This was a tough week for writing. I tried twice to get something out and I'm not happy with either. So, for you viewing pleasure, I decided to post both of them.
"OK, so we've got 3 options," Jack said.
That was three days ago. Today, those of us who are left, we aren't quite so sure we picked the right option. But, as the saying goes, time will tell. I just hope we've got enough time left to see this through to the end. The clock is not our friend. At least, not yet. It might end up being our friend. We don't know. Three days is a long time when you're waiting. If we'd only known.
God, I hate uncertainty. Give me a certain outcome any day of the week, even if that outcome sucks. At least you know what you've got to work with. Uncertainty, though - hate it. The only certainty we have is that we didn't have any. So we just keep on keeping on. Finding small things to keep us busy, small things that we hope won't have any impact on the big picture and that really don't need to be done anyway. Things we hope won't piss off the others. It's pretty tense.
The other two options were worse. At least, we thought so when we made the choice. The first option would've left us exactly where we were to start with. Pinned in place, not moving up. Or back. The second option would've moved us along a bit but not as far as we all wanted and needed to get. And neither would've cleared the whole pipeline. And that sorely needed doing.
Staying in place, marking time, holding our ground wouldn't have made any of us happy. It was the easy choice, the safe choice, the one that would've got us all home. But, like I said, that's not the way we're wired. We all need to be accomplishing something, moving things along, picking off problems and "gittin' 'er done" as the saying goes. Getting halfway there, well, that's all well and good but still just half measures, ya know? Again, we're not built that way. We'd all prefer to go all in, guns blazing, damn the torpedoes. Sure there's risk with that approach but, ya know, you only live once. And if we end up having to back up, we'd rather back up from further ahead. At least we'd know we gave it our best shot.
So here we sit. Waiting for something, anything, to happen. Keeping watch without being obvious. Getting on our own nerves. Waiting for the word from HQ.
Pete leaves us. Heading out. He's got places to be. Enough of the death watch for him. The rest of us share a look. We know it's not long for any of us. We watch for the promised reinforcements, hoping that they'll show up. Without them - it doesn't bear thinking about. But we each know we'll keep on with it, watching and waiting.
Finally word comes down from HQ. It's time to move. We're relieved to be doing something, getting out of the do-nothing rut of the last three days. We hustle our butts, hoping we don't miss anything. The smallest error could spell doom for us.
Decision, decisions... So many decisions in a day that may or may not have any impact on your life. Even not deciding is still a decision of a sort.
How to decide which decisions are life changing? Hmmm... A stumper. One isn't sure that question even has an answer that would stand the test of time. After all, that which is important today or tomorrow may not matter in a few months' time.
But one must decide something or one will be stuck forever in a haze of options and choices. And, while not making any given minor decision can seem innocuous, not making enough of those minor decisions can lead to being unable to make a decision regardless of the gravity of any given situation. They tend to pile up and become dependent on each other. One decision could enable the best or worst of all possible outcomes through the whole decision tree.
So what to do? The answer to that question seems obvious. Make the decision that's right in front of you using the best possible known data. That's all you can realistically do. Some may try to pretend they're playing chess and imagine what might happen 4 or 5 'moves' down the way. But, is that a realistic? Can anyone know, or accurately imagine, what's going to happen that far out? Well, no. Not really. So, what's the point of trying to work that far out in your future?
Well, if you've got a long-term life goal that you're trying to get to, that's one parameter that can be safely added to each decision in the tree. Every decision in the tree can be made keeping the long-term goal in mind. Now, having said that, there will undoubtedly be times when a detour can or must be made from the path leading to the long-term goal. Most of these detours will be temporary in nature. Things like medical emergencies or, for that matter, elective medical procedures may cause a delay in returning to the pursuit of your main goal.
But, all things being equal, your long-term goal is what you need to keep your eye on. Making decisions that don't further your movement along the path to the goal isn't necessarily a bad thing. You need to be aware, though, of the impact your short-term decisions will have on your decision tree.
So, to make a long story short, decisions that deal with your life goals shouldn't be taken lightly. You never know what you'll decide today that may make a longer term goal inaccessible. And not deciding, while equally a decision, won't get you far.