Sunday, June 13, 2010
Picking Your Battles
I remember a younger version of me who was adverse to waiting. Taking time to make a decision seemed like just a waste of precious time. The facts were the facts, the options were clear, just get on with it. I guess with age may come wisdom but certainly comes patience and contemplation. For nearly a year I have been pondering one particular interpersonal relationship with no fear of deadline or timeline. I didn't have what I required to move forward. This is not simply procrastination. I do think about the issues involved, I sit with what was before and what might be in the future. It just isn't yet time.
When a similar situation came up over Memorial Day weekend, one of my friends who was directly involved said something about "picking your battles" and while not precisely a fight, it was a conflict which could easily have led to a confrontation. He chose to linger in limbo rather than push forward while still "unprepared and unarmed" (his words not mine). The warlike metaphors seems a bit overwrought, so I engaged in a little wordplay.
Battle has militaristic, confrontational overtones but crusade or campaign might work.
Picking conjures synonyms like cull, sift, harvest and gather.
It became clear to me that I was more into the picking than I was into the battle. I was indeed gathering my thoughts; culling my feelings, sifting through the possibilities and gathering myself for an eventuality.
Once again the younger me spoke up and suggested this period of rumination might better be called out as mental masturbation. Ah, the impetuousness of youthful ganglia. But I had to think, it has been nearly a year, perhaps my friend has something to say about our estrangement. Perhaps the time had come. Could I get a sign or a stage direction here?
As if in the "ask and ye shall receive" mode, I dropped by while another friend was doing some household divesting. They offer me several tables of items that will soon be the property of Goodwill. I did not care to even check the inventory because I am still post-accumulation. But then she said: "Well maybe one of our friends might need something here." I took a quick glance and sure enough right there in the first pile was an artifact of our youth my olde friend had talked about perhaps ten years ago. Here was my sign. I picked it up and that evening made the call. Now I just need to find the words before the next full moon.