Did I Choose That Path or Did That Path Choose Me?


Originally posted in 2015 – Time to revisit this message

My life has been the ultimate journey.  I’ve heard it said that your life is a series of choices.

But really:

Do you actually get to plan your trip?

Do you really get to lead your life your way or …

Do you simply follow paths that are laid out for you?

I Was Not A Planner

I remember realizing, during my junior year of high school, that my friends had plans to go to college.  What?  I hadn’t even given it a thought!  Good god!  I visited the guidance counselor for the first time, about then, saying something like “HELP!  Should I be going to college?”

Two years later, I was in college and started out in the Business School.  Why?  Because, I don’t know.  It sounded like a good idea, and I had to start somewhere.  It didn’t take long to realize that I actually hated business classes and there I was, sitting on the floor of my shared apartment, combing through a course catalog trying to find something that sounded interesting.  Did I plan on the field of education or was I guided there?  I don’t know.  Did I choose to leave the field of business or were my lack-luster grades telling me to GET OUT while I still have a grade point average of some kind?

Subtle little messages along life’s pathway are not planned.  They’re just there.  When I got married, did I plan to get a divorce?  Not at all.  Yet there it was.  And when I retired from thirty plus years in education, did I plan to walk away from a beautiful new house to move to a little apartment?  Ummm.  NO!

Planning Without A Plan

I’ve never gone on a vacation without some forethought.  I  choose the destination and pack accordingly.  I also take enough money to allow me options once I arrive.  However, I never enjoyed vacations where too many things were preplanned.  And, it’s been that way with my life as well.

Of course, there is fore thought that goes into choosing a career, getting married, or having children, but beyond that initial “plan” there are no guarantees.  And so, I have learned to plan without a plan.  I plan for things to change.  I plan for surprises.  I plan to sometimes be disappointed and sometimes be pleasantly surprised.

Feeling Blessed To Be Alive

I come from a family burdened with heart disease and cancer.  My father died when I was in 7th grade, my mother when I was a brand new mom.  Since then, two brothers have passed away and one more brother had a severe heart attack and has had triple bypass surgery.  Add to all of that, my girl’s father gave up on life, choosing suicide, instead.

I need to simply be thankful for each day.  I know that I can not choose every path my life takes but I can choose what I do…today!  I choose to be happy.  I choose to accept life as it is.  I choose to reflect light.

I Choose To Breathe In Positive Thoughts

I produced this video during a time when I could have been depressed.  Instead, by some miracle, I found myself living on the edge of this beauty.  Some people, who live in this same apartment complex, have never stepped into this woods.  They say “It’s too hot!  There are so many mosquitos!”

I, on the other hand, chose to follow the paths and listen to the messages that were  there to guide my way.  If I hadn’t done that, I would never have seen the beauty that lived right outside my back door.


  1. jpeschel1 says:

    Reblogged this on S.M.I.L.E – Simple Messages In Life's Eye and commented:

    I wrote this for another blog I’ve started but it fits on this blog as well.

  2. I learned so much about you in this blog I feel like I know you now. Sorry to hear about your family’s health issues. My brother-in-law (my sister’s husband) is dying of cancer and we are just waiting for the call. Life sucks sometimes!

    1. jpeschel1 says:

      Thank you, Cathy. Hang in there. Storms pass and the sun really does shine again.

  3. It’s a beautiful video, well done! Thank you.

    1. jpeschel1 says:

      Thank you, Maddy.

  4. Vibrant says:

    Dear Jane,

    I feel a deep connection to you as we both have surrendered to life and accepted it wholeheartedly 🙂

    This is a beautiful post. Comely deer. 🙂

    I am sorry for your losses 🙂

    I have couple suggestions as a constructive feedback for this article :
    1. “Did That Path Choose Me?”
    [ Chose me–typo!]

    2. The images in video
    [ I assume you’ve edited this video.]

    I suggest you keep slow pace b/w images–let the viewer see them with stillness–let them absorb the beauty of nature and soak it in. It’s very fast right now. Just my two penny!]

    Have a great day 🙂


  5. jpeschel1 says:

    Thank you so much, Anand, for your great feedback. I have slowed down the video and I do really like it much better. Along the way, I also found some other errors. So, I liked your two pennies! 🙂

  6. Jackie says:

    “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

  7. jpeschel1 says:

    Thank you, Jackie.

  8. izabolinha says:

    Oh! this is incredibly beautiful and inspiring ! So much so that I will bookmark it to review it when needed (and much better than meds 😉 ) Thank YOU 🙂

  9. jpeschel1 says:

    You are very kind. Thank you so much

  10. I loved the walk with you out your back door. Thank you for that.

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