can you give advice on how to make it stop?

Charlene said...

Haha Rae - I'll see what I can do!

Melissa B. said...

Awesome! And as a Native Tejana, I can tell you that San Antonio is one of my favorite places on Earth. I learned to pick my battles a long time ago. Life is too short, but my patience even shorter...

Charlene said...

Life is short indeed. Well said Melissa!

Heather said...

Oh so well said Charlene!

Life is too short, and we do need to pick our battles. Is winning this battle going to help me get further in where I am going, and am I even going to remember what I was fighting for next week? If not - what's the point :)

Tammy Howard said...

I love San Antonio. :-)

And I have been picking my battles for a long, long time.

Hunter said...

You should definitely check out the treasures in the basement of the Alamo. ;)

Bruce Coltin said...

Well, what's to say? I would never fight with you anyway.

plainolebob said...

Charlene, I lived in San Antonio, and loved it.
Did you not go to the river walk?
As far as choosing battles, the Alamo is the perfect back drop.

Sarah said...

i seem to always pick the wrong battle...
(now i have 2 of the same post. this reading list thing is nuts)

Bren said...

I live in the greatest city filled with tacky souvenier shops, The Alamo, and home of the greatest tacos! lol Good one. You know, I just figured out the whole pick your battles. I wish I would have learned it when I was like 18. I would have won a lot more arugments with my parents. They wouldn't have had the,"You always want something, Brenda" retort. ;) Oh and if you're still here. Try La Fogata. They have the best Margarita's and Mexican Food!

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