Thursday, July 30, 2015

Choices. Dithering.

Some days I like a good dither, savouring the delicious choices available. Generally I'm a decision making kind of guy. Give me my choices, and I'll give you a decision. It just kills Linda when I take the first of offered choices. I think it baffles her that I can make a decision without hearing all the choices, and agonizing over them to pick the best one. When it's her food, it's all good. There is a time to gather choices, and time to get on with it.

There's a simple way to get through a bunch of choices. Say you're looking at menu in a restaurant. Assume you didn't come here because you've been dying for their Lamb Gosht. You are looking things over and don't yet know what you want, and have been through the menu with nothing leaping out at you.

Rather than comparing everything to everything, start with the first entree listed. Compare it to the second thing, and pick one of them. Compare that to the third thing, and pick one of them. Compare that to the 4th thing, and pick one. Do that till you run out of menu items. It shouldn't take more than a minute. Once the entree is selected think about desert, and save room for that. Then decide if you want anything else from the salad, or soup, or appetizer, or sides menu. Done. Time is money for the wait staff, make it march!

A similar process works for buying things where there is a clearly defined set of choices and it doesn't matter if it's toothpaste or computers. (Hint, buy more memory.) Life is a bit harder when the choices are not so clearly defined, or the outcome of the choices is uncertain or life altering. As long as it doesn't make you sick, does it really matter if you pick the steak or the fish? But when to pull the pin on retirement, that's a biggie.

We are in the fortunate position where the question is usually not "can we afford it?" but rather "do we want to afford it?". Those are quite different things. I've been making a deliberate effort to take time off work to do other things. I can afford to not work any random day, assuming there isn't some deliverable I've promised for then that isn't done. Several weeks of vacation are fine. But when it comes to several months, things get a bit different, and work tends to get a bit twitchier about it.

There is the old saying, you have to make hay when the sun shines. Well, the sun is shining for me now. It isn't for lots of other people, and that's too bad. It makes a bit tougher to not work, when you have the choice to. But eventually you come to that place whether you want to or not.

The secret to improvement in fitness activities is that you stop before you have to stop. Because eventually, if you don't, your body will make you stop. Same with work. Eventually, you will stop. If you get to the point where you have to stop, it's likely you have to stop everything else too. Not much of a retirement.

Do I want to sign up for any more races this year? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. I loved doing the race last weekend, and wouldn't trade the experience for the world. But I'm not up for doing it on my own any time soon. Rather than push it, I'm going to enjoy swimming, and biking, and running, and other things just for the enjoyment of doing them. Not because I have the stress of a race coming up.

Traditional, or self-published. Still working my way through that one. I'm looking forward to the writers conference in a couple weeks.

Working. At this point I don't know if I'm going to be offered an extension of my contract. Last several times a renewal was a no brainer. I'm going to have to think about it, if that choice is offered to me. At the least I think I'm going to take some time off in January, and after that we'll see.

Cars. My strategy is to buy new, take care of it, and drive it till the wheels fall off. Towards the end of the car's life, you start running into more expensive repair bills. Knowing when to draw the line and get rid of it can be tricky.

Do I have another glass of wine? Probably not. Go to bed early? Maybe. Aggressively cuddle the cat who is doing much better, thank you very much? Almost certainly.

You get a picture of cat cuddling from a few days ago, just because everybody loves pictures of cats.


  1. I love Indian food. Just saying. If and when I get to Calgary, we need to find some. Love your approach to menus. Will definitely give that a try next time we eat out. Usually, I just narrow the selections, then ask the waiter to choose. Retirement. sigh. If I could, I would, no question. However, the choice is still at least a couple of years off. I don't blame you for not signing up for another event right away. However, think I'm going to register for something, just to keep me motivated. I don't do well training "for the sake of". Writing - if it rains this weekend, I'm going to have a go at rewriting one of the stories I drafted last fall. Luke read it for me this week and thought it was worth working on. Enjoy your long weekend!

    1. We will take you to Clay Oven. Best Naan bread in the city. The Bagnan Bartha (roasted eggplant) is to die for.


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