Monday, July 09, 2007


A professor of mine once said, "Life is a series of choices. With each choice you make, you include something and you exclude something." It's rare in life that so much philosophy can be distilled into a single statement.

My wife and I have been faced with a number of choices related to family in recent months. With most choices, the options are fairly stark, and the consequences can be pretty easy to determine. Yet, decisions that involve family aren't the most difficult to make. Breaking the news of the decision is what is the most difficult because the reaction of family members is so irrational because the relationships themselves are irrational.

It staggers my mind that I waste such effort on the decisions my family makes. One issue involves family that is so close too many boundaries have been blurred beyond what is appropriate. Another issue involves family that is so distant that I'm conflicted because I care about the decisions they make, but I can't explain why because they just aren't a part of our lives. Yet another issue involves having to eliminate some of the financial assistance we provide because our circumstances have changed. The answers to all these issues are entirely easy to make. Yet, the implications of these decisions are so difficult to predict, and require so much energy to attempt to plan for.

I could post volumes about each of the situations. I could vent until my fingertips bleed and my brain has an aneurysm. In the end, what good will it do? The decisions I have to make are the right ones. They are the ones that are in my family's best interest. In the end, I've got to learn to just shrug my shoulders and realize I can't affect how people react or the decisions they make. If they get angry, they get angry and there is nothing I can do about that. I just refuse to take responsibility for them any longer.


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