6/6/13

Decisions . . .

How the "Good Sean" and "Bad Sean" problem solve
inside my head. It is true. I've felt the chair being moved.
I was making my inquisitive daughter breakfast this morning (She saw my planned protein bar for me and raised me a request for toast with an egg, cheese, and ham in the middle with pineapple chunks and strawberry milk for accouterments - she's in a growth spurt and/or a almost-seven-year-old pot head. Her mother and I are positive it is the prior.)) and she asked me a simple question . . . "Sean-Daddy, do you ever wish you could make decisions over again?'

I immediately thought of the knee-jerk reaction I might give an adult where I'd make some absurd reference to politics or pop culture but shook that off. Then I thought about making a comment about my protein bar but figured that was not the actual question so I decided, instead, to go the "metta" route and I flipped her egg and answered the best way I could . . .

"Do you?"
"I asked you first (while using body language that made me immediately think (fondly and genuinely) of her mother), silly."
"That's right, you did (trims crust off toast). Sure. Every single day. But never on anything more important than a momentary decision like what t-shirt I put on or what song or Netflix item I hit 'play' on. Because wanting to redo or take back anything bigger than that is a waste of time."
"Big like what?" (She's six.)
"Well - I know people who want to go back in time. Or they wish they had never moved or taken a job or quit a job. People who hate the houses they live in. Or who wish they had studied more in school."
"Would they make a different decision?"
"I guess so."

We then broke away from a verbatim-able conversation that involved stuffed animals, flip flop selections, how you choose a "best" friend, and what, exactly, I don't like about Taylor Swift (the poor kid is my only human contact some days) among other things but here is where we netted out . . .

I told her that all decisions, ultimately, are about "yes" or "no" (she's not old enough to understand the ONLY exception to this which is playing another rousing edition of "FMK" with Uncle Nathan J. Carr) so you have a 50/50 shot of getting them correct every time even if you give a decision NO thought at all. Then I sorta' told her that to have a wish to go back and change a decision is really just a form of regret and when you have a regret it means you are wasting time, effort, and energy on something that you cannot fix or change when you could put that same energy toward making your current situation or NEXT decision better.

I gave her one of Sean C. Amore's Pearls of Parental Wisdom (there are a total of 63 of them, she's already heard nearly 40 so I'm worried I may not have enough to get her all the way through life) which, put simply, is this . . . IF you truly consider your options in this world and IF you make an informed, smart, thoughtful (beyond just the moment) decision than you should never really have anything to regret but, instead, will only have good (and bad - which, in this context, are also "good") examples of decisions you made "then" to help you make even better decisions "now" and in the future (no quotes needed).

By this time her breakfast was all but gone and mine was a memory. She took one last, long gulp of milk, wiped her mouth and said "I've decided THAT was a good breakfast. I have no regrets."

Lesson learned?