9/19/10

Regrets

Decisions.

Boss man tends to agonise over them. He asks for the opinions of all the people he knows, then does nothing. Then he goes through a second, third, fourth, and thirtieth round. Then he still does nothing. Finally he'll be backed into a corner, throw up his hands, and do what he wanted to do in the first place. Before he has to let someone working at Chow know that it's just not working out, he gives them like fifty "last time" warnings. He'll put himself out, so that the customer isn't getting crap, while that person continues to deteriorate.

Then, looking back, he has no regrets. He might have doubts, but definitely not regrets.

I, on the other hand, tend to make snap decisions. I sat bolt upright in bed one night, while living in Florida, and said, "We're moving to New York." A month later, we did. If I've got it into my fool head that I want to do something, I go and do it. In the end, it works out, but in the long run, there are unforseen consequences to those actions that I have to face for not thinking things through enough.

Looking back, I have no regrets. I have annoyance at the consequences, but definitely not regrets.

What's the major difference between the two of us?

I have no responsibilities to others. He does. Between his son (huge huge monumental responsibility), his family, his business, the workers in his business, and himself (notice how I list him last? That's how parents think.), he's got a world of responsibility on his shoulders. I, on the other hand, am responsible for the well-being of myself and my husband (again, notice the order). Sure, I'll see to it that my husband is fed first, and I eat only when he's had his fill. Sure, I'll stay late at the office, until the work is done. I don't, however, lose sleep over whether or not my son is learning all he needs to learn at school. Whether my business is going to fly or flop. Whether I'll finally be able to take a pay cheque after all these years.

Boss Man is strong and confident, but when you've got all these lives that you're responsible for, how else can you behave, but to be cautious? I sometimes lose patience over my perception that Boss Man isn't making snap decisions fast enough, but if I pull back and look at the bigger picture, I realise that it's actually because he's thoughtful, and careful. When you've got a kid to raise, and people to pay, and everyone to take care of, suddenly the snap decisions turn into more like slow, plodding ones. If you didn't devote that much time and care to it, people's lives are at stake.

I'm reminded of my mother, who does the same thing. To make a decision, she takes a very long time. She'll ask everyone for their input, and just sit and think on it for a few weeks. When she's formulated a plan, she'll put it into action. Then, when all the pieces have fallen into place, she'll act decisively and quickly.

And looking back, none of us have had any regrets.
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