Happy Monday, everyone! We had another whirlwind weekend, so I’m a little behind with getting this post out, but that’s what bus rides and getting to the office early are for, right?
Today’s post was going to be something useful: how to start a morning routine, why we’re building a house instead of buying an older one, how to mix a Kentucky Mule. All of these and many more are forthcoming, but I decided we should chat about something else this morning. I want to talk about a little thing called decision making (and hopefully it will still be useful to you if in a less obvious way).
We all make decisions constantly. Some big, some small, some that don’t feel like decisions at all. (I promise this post won’t turn into something out of Dr. Seuss.) Sometimes decisions only affect the person making them. For instance, my decision to minor in creative writing in college was an exciting thing for me but didn’t really mean much to anyone else. Sometimes they affect your family or your friend group. Deciding to move to Cincinnati was a big decision for me and Spencer, but it has also made a difference in the lives of our family and friends who love us enough to visit and keep in touch despite our distance.
When thinking about decision making, you also have to take time into account. My decision to drink coffee this morning means that I’ll probably make it through the first part of the workday without falling asleep at my desk, but I make no promises for this afternoon when the effects of the caffeine wear off. When I decided to go to an out-of-state, private liberal arts school, I knew that it would lead to at least a few years of paying off loans and ruing the day someone came up with the concept of interest.
But even with all of these examples, we’ve only scratched the surface of decision making. What if we took a decision that affected a large group of people (like, say an entire country) and had lasting, even lifelong, effects? I’ve never made a decision of this magnitude, but you know who has?
This guy. That is my cousin, Derek, and he leaves for Parris Island in one short week. What’s in Parris Island, you ask? For the last hundred years, it has been the site of boot camp for the United States Marine Corps. At eighteen years old, my cousin has made one of those big, life-changing decisions the likes of which I’ve never imagined having to do myself. He has chosen to join the Marines, to put himself through the most physically and mentally taxing thirteen weeks of training, to dedicate his life to keeping our country safe, to put his personal life on hold so the rest of us can continue to enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted every day.
Can you tell I’m a little proud? Once upon a time, he was a little ball of energy who constantly tried to put his hand in the fire. Somewhere at my parents’ house, there’s a picture of the two of us in footy pajamas sitting in front of the fireplace, and I can still remember grabbing his hand and trying to teach him the meaning of “hot” without just letting him burn himself. Now I have to trust that his platoon mates will keep him safe, and you all know how much that goes against my controlling nature.
I love you, Derek. I’m so proud of the decision that you’ve made, and I know that I’ll sleep a little better knowing the safety of our country is in the hands of you and your soon-to-be fellow Marines. Semper fi!
And what better way to end this post than with some extra Marine pride?