Easy Choices Lead To Hard Decisions

Climbing Muellers Peak, Summer

Another Saturday night here in the Lone Star state and I am seated at my desk thinking about mountain climbing and how I feel like some kind of cross between Sir Edmund Hillary and a Sherpa.

One guy got the glory and the other got to carry the crap up the mountainside.

It is not entirely fair to characterize either man as being just shlepper or just an adventurer, but sometimes it is reflective of how we feel and why sometimes we take a “grass is always greener perspective.

There is Truth in Song Lyrics

There is truth in song lyrics which is why it is fun to listen to and quote from them. I often think of Rush and their song Freewill:

“You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that’s clear-
I will choose Free Will.”
Emphasis mine

Sometimes things happen and you can’t let yourself get caught up in questions about whose fault it is or if there is a reason you can point to.

Most of the things that led to the choices I had to make here were things outside of my control. I won’t lie and say I didn’t try to analyze and understand so that I could prevent it from happening again because I did.

I could create an infographic or write a report that tied it up in a neat little package but it wouldn’t change the fundamentals which demonstrate how many things were outside of my control.

Truth is it made me feel better for about ten minutes to see how I did the best I could and then I was over it because easy choices led to hard decisions.

What Does That Mean?

What it means is when I analyzed the situation I came up with three choices none of which I liked much, but it didn’t change the need to choose and move.

My children haven’t been particularly enamored of several of these but my job as their father requires a willingness to do things because they have to be done and not because they are fun.

When I took a harder look at things the easy choice became a hard decision.

It was logical, rational and smart but tough because it turned things upside down and since it didn’t provide a picture of what would come afterwards I couldn’t show them how it would make life better.

The Magic 8 Ball didn’t help either, so I resorted to the “I promise it will work out mode and gave them a hug.”

I do believe it to be so, but it is not necessarily easier for me because of that.

Time Will Tell

Time will tell whether these moves leave me playing Tenzing or Hillary. Perhaps at a later date we can have a philosophical discussion about the benefits of being Tenzing, because there are many, but for now we’ll set that aside.

In the interim Raiders of The Lost Ark is playing and I have to go watch because Indiana Jones is still someone I want to be when I grow up.

What about you?

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  1. Kayla March 17, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I think it really shows character to be able to make tough decisions. use logic and use emotion where you can but then make the decision and be proud of been decisive and making the call – dont look back at it and wonder what it. Move forward!

  2. Geoff Livingston March 17, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Parents have to do what they have to do. money is a means to a end, and you seem to get that. I am sure your kids will get that later on, too…

    • Jack March 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Geoff,

      The hard part about being a kid is that sometimes we don’t get those things. When I look back now at some stuff I understand my folks must have been dealing with some harder times, but I didn’t see it then.

      Truthfully I can’t say I really remember being affected so, my concerns might not be warranted, but that is part of the joy of parenting. Hope you are enjoying your vacation.

  3. Gina March 17, 2013 at 6:12 am

    “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” The Fray

  4. Stan Faryna March 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    The British were entrenched in Boston and, nearby, at Bunker Hill. But they were starving and poorly supplied. General George Washington, recently appointed Commander-in Chief by the Second Continental Congress, arrived on the scene to find an undisciplined, disorganized and untrained Continental army. General Washington, himself, was unprepared for such a command. He experience in military command had been leading an auxiliary (infantry) regiment but that was 17 years ago. This 40 year old, gentleman, plantation owner seemed to bring only six “virtues” to the fight.

    1. At 6’2″, he towered over most men
    2. He wore an impeccable uniform – even in attendance at the Continental Congress
    3. His manner was exceedingly gracious, polite and considerate of others
    4. He had married into money
    5. He believed in discipline and performance; he gave no quarter to insubordination – he had his own men whipped close to death for minor infractions and carelessness
    6. He longed for a greatness of destiny all of his life – yet pursued it with great patience

    He did not know his army outnumbered the British 4 to 1. But he did know that the Continental army stood no chance against the discipline, training, weapons, and strategy of the British. And to his great surprise and disappointment, he quickly learned that the whole Continental army gathered there didn’t have black powder for more than a few hours of armed conflict.

    • Jack March 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Stan,

      I have been thinking about your comment and Washington as a man for an entire day now. I am truly sorry we don’t have footage of him. I would have liked to have had a voice and some mannerisms to go along with the other things we know about him.

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