I had a simply beautiful email from a reader who enjoyed my post on making decisions. She even visited me at the show I’m doing this week, and we talked a little more.

She said, “So how do I know I’ve made the right decision??”

I told her she would know, because it would feel right in her heart.

But right after she left, I felt bad. Because that wasn’t a complete answer. Sometimes we’re in such turmoil, even those other options don’t feel like they offer much clarity.

What I should have said was, just do something.

Do one thing different. Take one step toward the goal of your dreams.

I have a friend who can’t decide if she wants to pursue a line of study she abandoned years ago. It’s too late to go back to college, right? What would she use another degree for? What will she do with it?? (See the either/or thing?)

We have several colleges in the area, many with continuing education classes. I suggested she simply take one course.

She could take a class, and see how it goes. Heck, she can take as many classes as she wants! Who says she “has to” continue, or “has to” change careers, or “has to” do anything with it. Maybe it’s okay to just take a class, or continue to study something that gives you joy. “Taking chemistry classes can be another one of your hobbies!” I told her.

I believe what will happen is, as she moves across this “different stream”, she’ll encounter new people, new conversations, and new opportunities.

She may choose to embrace those opportunities–or not. Maybe she’ll simply find everything in her life is just fine, and now she has a new interest that makes her happy. Or maybe she find a new career opportunity, or simply a new friend. Maybe after one chemistry class, she’ll realize it was fun, but she’s simply done with it. It’s all good.

A decision to do something–or even a decision to do nothing, oddly enough–simply puts you on a different path. It may or may not be better, but you can still always decide something else.

I drilled that into my kids (and I’m hoping it sticks): You always have options. You will learn and grow from any of them, very few will be totally wrong, and que sera and all that.

Use your options. It will get you out of the deadlock of either/or, this-or-that, yes-or-no. And once you start moving forward, your way will become more clear.

(If this post is not coherent, please remember I’m on Day 7 of a nine-day show!!)

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.


  1. I agree with you…do something. A couple of years ago I took Photoshop at night at the local community college. It was intimidating, but I soon realized my mind still functioned and I could learn as well as the kids who were just out of HS. And I have been taking classes ever since. It has been great!


  2. Holy moly! A nine day show!

    A great book for people in the situation you describe is:

    It’s only too late if you don’t start now by Barbara Sher,

    You may know her book Wishcraft.

    Hope it’s a good show for you,



  3. I know two women who decided they wanted to be a doctor late in life and went to medical school. One of them had been a ballet dancer before going back to school.

    When I look back at my own it seems like a twisted path with some sharp turns here and there, but it is a connected path. I just try to not be so focused that I don’t recognize opportunities.

    Thanks for this discussion. I’ve gotten a lot out of it.


  4. Thank you so much for so often putting into words so many of the things I struggle with. Very few people travel in a straight line to get where they end up in life. I admit to having taken the “scenic route” myself.



  5. I love this post. Thank you for sharing! Wow. Makes me want to take Chemistry in addition to the other classes calling my name!


  6. That you had the energy to blog after all week at Sunapee is amazing! I stopped by your booth, but your were crazy busy with customers (a good thing) but I am interested if you have any bear sculptures left after the show?
    Thank you for your blog, a great read.


  7. My grandmother, who was a tough old gal, used to say, “Dammit Wendy – do SOMETHING, even if it’s not the RIGHT thing!” In her unconventional way, she left me with this love-filled sentiment, which has continued to give me the courage to take chances and “do something.” Great post!


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