Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

” It’s hard to imagine a more stupid, or a more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." …Thomas Sowell. 

😊I think that’s a pretty well-thought-out statement and that most of us have probably failed to look at it that way. The first thing that comes to mind is about medical decisions. Many of us take our doctor’s recommendation with ever getting a second opinion and there are times when they are dead wrong. We let car salespeople convince us to buy a more expensive vehicle when our wallet says no, no, no. One of the worst decisions I made was hiring a lawyer who had absolutely no experience in the area of law that I needed him for. He sure made some bad decisions on my behalf. In my opinion, the only time you can have someone decide for you is when they are a close friend, or relative. The price they pay is losing your affection. I believe it incumbent on all of us to have people we trust implicitly and to discuss upcoming important decisions with them. 

Karl Kraus said, “A weak man has doubts before a decision, and a strong man has them afterwards." Sometimes, I’m a feeble man, other times a tough guy. I just can’t decide which one I am at the moment.  

😊I've been working very hard on a project for a couple of months now. It involves putting down interlocking pavers on an often-traveled trail from our backyard to my workshop. It involved cutting a 7-inch-deep trail 54 inches wide for 60 feet. I will have a pretty big pile of dirt to dispose of sometime soon. I sorta figured the effort involved in moving 7½” of dirt, shoveling in 3½ inches of gravel, one inch of sand and then leveling the sand and placing the pavers would help me lose some of the weight I’ve gained while traveling around this summer. What I didn’t factor in is our current heat wave and many days of rain. Temps have been in the high 80’s to mid-90’ and the humidity has been so elevated it has the heat index pegged around 97° - 107°. I have a system worked out, and it serves me fairly well; I work for 20 minutes and take a 5-minute break, drinking lots of water. However, I must say I have an ulterior motive; I am of the opinion that as I age it becomes more important for me to perform physical labor so that my health allows me to perform strenuous activities. Thus, indicating in my mind, that I am not yet feeble. So, I think the trail project is something I want to do to convince myself that I still have the “Right Stuff." 

Emily Carr said it brilliantly, “It is the ugliness of old age I hate. Being old is not bad if you keep away from mirrors, but broken-down feet, bent knees, peering eyes, rheumatic knuckles, withered skin, these are ugly, hard to tolerate with patience." For me, I’m just lucky to have lived so long. Hopefully, my lifestyle had something to do with it (along with God’s blessings). 

😊 I read recently that in the USA, Black households have access to $200 in liquid assets, Hispanics $320 and Whites $23,000. I’m left wondering why that is, what does the color of your skin have to do with how much money you can lay your hands on at any time? If you are like me, you see a lot of things you would like to own, or do; a new car, bigger & better TV, eat out at nice restaurants, buy nicer clothes, the list could fill an entire page. I have never tied those desires to skin color, so that question begs for an answer. As a younger man, I was quite shallow, believing the acquisition of things defined a successful life. Consequently, the amount of disposable cash available at any one time was probably pretty near that $200 mark a lot of times. So, to answer the question begging for an answer: I have concluded that by combining the desire to acquire things along with being at, or near, the bottom of the pay scale in my chosen field, determined how much cash I had on hand at any given time. I suspect the same is true for others. If I thought for a single moment that it was tied to skin color, or ethnic origin, you could logically assume “the butter was sliding off my biscuit." 

😊I have been known, at times, to check my eyelids for leaks. At least, that’s what I tell myself, when, in actual fact, all I’m doing is taking a nap, trying to refresh myself for the remaining daily activities. This happens often during the hot summer months of July & August, and it does, as a matter of fact, help me finish those things I have on my “Boogie Board." For those of you unfamiliar with that term, a Boogie Board is an electronic tablet that allows you to write on it with a special pen. You can write, draw, or just doodle. I use it for a "to-do list" and as, I complete each task I line through it and continue to the next one. To clear the tablet, I push a button located on the top, and then I can start over with a new list. I read somewhere that you are at your smartest before age 30, so I’m a little past my prime mentally. To compensate for my lack of mental acuity I make a lot of notes and, really, you can find them anywhere; my computer room, garage, shed (workshop) & car. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if you perceive a loss of ability as you age it is pretty darn useful to compensate for that loss. A good example is that after years of running, I am no longer able to, but I can walk, and I compensate for losing my running ability by trying to walk 10,000 steps each day. Last year, I took over 2 million steps. You only have to walk 5,500 steps each day to accomplish that. Trying to stay healthy doesn’t guarantee a long life, but it certainly gives you a better chance at doing so. 

An old Spanish Proverb says, “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” 

😊I was recently visited by two of my granddaughters. They live about 15 hours away in the western part of Tennessee. My oldest granddaughter (Robin/David) has three children (ages 2, 11, 13). As much as I love her, my three greats has a very special place in my heart. My youngest granddaughter (Chelsea/Jake) came in the day Robin left to go home. So, for three weeks there was a lot of activity at my son's house. Fortunately, my wife and I could participate in a lot of it. They spent many days at the beach and a day at Bush Gardens & Water Country. Those are places my wife, and I avoid because of our age, but we know younger people enjoy being there. We spent a day with Chelsea, Jake and my son, at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. The day was blistering hot, so it was pleasant to be inside for most of the day. Now, all of them are back home, going through the hustle & bustle of everyday life, waiting, perhaps, for those next few days of vacation. When those close to you live so far away it encourages you to treasure the time you have with them. Those people we love that live nearby are sometimes taken for granted and that is a condition we should strive to avoid. I watched an item in the news the other day in which Prince William & Prince Harry discussed their last phone conversation with their mother, and how they were so anxious to hang up the phone and continue their activities with their father. Two hours later, their mother was dead. I believe we approach life as if most things in it are permanent, when, in fact, everything is temporary. So, my response to this is to treat everyone important to my life with the attention and care, they deserve. 

Barrett Wendell said, "What is done for those whom one cares about becomes a matter of one's personal pleasure, hard to express, perhaps, but surely, deeply felt." Amen to that!  

I hope this finds you doing well in whatever part of this wonderful planet you live in, and that you enjoyed reading my missive.   

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