Archives for posts with tag: life choices
Venn Diagram Truth Table

Venn Diagram Truth Table

In the past, I would do almost anything to save a relationship … even one that wasn’t in my best interest. Until, I realized how much that “bad” relationship cost me personally. How many tears, disappointments, rejections and dismissals. It all adds up to character development and a greater experience of life lessons.

That’s a nice way of saying that you learn about life from stuff that was painful.

Relationships work best when similar needs and wants intersect. Pairing a pirate with a nun is probably not going to produce a harmonious arrangement of intersecting points.

And over the last decade, I have learned that salvaging is intense. Building is easy.

What’s the Difference?

Salvaging is picking up the pieces, the dregs of what once was. Building creates form and function from anew.

Back Story: A long time ago, I bought a house built from salvaged materials. The original house was almost done with construction when a fire broke out. The builder, not having enough cash to rebuild from scratch (the house wasn’t insured because it wasn’t completed), salvaged and scrimped to get the house rebuilt. He did some interesting things that would never work in today’s building code but we are talking about sixty years ago.

The house wasn’t plumb. No corner was square. The load bearing beam had lally columns (I could go on). You get the picture? The house was pieced together with parts that didn’t fit.

The original construction did fit.

Trying to salvage a relationship based on broken pieces or parts that don’t mesh is doomed. Like the pirate and nun example, there are probably no intersecting parts. Why waste time salvaging when building new is more satisfying and will lead to better relationships?

The Big Question

You always have a choice. The question is “Can you walk away?” Will salvaging get you want you want? Or will building something new work for you? There is a price difference. How much are you willing to pay?

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OscarsI am impetuous about unusual things: buying a book, walking down the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon without any water, tearing into a snowfield with my new snowshoes and getting lost, or joining a chant group just because. You get the picture. I get carried away with enthusiasm for the experience.

Yet, when it comes to important decisions like buying a home, changing jobs, or leaving/entering new relationships, I am slower than a tortoise with gout.  I sometimes lose the decision option. It’s made for me. And … I hate that.

Indecision Decisions

Let me backtrack a little about these indecision decisions.  When there is a lot of emotional investment around the outcome, I tend to tread slowly. When I bought my first house, I was in denial about having to take on the responsibility. I liked living carefree in rentals. No grass to cut. No plumbing problems to resolve. You just call the manager and somebody shows up to fix whatever.

For the most part, I worked for good companies. I was well compensated and established long-lasting friendships. Money wasn’t the primary factor. Comfort reigned supreme. I worked on interesting projects and learned a lot about management hands on.

My relationships were similar. Lots of long time friends. New people could join my circle but there were always long-term friendships that weathered time and trouble. A lot of comfort and support. Rarely did people get booted off my island.

What’s the problem?

Yes, there is one. It’s called complacency.

All aspects of my job were not fabulous. Some of my relationships were one-sided. I wasn’t being challenged to grow and develop who I really was. I was coasting.

Here was my defining moment: I was washing dishes and I looked out my kitchen window into the backyard and I thought “Is this it?”

I felt empty. Other people would have thought, she’s got everything: a husband, family, home and good job. But I thought about the stillness of disquiet. The nagging feeling that I was short-changing myself.

Life started to shift gears. I made more decisions that affected my mental health, work enjoyment, and family life. I didn’t wait for things to change. I changed them. Some of the changes went terribly awry (and still do). Other changes developed an inner peace about my purpose in life (and still do).

In one aspect, a very important relationship, I waited too long to make a decision and gained a regret. Today, I am more discerning about who enters into my life and what are the boundaries. My heart and head collaborate. There is no perfect time. I have fewer surprises about my inner circle. And that’s a state I can abide.

What Is A Choice?

Waiting really isn’t making a choice; it’s a default. Taking action will probably get you what you need. If you want to win a personal award, take action.

Waiting wins no awards.

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