Have you ever had a time in your life when you knew exactly what you wanted and were totally and completely focused on getting it? What if that something could only be accomplished if something else actually took place first? What if you just kept trekking along on your designated path to your goal, but that goal always seemed a little out of reach? However, with full certainty you wholeheartedly believe the end result will be everything you dreamed so you are immobilized from deviating from your current path.
2012 was that year for us…the year of the golden handcuffs. For us, it came in the form of a job opportunity for my husband. It required us to make some huge changes in our lives including another move across the ocean and a venture into homeschooling for the kids and I. It also meant once again walking away from our small Texas community, a place which has always provided our family with a great education for our children and fed us spiritually. Our reason for this new chapter in our life was to bring our close-knit family of four back together after living with an ocean between us for over a year. It seemed the heartache of missing each other was in constant conflict with the warm fuzzy feeling of being surrounded by friends, teachers, and a parish community who showed us endless support. So…we maintain our current path with golden handcuffs securely fastened, in the hopes that the pay off will be worth it, with immense gratitude we have a job in today’s market, and full hearts to be together.
Yet, I can’t help but think of all the other aspects in our lives where we find ourselves in golden handcuffs. The New Year always brings with it the resolve to live a healthier life and so many of us enthusiastically take the path and willingly place our hands in the golden handcuffs of a vision of a thinner, fitter, body. We often welcome the golden handcuffs of all the climb up that corporate ladder promises. And relationships often provide the ultimate golden handcuffs…especially when we are in desperate search of that fairy tale romance and the happily ever after we so often crave.
Golden handcuffs can represent an impetus for a better future, motivation to better ourselves and our situation. Golden handcuffs can also become a restriction, an obstruction of progress, and ultimately the one thing keeping us from our true destiny.
What are your golden handcuffs? Do you see them as a positive or a negative?